By James Cook, Times Editor
Once again the Powell County Fair is back and the excitement for the little ones seems to be growing as Fair Day approaches. I can still remember those days, though vaguely now.
I can remember getting up early on a day when there was no school, which really if you think about it made no sense, especially when you had to drag yourself out of bed any other school day.
We would get ready and either get to the high school because we were going to be on a float, or get into town and find a good spot to watch the parade. Perferably a spot where plenty of candy would come our way.
Then it would be off to the fair, pay for the arm band and ride all day. Sure the rides were usually small, squeaky, looked dangerous, but we didn’t care – we loved them.
The we would have to make our way over to the concession stand to get the famous Fair Burger. There was a time when there was no better burger around. They are still good, but maybe my taste buds have been seduced by the pizza and funnel cakes we see now. But I still have to get at least one of those burgers while I’m there.
And I know every guy reading this has done this. We would try to impress some little girl by either trying to shoot a basketball to win her a stuff toy she didn’t really want or need. Or we would show our skills at throwing a sharp object, say a dart, and win her that cool looking Aerosmith mirror, with writing so big, the mirror was basically useless. But we won it for our gals!
Especially on Fair Day, with all our peers present, we would show our throwing ability (of course the baseball team would do this religiously) by trying to set a record at drowning whoever was sitting on the dunking booth. If you were a teacher, odds were you were going down.
There were some who would try to sneak off into the woods. Some were successful, others were grounded for weeks. But the fair was a central place we all would try to meet and cut loose. It was fun.
It still is for the young and young at heart.
This past Monday night I was there covering the Pet Show and Talent Contest, or at least as best I could. Being in two places at one time is pretty tricky.
I met up with some old friends, we walked around checked out the rides, took in the sights and sounds of kids laughing it up as they turned around and around. Most of us quickly came to the conclusion that was not for us anymore. Of course the food was a totally different story. I even heard one person say that the prices are jacked up, but we buy it and come back for more. Why? It’s fair time!
After watching the younger ones have some fun and after finishing my assignment for the evening it dawned on me. The fair is what we make of it.
If we complain about the rides, the walk or the cost of the food then we make ourselves miserable. Now I know the economy is rough and I am not a Rockefeller, if you know what I mean. But with some wise monetary choices, I can still have fun at the fair. More importantly, so can my daughter.
She is at that age where the rides are OK, boys actually exist (Dad keeps an eye on that) and hanging out with friends is important. But she has enough of me in her that she often times just wants to be herself. She’ll ride rides others say are too lame; she will try to enter every contest she can and she likes those burgers.
I enjoy the fair. Sure in my line of work it is a nightly rush to try to cover all I can, but watching others have fun, brings back a lot of memories, Eventually, I end up getting back into the swing of it, though I may stay off the rides. I hope everyone has that child-like renaissance and enjoys the show. When we can no longer reach out and touch our past, remember the fun and be happy, we need to readjust our way of thinking.
I’m just saying . . .
P.S. – Happy Anniveray Christina, 13 years and counting.