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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Fair-y Memories

When it comes to the Western Idaho Fair every August month, I can remember the very first time I went as a little child. As I followed my Father around through the animal cages, the open pen petting zoo and the colorful rides. I am not sure how old I was for the first carnival that grabbed my attention, but once while visiting My Dad's Parents, in the small town had a lite up Carnival that I shot up from my black leather car seat to see it clearly better and exclaimed “WOW! I wanna go!” My parents both giggled, My Mom replied “Oh shoot, we should have gone through town another way.” But my Dad calmed me down saying “We will go there tomorrow night.” That time on those rides with my cousins Trina and Cally was what I really loved. Remembering my Grandpa, Papa Rudy sitting with me on the dragon roller coaster, or how he liked to swing the seat on the Ferris Wheel, makes me realize he loved those rides just as much as I did! Riding the Ferris Wheel is such a vivid memory for me because my cousins kept calling out and waving to me as they rode together above my own seat and I remembered my little feet sticking out as we circled the wheel in those flashing lights. When my Grandma gave me blue cotton candy it was the first I ever tasted and so my memory of the earliest time in my life that I experienced a Fair was the a warm happy feeling sitting on the wooden picnic table at night with all the family around laughing and sharing food.

Growing up every summer was focused around saving money for the Fair, The event was driving from the farm to Boise (about an hour's drive) for the whole Fair day from open to close. When my Dad would get something to eat like a chorizo, the 3 of us kids would flock to him for a bite then he would say “buy your own.” so we would debate, calculate and see if it was worth the cost to us in having our own. Though at the Fair my Dad always seemed patient with us in walking up and down the food lane as we asked him about everything. We wanted to make sure what we got to eat was the best deal as well as not suddenly finding out while we walked around the corner something offered there that was even better. As a child I enjoyed all the shows, touched as many animals as possible, watched how they milked a cow, and cheered on the pig races! As the years went on the Fair setup grew more commercial and less local. My Mom always bought her hot dogs to support the local church families, or she volunteered at the “Right to Life” booth. Slowly our Father stop coming with us to the Fair all together. Our Mom step in to make sure we always got to go in those teenage years. And if we got to take a friend along with us it was even more fun! But the day I remember the most was when I felt so rich having saved $100 dollars. And by the evening it was all gone, through ride tickets, food and drinks. I was left feeling helplessly sad that it hadn't stretch as far as I thought it would. So the next year I walked around the Fair guarding my money and just buying the basic needs.

There isn't a ride I haven't tried, but now that I am older I have noticed my preferred style is less thrilling. I will always take on a roller coaster, or just relax on the carousel. But I am NOT into spinning in tight circles anymore, or just hanging upside down. I can't shake off the headaches I get if a ride does both. Yet I will NEVER stop flying! I will always love the Ferris Wheel for seeing the world in that new way. I will never get bored at seeing the place light up for the night! So when it comes to my most favorite of all rides, The Swings are well worth the wait in line.

My Motherinlaw JoAnn handed me a ticket for a free ride last year and I didn't even hesitate as I said “The Swings!” she looked above us at the twirling legs of people. “Oh hell no!” she replied while my brotherinlaw Dusty said “It could be fun.” I got both Stephanie and Roy to talk Mom into the ride. So VERY excitedly I felt like a kid again, It's even more fun to share your favorite ride with family!
There really hasn't been a summer I missed out on riding the swings. It just feels to me as natural as breathing, I know it will be the closest thing I ever get to flying like a bird! My Sisterinlaw Stephanie exclaimed that is was so much fun to ride the swings, while Mama Jojo was still walking with her eyes closed. She later told my Husband that she saw me out there with my arms wide out, never once did I hang on to the swings! But she just knew her swing would pop off into the air if she wasn't careful! I explained to her that it's easier to picture Peter Pan flying along side of you, because then you can imagine you are Tinker Belle up there!:-)

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