Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Going to the Fair


Forgive the lateness of this post.  I’m recovering from Monday’s visit to the fair.  And getting ready for Thursday’s visit.  Yes, we go twice.  Any problem with that?  The Monday visit is with the Grands, their mom and aunt; and Thursday is for the Growns.  With the Grands we mostly eat, visit the petting zoo, and check out the cow in the Food and Fiber building where you can also get a free ice cream cone.  The Growns (Elizabeth joins us for a second trip) is on the day when seniors get in free.  Sometimes we call it “Old Peoples Day.” It's less crowded then if you can navigate around all the motorized wheelchairs. That day, we visit more exhibits while still eating ourselves silly. The Vitamix demo always gets a visit even though we finally bought one years ago.  (And you should, too.  The Vitamix is one of my great frivolous expenses that I have never regretted.)
 

Our first item of business this year was to check out Big Tex.  Most people know dear old Big Tex burnt to a crisp last year around this time, right before the eyes of hundreds of his beloved family.  Big Tex is part of everyone’s family, especially Dallasites. He is traditionally the spot you all go to if you get lost.  It’s where groups always have their picture made.  Most high school annuals have the Seniors gather for their photo at his feet.  When Sarah was around four I realized that she thought Big Tex was real.  I wasn't about to tell her any different.  He’s like Santa Claus but without the stress of Christmas.

The fire started out as a short in some of the electrical wires that made his mouth move.  Next thing you know he was just a black burned-out shell of an icon.   We were horrified to lose him.  Someone set up a Grief Support Group on facebook for us to console each other.  But Texans take these things in stride.  Our Governor’s mansion burned to the ground a few years ago.  We set the Governor up in a double-wide trailer until they could rebuild it. Life goes on. 

Since Tex was so beloved there was much anticipation over whether or not we would find his replacement acceptable.  I was prepared to be disappointed.  I found a few minor changes immediately:  He has saggy jowls, stiff hands, and the curve of his hat is more rancher than cowboy.  Some people thought he was darker but I noticed years ago that Tex is dark.  People say that’s because he spends so much time in the sun.  I figure Tex is actually Tejano Grande. 


But I cannot, and will not, forgive his new boots.  They are way too big. Maybe the boot company whose name is boldly emblazoned on them financed their fabrication and got to dictate the size and wanted their money to count.  But, my God, if you wanted an ad for boots I would think you would want to show how tall and manly they make you look.  Instead they make Tex look short, dumpy and a lot like a little boy wearing his father’s boots.

I can live with all the other changes but, please-- they need to re-do the boots.

A few years ago a total stranger came up to me and asked for directions.  I was standing in front of the Hall of State watching the syncopated tap dancers and eating my Belgian Waffle and drinking my coffee. I’m sure I had a look of confidence and assurance on my face. That must have been what drew the woman to ask me, “Pardon me, do you know much about the Fair?” Maybe it was the dusting of powdered sugar on my shirt  or the bits of whipped cream at the edges of my mouth that told the woman I “knew the Fair.”

I always wear my purple shirt.  Believe it or not, purple hides ketchup spills better than any other color

Do I know the Fair? My people have been coming to the fair since the Centennial of 1936. Beaven and I both have a solid annual relationship with this event. He grew up in the surrounding neighborhood and knew where to climb over the fence to sneak into the fair without paying. It was the first place my parents let me loose without an adult. When Beaven worked at the TV station we usually had parking and entrance passes for more than one visit a year. My Daddy and I took my kids before they could walk. I took my grand kids before they could walk. I know the fair.

Each of us has a brick with how long we’ve been coming to the Fair.  In most cases it’s our birth year.  Beaven’s father and my father have “since 1936” on their bricks because that was the first year.

The lady wanted to know where to buy a corny dog. I started explaining how there are probably eight places to buy a corny dog and each location has its own merit, then realized this fine lady didn’t need the details, she needed to know the best of all eight places, the place I buy my own corny dogs. I pointed up to Big Tex and told her to go to Big Tex and when she was standing in front of him her back would be to the best place on the grounds to buy a corny dog.

It’s not just the kind of food or the place you buy it that’s magical; it’s also the technique, the way you eat it. Fair Food should be eaten with enthusiasm. Neatness counts against you. Neatness says you were able to take your mind off what Big Tex is saying long enough to pay attention to the little drip that fell from the corner of your mouth onto your shirt. 


It is my firm belief that Fair Food inoculates you from most of the common diseases the winter will bring. Once you get a good layer of root beer, mustard and ketchup on your hands as a base coat; then add fluffs of cotton candy and snow cone juice plus tufts of sheep wool and chicken feathers then top it all off with assorted sneezes, coughs and droolings from the kid in line ahead of you, then you’ve just taken in most of the germs you will be exposed to in the coming school year; maybe even your lifetime. And you know that at some point during the day you will lick your fingers but because it’s the Fair, God gives these germs a special dispensation and they don’t make you sick. Trust me on this one. My kids were never sick.

1 comment:

Glan Deas said...

I like your post. I like these types of posts in which you describe the events and you experiences.


Regards,
Kopi Luwak