Is it possible for one place, that hosts a lot of visitors and vendors to have the same smell year after year? I’ve been going to the fair all of my life. It’s what we do. Schools use to close their doors for Fair Day. Now they call it teacher in service or Columbus Day. Anyway, I love, love, love the fair.
I remember candy apples and Belgium waffles with fresh strawberries and whipped cream. Oh and the cotton candy! You can’t forget that big, fluffy ball of sugar wrapped around a paper cone. Mmmmmm…. And what is the fair without Fletcher’s corny dogs. Yes I said corny dog. Some of you may know them as corn dogs or deep-fried, breaded, wieners on a stick. Good golly miss Molly. Have you ever had a smoked turkey leg? You haven’t lived until you’ve had one. Pair that leg with some corn on the cob that’s been soaking in butter for hours and you have yourself a meal for a king or queen.
There are lots of rides and side shows. My favorites are the car shows, the farm animals and the homemade items that have won in their categories and have a blue ribbon next to them.
When I was younger I went with my mother, brothers and cousins. As I got older I went with friends from school. I even road the bus sometimes. It was not a short ride. As I said before, we were free range children. Now, I go with my children. I have passed on my love of the fair to them.
Unfortunately last year was the end of this wonderful tradition. According to their website the Stare Fair of Texas is closing its doors. After the iconic Big Tex burned in a fire, the fair wasn’t the same. He had stood at his post welcoming people from all over to the State Fair of Texas. But with him gone, the numbers of visitors dropped and they decided to close their doors. I guess my dreams of taking my grandchildren has gone up in flames with him. Visiting amusement parks isn’t the same. There was something about the fair that pulled us into a familiar place that almost felt like home.
Where did I live when I was 12? Hillside baby!!! You know it!
I still smile when I think of my childhood home. It was truly the best of times and the worst of times.
Hillside Terrace was an apartment complex in the heart of Dallas. You see, Dallas is broken up into north, south, east, west, and some other places like Oak Cliff and Arlington Park which are really just Dallas but it makes them feel special and set a part to have those names. I lived, grew up and experienced life in the heart of Dallas. It’s currently known as the medical district.
Hillside. This was the place where the term, “move you lose it’s the Hillside rules” was birthed. It was neighbors. It was friends. It was summers swimming in the pools. It was walking to school together. I rode the bus all over Dallas. My brothers and I were “free range” kids. It was family. I mean the literally and figuratively. Various cousins lived there throughout the years. Friends became so close we felt like relatives.
This was the place where my brothers learned to break dance on the top of the table they broke while fighting. This was the place where my cousin fell off of a balcony. Talk about a miracle. This was where I had my first real fight. His name was Pookie. I held my own. This was also the place of my first kiss. He leaned in and barely brushed my lips then ran like he was trying to win an Olympic medal. I’ll keep his name to myself.
I can’t limit my memories to the age of 12. They all swirl around in my head. We lived there for about ten years. In the end it went from a glorious place to roam and feel free to a place I feared. The drug trade pushed us out or propelled us on depending on how you view things.
He was pulled into a time and a memory that was more ancient than his years. She spoke to him of things his mind could not comprehend or imagine. The words she used were foreign and not because she spoke another language but because he had never heard them used before.
He didn’t ask questions to clarify. She was too excited and the words fell from her mouth like water rushing over a waterfall. He would have felt guilty if he had interrupted. So he sat quietly, listening and observing her body language.
He wasn’t sure if she was tense due to the tumultuous bus ride or because of the level of excitement she had reached. She relaxed in her seat and the words had come to a stop. The glimmer was still in her eyes and that smile he had begun anticipating spread across her lips. Then he knew it was okay to asked the two questions that had plagued him during her monologue. Who are the Beastie Boys and what is a cassette tape?
***I rode on a school bus with my eight year old son today heading to a school field trip. I don’t think I had ridden on a school bus since high school. I told him of some of my adventures which included a cassette tape of the Beastie Boys****
Do you remember the song that was playing during your first slow dance? This is not mine but I like this song. I will just listen to this as I try to think back to the seventh grade dance. I wore a pink dress with a white lace collar. I went alone because I was too young to date although I did like somebody. I can’t say we really slow danced as much as stood close to each other and moved in sync to the music. Yes I know this song is more appropriate for a wedding but I’m not reflecting on that memory at this moment. Take it away Randy!
Christmas trees, candy canes, family, friends, laughter, food and fun are all the things that bring a smile to my face when I think of Christmas’ past. Seeing my cousins and playing a game of tag or pop the whip; watching my great-grandmother cook, sitting down to eat a feast fit for family are other childhood memories.
While I am thankful for those memories, today I am thankful I have full understanding of the reason to celebrate this day. Love sent love down to love me and you.