Friday, September 30, 2011
Vignette: The County Fair
As the sun dips behind the mountains and the impending raucous crowd and the nightly fog approaches, we run into my brothers, my nephews, and a few of my sisters. We meet up for a few minutes before going off to see different booths, promising to see each other later. My father has come to hear the Blues Brothers copycat band, which sounds pretty good from the warm-up we heard when we arrrived but we don't stay at the fair after dark. It's a good rule of thumb for anyone under eighteen. This place is kind of like Vegas. During the day it tries desperately to be a family affair, even going so far as to keep most of the strange carnies operating rides that won't open till later, but once it gets dark it becomes a different beast. Bright neon lights buzz away, flashing signs twinkle, the smell of fried food and warm beer mix in the air, and any number of teenagers holler and giggle at each other as they find love under the sticky stars. By the time the rides are going full tilt and the fair is reaching maximum capacity, I'm at home with my feet up, happy that I won't have to visit the fair for another year but already somehow looking forward to the displays of vegetables and that quiet clucking barn full of chickens.