Monday, September 7, 2009

Fair Memories

Happy Labor Day. When I used to listen to talk radio I'd often hear Rush or Hannity talk about how it's the wealthy in this country who provide jobs for the masses. Without the generousness of the wealthy we would have nothing. Fair enough; or is it? My thinking has changed in recent years and I'm now more inclined to say that without labor, all the money in the world would do the wealthy no good whatsoever. Who would assemble their products, deliver them and for that matter, buy them if it weren't for us common folk? Is one side in this equation more important than the other or this as pure a symbiotic relationship as can be? I don't have the answer but I do know that we're all in this together. Speaking from experience working as an air traffic controller in the FAA, when one side ignores the other and forces its will on them no good can come from that. Real leaders lead by example and encourage rather than force others to follow.

Rachel had some friends over to play croquet Saturday but there was a catch...to play, they had to dress the part which meant plaid pants and polo shirts. Knuckleheads.

Tammy and I were going to take a pass on the Great Minnesota Get-Together this year because Saturday afternoon was the only time it would fit for us and the thought of how many other people had similar plans caused me concern. We decided to be brave and do battle with the crowds anyway and ventured out a little past noon. Rather than mess with stop and go traffic miles from the fairgrounds we opted for the Park & Ride by Mall of America. $5 each bought us a round trip ticket on the bus which was what we'd have paid to park anyway. It seemed a no-brainer to me.

I first went to the fair in 1967 at the age of 10 with my best friend Miles Harvey. Miles was pretty much an only child as his older brother was much older and no longer lived at home. I remember that Miles used to get $5 a week for an allowance. That was a lot of money back then and as one of six kids it was $5 more than I got. His mom bought us tickets to watch the car races as Miles was huge into cars. We grew apart during junior high school and I lost touch with him altogether years later when he moved to Florida. Every once in a while I'll search the net to try and find him but so far no luck.

The crowds were everything we feared they would be but it didn't at all damper our experience with one exception; we skipped getting a pork chop on a stick because the line was too long. It's my favorite fair food.

In all the years I've been coming to the fair I'd never once taken the ski lift (Skyrider, I think it's called) over the top of the fairgrounds. Neither had Tammy; but now we have. I enjoyed the view it gave and the nice break it provided from all the walking we were doing.

My favorite tattoo of day had to be this one. I dunno...I just liked it. I've never seen a peacock feather tattoo and this one looked to be done very nicely.

Another attraction (for some anyway) is the carving in butter of the faces of contestants in the Princess Kay of the Milky Way contest. I've never figured out why people would want this done of themselves because they never, ever look at all flattering. But it's tradition and I suppose that's all that matters. There's also a heavy smell of butter in the air.

We slipped into the beer garden before heading out to the midway. We'd no sooner left the gardens when we ran into one of our pastors from church and her husband. We chatted for a few minutes before continuing on. With beers in hand we both had to laugh and dismiss concerns for our image with an understanding that Jesus drank alcohol too.

Scenes from the Midway.

Rachel went to the fair yesterday with a friend, Steven. They made a game out of seeing how many photos they could get into where people (strangers) were posing for pictures. They'd try and position themselves smiling in the background. They also tried to walk between obvious couples of people. More points were awarded if the couples were holding hands. If you could somehow somersault between them you'd earn bonus points. Knuckleheads.

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