July 1, 1964
Jocie Brooke here reporting from the Hollyhill County Fairgrounds. Once a year, the carnival comes to town and everybody goes to the fair.
Dad says the fair is one of those good and bad happenings. Good because all the beauty contests and baby show pictures sell lots of papers. Bad because he has to be at the fair every night taking those pictures. The carnival is not my dad’s favorite place to be. I tell him he can just drop me off at the gate with lots of film, but he says I’m not old enough to be totally unsupervised at the fair. He at least wants me to check in every hour or so. I guess he thinks I’ll get stuck up on top of the ferris wheel or something.
Do you like to ride the ferris wheel? I think it is so neat to get stopped up on the tiptop of the wheel and get to see all around. Guess who I spotted while I was up there. Zella! I can’t believe Zella was actually at the fair. Buying cotton candy! But there she was with a big cloud of pink spun sugar. I didn’t see that Mr. Whitlow, but he must have been there. Chasing him would be the only reason I could imagine Zella coming to the fair.
She usually makes a face when she even looks at the pictures we put in the paper of the fair. As far as I know, she has never even gone to the horse show even though that’s quite the social event in Hollyhill. People rent boxes and sit right next to the ring where the horses show their paces.
Once I gave the ribbon to the winner when I was younger. I had to dress up in church clothes and Aunt Love made me polish my shoes until they shone and for what? Stepped right into that dirt ring and the shine was gone. Now I just take the pictures of the other girls handing out the ribbons when Dad has to take a break for whatever reason. That suits me fine.
Have you ever been to a county fair? What parts did you like best? Did you go fishing for one of those little plastic ducks and win a paper fan or a whistle? Maybe you tried to ring the bell with that big hammer. Or throw hoops over bottles to win a teddy bear. Or what about that game where people put money on different colored squares to bet on which color hole this mouse will run into once the carnival guy lets it out of its cage? Aunt Love says that’s gambling and she better not hear that I was even watching that game. I wouldn’t have done that anyway. I always save my extra quarters for candy apples. Those great caramel ones with nuts on them. Sticky but yummy! What’s your favorite fair food?
Just wait until tomorrow when I ask Zella how she likes cotton candy. Wes wasn’t there. He says Hollyhill on a regular day is plenty of carnival for him.