We went to the Great Darke County Fair. The publicity was not exaggerated. It was bigger and better than ever. It was also more expensive.
Even before we left home the Fair cost us a new pair of shoes. Everyone was about ready when we noticed four-year-ole Eddy was barefoot. Why? His shoes lost themselves. “If you can’t find the shoes you can’t go to the Fair!”
He tried awfully hard. He even looked under a few things. He also stood in the doorway of every room and ordered his shoes to walk out to him. Finally the whole family pitched in to help him look, but no shoes.
When Debbie, our baby-sitter, came to stay with baby Joe, Eddy made no fuss at all. He sat down beside her and said, “I’m going to stay here and try to be good, and maybe Daddy will bring me a caramel apple.” If he’d have thrown a fit we would have left him behind, but he was such a good little soldier I took him downtown and bought him some new shoes. The old ones were about worn out anyway. I think.
This was Johnny’s first year at the Fair. He was wide-eyed with wonder as an almost three-year-old should be. He was also afraid to get on the rides. His Dad finally got him to try the little cars. Suddenly John’s opinion changed and we had a different problem—getting him off the rides.
Bill had promised to take the older kids on one “big” ride. They chose the Ferris wheel. The kids enjoyed it immensely. Daddy got a little dizzy. While they were on the Ferris wheel I promised the younger ones that if they waited patiently they could ride the merry-go-round next. They were absolute angels.
Off the Ferris wheel and over to; the merry-go-round. Billy offered to ride with John so he wouldn’t fall off the horse. Bill looked over the situation and decided Billy was too young to have to be responsible for John on that ride. “You’d better ride with him,” he said. “I rode last year, it’s your turn.”
Since the ride was ready to start the discussion was quickly ended. Bill bought himself a ticket and got on between the horses John and Eddy were riding. I watched, and for the first time actually saw the comparison from green to greener to greenest. I had the dizziest husband on the fairgrounds, and the kids had the best Dad.
At Bill’s suggestion we left the rides after the merry-go-round and proceeded to the games. We always play the ones where you shoot ‘til you win. We may change our plan next year unless some of our children improve their aim or we find a place to sit while they shoot.
We found one game where they even let the kids pick the prize they wanted. Irene won a bracelet with her name on it. When Joyce got her turn, I quickly told the lady to give Joyce a bracelet too. The lady got her engraver ready, looked at Joyce, and said, “Your name, honey?” Joyce looked right back at the lady and said, “My name’s Joyce Anna Floyd and I don’t want that thing I want a pretty ring.” She got her ring, and so much for keeping things even between sisters.
We got our ten-cent ham sandwiches and pop from Jim and Carole’s stand and had supper at WDRK’s pavilion. The next stop was the coliseum displays. As we passed all of the prize winning pies and cakes Bob looked up and said, “Hey, Mom we didn’t get any dessert with supper.” That oversight was remedied at the taffy apple stand.
While the kids were busy getting taffy apples in them and on them their Dad decided he wanted a foot-long hot dog and before he had eaten more than a few inches the kids had polished off the apples and were looking longingly at the hot dog. He offered them each a bite. They took it. He learned a new mathematic equation — one foot-long hot dog divided among six children doesn’t leave much sandwich for Daddy.
We left the Fair then and came home so Bill could get something to eat. On the way home the kids babbled constantly about what they would do at the Fair next year. Above the babble came Eddy’s loud and appreciative voice, “Thanks for the Fair Dad, and thank you for the new shoes Mom. I won’t let these hide from us.”
AUTHOR’S NOTE: This column was first published in the Greenville Advocate Aug. 29, 1967.
Kathleen Floyd is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her column Back Around the House II. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.