My great friend Theresa told me a New York State Fair story that made me very happy during my Saturday morning vanity appointment. Between hair scissoring and beard clipping, she shared of how daughter Althea saved her money all year long to do what she pleased with on visits with mom and dad.
This year, Althea and Theresa went five times. Yes, they love the fair, and Althea had saved $78 besides. Midway Day was quite fun, Theresa said, and the best part even for the elementary schooler was seeing a baby calf being birthed.
Then, on Labor Day, closing day, the crazy-crowded Dollar Day bargain, Althea was trying to win a giant stuffed toy. She’d attempted a couple times on a previous trip, when it cost $3. This time, she’d already spent $6 even though the booth was taking part in the one-buck special. No luck.
Then, Theresa explains, a teen approached her concentrating daughter. “Little girl?” the boy questioned.
At first, the concerned mom wanted him to back off and let her child play the game. Then the teen delivered this news:
“My dad already won the grand prize once and he just won again, and he’d like to give his second prize to you. Would you like to pick out a big one from the top row?”
Yes, nice things still happen. Althea picked the blue stuffie, and David spent the rest of the sweltering day carrying it over his shoulders.
As I posted Wednesday here and over in my weekly community blog for Syracuse Public Media site waer.org, my dear wife Karen and I also were part of that large Labor Day crowd.
And this gives me the perfect opportunity to share a few more choice photos from the great New York State Fair.
At the center of the Center of Progress sat the sand sculpture. Artists come in and work for days to create the remarkable piece of art. This year’s paid tribute to the birthday of one Dr. Seuss, a cool cat if there ever was one.
With so many choices, you must pick the right place to eat your proper meal. Karen and I again went with Horan’s, owned by our friend Greg Horan, who used to work with us at the big daily. Yes, that’s how the connection started, but I would not have gone there to eat every year for 22 years now if he did not serve me great food. And, as his free beer sign displays, Greg has a good sense of humor, too.
Of course, the State Fair is more than a proper meal. Karen adores the fried dough, or more specifically, the pizza fritte at the Pizza Villa. They serve it in long strips vs. the round discs at most of the other places. It works for many, as the long lines always demonstrate. They pour on a mix powdered and granulated sugar. Sound good yet?
After receiving a bag with two strips of fried dough, we headed toward Chevy Court to search for a spot in the shade. The Doobie Brothers would be coming on stage in a half hour. Would we see them? One loop among the filled picnic tables told us no.
Karen led me past walkways and filled tables and benches and umbrellas and the wine court.
Voila. We walked into a shady grass court, practically by ourselves on a day with a crowd of 125,000. There was a ledge to sit upon, direct listening access to the stage, and a partial view of one big screen if I climbed upon a half-wall. We sat with the bag of fried dough and relaxed.
What, no goats, you were asking? Yes, I talked to the goats again this year, and we were on the same page. I told them of our backyard visitors. As slightly confused as they are, they do not like gophers or skunks, either.
What is the best do-nice story you’ve seen or heard lately? Have you ever seen a sand sculpture this large, and if so, what did it depict? What was the best thing you ever made with a bucket at the beach? How long would you wait in line for a strip of fried dough, and what would you like to put on top of it?