Sunday, October 28, 2007
$5 Fair Admission
Mother and I went to the grocery store on Thursday evening, since I had been out of town all weekend and into the middle of the week. We say the sign for the Kerr County Fair, and Mother said, "The Fair is this weekend, but I won't be going."
I asked if she would like to go. She asked if I would like to go. I said I would. She asked the cost of admission - $5. She said she'd go if I wanted to go. And so it goes.
The Kerr County Fair ran this weekend from Friday through Sunday, but the best time for us seemed to be Saturday afternoon, after I got home from my weekend job at the local youth shelter. It was at the Kerr Co. Ag Barn, on Hwy. 27, and though I wasn't sure just where it was, I figured we would know it when we saw it. And so we did. We pulled into the entry gate, drove past the mini-ferris wheel and tilt-a-whirl, into a large field partitioned off for parking. We found a place not too far from the entrance booth (after we realized all the most readily available parking spots were designated for handicapped drivers), and Mom paid the $10 for both of us to get in.
There were a few vendors outside the main tent area, but we saw the sign that said "Petting Zoo" and proceeded inside. We found the requisite baby sheep and baby goats milling around with their dams, trying to avoid the cups of farm animal kibble being forced upon them by small children, and decided not to actually venture into the fray. After a minute or two of standing near the 5-ft fence, I notice there was a smaller enclosure within the main one, containing a lop-eared rabbit, a pot-bellied pig, and what appeared to be a miniature kangaroo. Something in the back of my mind whispered wallaby, and I told Mother that's what I thought it was, but that voice is not always reliable, so I asked the woman selling kibble cups. She confirmed that it was, indeed, a wallaby! (I felt so smart!)
We also noticed that there was a camel! How could we have missed a camel, you ask? He was sitting down! At that point, the back of my mind whispered dromedary?, but I didn't feel like encouraging it anymore, so we're not sure on that one. We walked to the other end of the pen to get a better view, and also noticed a fawn, still with it's spots, although it seemed a little large to still have spots, and I suspect that there may have been a little milkpaint involved, although I have absolutely no proof. There was also some kind of game animal, but the little voice could only give me some kind of antelope, I think. It was becoming less and less reliable, so I decided to dismiss it for the rest of the afternoon.
We wandered into the main tent where the vendors and the performance stage were set up. There might have been 30 vendors altogether, but perhaps not quite that many. I picked up a packet from the local Democratic party that included a few pieces of candy. I asked if they had any voter's registration forms, but they said I would have to go to the second story of the county courthouse, fill one out there, and allow the county to mail it to Austin. I thought that was a little strange, but then everything here seems to be a little strange.
We passed by most of the booths, but near the stage happened upon one that was selling bright-and-shiny objects of sterling silver. I stopped to peruse them, and Mother sat in a folding chair to the side of the bleachers facing the stage. I picked out a garnet ring, an ear cuff, and a pair of dangly earrings for my daughter's belated birthday present (shhhh - don't tell her). As I was looking at the garnet rings, I realized someone was standing VERY close to me, well inside the limits of my personal-space bubble, and looked down to find my co-worker, Helen. She liked the rings I was looking at, and when I pointed out that Mother was sitting nearby, Helen joined her for a short chat while I finished my transaction. Helen told us about her daughter's prize-winning quilt in the crafts tent, and as I had been looking for something more than the vendor area, I was quite happy for us to follow her next door.
The craft area was meager, but perhaps I am jaded by all those years of having had the opportunity to attend the great State Fair of Texas. In any case, we looked over all the submissions in painting, photography, woodworking, mixed media, baking, canning, and some other items whose categories were difficult to discern. This took approximately 10 minutes. We did find Helen's daughter's quilt, which was sporting a Best of Show ribbon for the youth category. It was very nicely done, and I will have to be sure to tell her on Monday that we saw it.
I headed back to the first large tent and Mother asked if we were leaving. I told her that I wanted to be sure that we got our $5 worth. She commented drily that we could walk around the entire evening and still not get our $5 worth. I could only laugh, because it was oh, so true, and yet I had enjoyed myself so far. As we entered the main tent, my ears were rudely assaulted and I realized the stage was once again being used for karaoke. We wended our way to the front of the tent, past the food vendors and headed for the parking lot. Mother declined my suggestions for caramel apples, cotton candy, and kettle corn.
Much to my amazement and delight, we passed a vendor selling chocolate-dipped frozen bananas on a stick! I love these! At one point in time, you could walk into almost any Dairy Queen in North Texas and acquire one for as little as 50 cents. Alas, no longer. As best I understand it, almost every DQ in North Texas (perhaps in the entire state) has been purchased by an evil consortium that sanctions the sale of only those frozen treat items trademarked by the Dairy Queen franchise. Since they cannot really trademark a frozen chocolate-dipped banana on a stick, it is no longer allowed. *sigh* BUT - there he was! The frozen chocolate-dipped banana vendor! The photo on the side of the booth showed the banana dipped in chocolate and rolled in chopped nuts, but I am a minimalist when it comes to my frozen chocolate-dipped bananas. As the bananas were only dipped in chocolate once requested, I was able to acquire mine as desired. I chatted up the vendor in the hopes he might be able to direct me to a more reliable source, but he said he didn't know of one, although I could find him at other local county fairs. *SIGH*
My future prospects of acquiring frozen chocolate-dipped bananas did not look good, but at least I did have the one in hand. Mother did not care for one(!!??), so after I got mine, we continued towards the parking field and the car. My frozen chocolate-dipped banana was gone before we got home, but it was very nice while it lasted. And so was the Kerr County Fair.