All Is Fair


By Neal Wooten

This past Friday I went to the VFW Fair with my mom. It was the first time I’ve been to this fair in 30 years, and 25 years since I’ve been to any fair.
My favorite is still the art exhibits. When I was in high school I always submitted art in several different categories (and names) just to get free tickets for me and my brother and sisters. One year my pencil sketch of Ronald Reagan actually won a blue ribbon.
This year I saw many entries from artists I’ve gotten to know since moving back to this area two-and-a-half years ago. My nephew’s wife, Emily Evans won a couple of ribbons for her photography, and my cousin, Tenice Dunn Zerbe won first place for her brownies. Congrats to those two. Just a tip: they frown upon you trying to open the display case to grab one to eat.
The food is still the hardest thing to avoid at the fair, and there are as many food vendors as there are rides. It was especially tough on me since I’ve been trying hard to eat right for the last month or so. Luckily it would take a small bank loan to afford a corndog and drink, so my will power prevailed. In other words, my thriftiness trumped my hunger pangs.
When I saw the Bumper Cars and Tilt-a-Whirl, I told my mom that these were the same rides they had from when I was a kid. When she said that that’s probably why they keep making them, I said, “No, I think these are the exact same rides from when I was a kid.”
I noticed this year there was no regular Ferris Wheel. I always thought that was the most popular ride. They had several that resembled one, but they had cars that spun upside down instead of just normal seats that stayed upright. I guess kids today need more excitement. I remember once being at the top and thinking the people below looked like ants, until I realized it was ants on my shoe from where I had stepped in Cotton Candy.
My favorite ride was also absent – the Haunted House. Sure the Glass House is fun, but there’s only so many nose bleeds you can get from walking into a glass wall before it loses its appeal. But I could ride through the Haunted House all night. After the first few times you learned where all the scary stuff was, but that mattered not; I still screamed like a five-year-old girl.
All-in-all it was a very fun evening. I saw several old classmates from Sylvania and was temporarily whisked back to my childhood.