My mind often works in erratic, unpredictable ways and memories pop up when I least expect them. Someone mentioned the Texas State Fair yesterday and my mind immediately went back to my first glimpse of Big Tex. My aunt and uncle took me to the Texas State Fair. I don’t remember when and I only remember bits and pieces of the event. The memories blend with a hundred other fairs I’ve attended.
The most important fair I attended was the one I went to as a young child. I can honestly say that the Fresno County fair, now known as the The Big Fresno Fair, changed my life! The fair was a “must go” event for our family. The displays, the rides, the games, the food, were all wondrous to a poor little country girl. I saw my first calf birth at the fair. I became fascinated with rocks after viewing a display at the fair and for years afterward every family outing became a rock hunt. I tasted my first beerock (beef and cabbage sandwich) at the fair. I saw my first iris at the fair. I fell in love with a neighbor boy after meeting him at the fair. The Fresno Fair expanded my little world and offered an annual potpourri of experiences that could not be equaled anywhere else.
Of course things change. The last time we went to the fair I was a bit disappointed in the displays. The crowded midway seemed claustrophobic and even dangerous. Everything was much more expensive. The food wasn’t as good as I remembered. But I will hold tightly to the precious memories of happy fall days spent at the fair with my parents and brothers. Nothing changes those!