For our prompt of “County Fair” today, a ton of lovely memories came flooding back to me. When I was a kid, I remember going to a local fair and I would first see the ferris wheel in the distance towering above everything as we approached the fairgrounds. I can still remember the excitement I felt, even before I got out of the car and was met with the smell of funnel cakes and corn dogs wafting in every direction. My cousin and I would run off to play games and ride the rides while my mother and aunt were in the craft tents. We would come and find our parents each time we ran out of change, as though mom’s purse was some unlimited dispenser of money. It wasn’t, of course, but we always got enough change to have a lovely time. Indeed, while I loved seeing the ferris wheel from a distance, being on one was equal parts exhilarating and terrifying. Despite the towering heights that made my stomach lurch, there was still no denying that it provided the best view.
Seeing a sea of rides, tents, food trailers and people wandering like ants below me was so cool. The entire scene had been only a field and was now transformed into a magic park full of wonders. It was particularly magical at night when all of the various lights would create a scene that sparkled with even more magic and possibility. The annual fair that I went to as a kid is still going on today, but I haven’t been back in years. I’ve often thought about taking Philippe just to see his reaction. Also, to see if I could get him to eat any of the food. I thought the food was one of the coolest parts because it was often so unusual. It was “fair food” and not like anything that existed in the normal world. It was truly mind-boggling to see just how many different types of food could be served on a stick. And the mixture of aromas is truly unforgettable. I’m not sure if Philippe would eat something on a stick served from the side of a trailer or not, but I would love to find out one day.
For me, the memories are some of my most vivid that I have from my childhood. Each little rickety ride is still something I can experience if I just close my eyes and remember. And then there were all of the various games to play. Some that had a touch of danger to them, like hitting balloons with sharp metal darts. This was all in an effort to win some hideous plush animal that I would never want normally, but seemed like something I absolutely needed in that moment. Nothing about the experience felt like reality, but like I’d just stepped into some sort of alternate universe. That’s what made it so special and fun. Soon, we’d find ourselves heading back to the car and returning home. Yet, I remember staring out of the back window as we drove away into the night, watching those amazing lights until they finally disappeared and the world returned to normal. It was always bittersweet, but I knew that I’d just have to wait one more year before I’d once again find myself going to the fair.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Hansa Yellow Medium, Yellow Ochre, Opus (Vivid Pink), Quinacridone Red, Cobalt Turquoise, Ultramarine (Green Shade), Terra Cotta, and Indigo. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Click here!