10-01-2013   Leave a comment

I’ve been mentioning the Fryeburg Fair for a month now and today was the day.  We were up at dawn and enroute to pickup the better-half’s daughter and one year old grandson.  I’d  pounded down two quick cups of coffee to get my heart started and to keep me alert during the fifty minute drive to Fryeburg, Maine.  It was early, I hadn’t slept all that well, and I knew it was going to be a very long day.

I was looking forward to taking the grandson to his first Fair but everything else was up for grabs.  As we entered the town of Fryeburg traffic was exactly as expected, grid lock.  We moved very slowly through town to the area where the fairgrounds are located and parked in the front yard of a local resident for $5.00 bucks.  Every house on the street approaching the fairgrounds has a sign up and a person waving a flag trying to entice idiots like us to park with them.  Depending on the size of their yard they can turn a nice profit during Fair week.  We unloaded the two hundred pounds of baby stuff, threw the little guy into his high-tech stroller and began walking the short distance to the main entrance of the fairgrounds.

When I say there were thousands of people swarming the area I’m not kidding.  I have a minor phobia about large crowds and close quarters and I knew today was going to test me in a big way. 

The better-half has a few things during every Fair visit that have become a tradition for her such as immediately buying a stack of postcards, a giant plastic coffee mug, and chowing down on a box of french fries.  It took just a few minutes for those three items to be scratched from her to-do list and the rest of us were finally permitted to find a freaking rest room.

The crowds continued to grow, the sun came out, and it turned into a beautiful yet sweltering day.  During the drive to the Fair the temperature was in the low fifties but within an hour of our arrival it started climbing into the mid seventies.  An absolute scorcher as it turned out.

We visited exhibits, nibbled at various food items and delivered the grandson to the petting zoo for an introduction to a few of Mother Natures favorite animals.  He was curious for a moment as he and his mother were mobbed by a herd of small goats looking for the food they were carrying. His interests in the goats waned a bit but then he discovered the straw covering the floor.  It held his interest almost as long as the goats.  Maybe next year he’ll be more interested in the animals. 

We sat for a time in the shade of a tree and listened to a local performer singing a selection of songs and making nice with the crowd.  We were able to catch our breath, cool off a little, and change our damp little boy.  He had some fun clapping with the music and trying to dance and smiling and giggling at everyone.  It was pretty cool.

It was as expected a very long day.  We visited more animals, barns, horses, oxen, cattle, chickens, and llamas than I ever want to see again.  We ate more food, drank more water and made many more trips to the restrooms.  That for me is the biggest racket of all at this Fair.  They have an assigned attendant in each restroom who I was expected to tip after relieving myself.  Of course I left no tip because I refuse to pay someone to stand there and direct me to a urinal and then watch me take a leak.  Something is just wrong and a little creepy about that and I refused to participate.  I’d love to see just how those folks would list that job on their resume.  I won’t even try to guess.

It was finally four o’clock and we’d been roaming around for almost eight hours.  My back hurt, my feet hurt, I was hot and sweaty, and the baby was getting a little cranky.  The better-half and her daughter were exhausted as well and I couldn’t wait to get the hell out of there.  So we did.

The soft seats of that car were the best part of the day.  The baby instantly fell asleep and we made our way home.  I was happy to be involved with his first official Fair visit and we were able to document it with hundreds of photographs.  Next year he’ll be walking, talking, and be a little more aware of what’s going on around him.  I’m already looking forward to that.

I’d really like to write more but I’m heading for the shower and then our nice soft bed. I am pooped.  

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