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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Walking at the State Fair

Dang! Many of my bloggy friends have their Indiana State Fair mojo going. Must be about that time! I thought I would share with you my first visit (that I can remember) to this greatest spectacle in Fairs. Because this all took place in the summer of 1980, I don't have any pictures to share, so you will just have to put on your imagination hats! Think Farah Faucet hair, Mellow Yellow t-shirts, and the rest is probably still the same old stuff at the fair.

Ok, also think Gidget goes to the Fair because I had been a country girl all my life, and I had never really been around such a HUGE number of people before this experience. A girlfriend and I were going to work on the shuttles that went 'round and 'round the fair dropping off those who thought a buck was worth some seat time to see the sights. We stayed at the girls' dorm, and as an added bonus, my boyfriend was also down there for 4-H activities. Woo! NO parental units; it was my first adventure unsupervised with my freshman year at Ball State starting in just a few weeks.

It was a week of firsts. First concert, kind of. We could HEAR Kenny Rogers singing to the crowd. First tractor pull, seriously! First dormitory experience. First time footloose and fancy free. First time to assert myself as a future teacher.

It was Biker Day, and we had been severely warned that these nice people visiting the fair on their special day sometimes marched to a "different tune." Don't confront; be polite. Ok, I was a bit worried, but I had never been around "bikers." Were they related to bears???? Hadn't seen many of those either. The day went well, and this little Gidget did see a few things she had not seen before like tattoos, and some crazy ways to accessorize with chains. Remember this was JUST 1980, and heavy metal was JUST taking off, at least in my world. The confrontation came when a couple of my biker friends decided the canvas flaps that shielded the public from the wagon hitches looked like a much more comfortable place to sit and ride than the benches on the wagon. I kind of think they had the spirit of Jimmy, Jack, and/or Johnny moving in them, but I couldn't tell the driver to go on with those yahoos sitting in their chosen seats. I gave them The Look, and they just giggled, so I had to muster my best stern voice and tell them they needed to elevate their rear ends to an appropriate level so we could continue our journey to the next stop. Bless their hearts, they must have seen the person inside me praying that this would not end in a huge fight. Just as sweet as you please, they laughed and hauled themselves up to the approved level and were model riders the rest of the way.

I took away a couple of new ideas. Some people who look like bears are actually of the teddy bear family, and keeping my cool does pay off. Now after they all departed, I admit to being a bit weak-kneed, but hey I was only 18, and they were A LOT bigger than me!

Cut to almost present day: Tall Guy and I have worked a few years with others from our county Farm Bureau at Little hands on the Farm, an interactive place for kids to get the idea of farm life. This year I am headed down with a friend to work in the Farm Bureau building *we have graduated to air-conditioning I think!, August 17.

I'll work on finding a great picture for tomorrow. Thanks for looking at just the words today, and don't forget to come out to the Indiana State Fair!


  1. Have fun at the fair. Just think of how many years people did NOT have AC in that building! We always took the kids to the fair to see the cattle and other animal barns - and for the cotton candy and mini donuts. :-)

  2. Hi Lana, What a great memory you have of your first visit to the BIG fair.... You must have been in 7th heaven... I love Kenny Rogers---so I would have been right there on the front row listening to him!!!!

    Seeing those 'bikers' must have been interesting. I grew up in the '50's in a small town... SO--seeing all of the hippies in the 50's was an education for me!!!!! ha

    You mentioned that you went to Ball State... I have a friend in Texas who was born and raised in Bluffton, Indiana. She went to Ball State --probably about the same time you went. Her name (she never got married) is Debbie Heckman... Recognize her at all????? Small world, huh?????

    Have a wonderful day--and thanks for sharing.

  3. Hi, I am your new follower. You can visit me at http://showmemama.blogspot.com

  4. Luv that story! So happy you commented, i didn't know you had a blog! I loved your sky photos too. What kind of camera do you have? I'm trying to become a better photographer and need some advice :)

  5. Hi Lana,

    Thanks for the support. I am now following you back. Very soothing blog you have here, love the colours. Will have to take a look around soon.

    Thanks much

  6. Haha, I love the warnings you got about the bikers - too funny!

  7. I am glad you got to work at the fair at 18. I attended but never worked there. Got bite by a horse at about 16 years old made some excitement for the barn people. Made me go see one of the nurses
    In the 80 I was at the K Rogers concert and went again a few years ago when he was there. Like to hear him sing. I don't think his voice has changed
    but the rest of him has.



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