It’s fair week; Go make some memories!

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, July 29, 2003

At a much younger age, the end of summer meant two things -school was about to start and one last week of fun at the ExchangeClub Fair!

Oh, those were the days, wandering the midway with the likes ofDavid Cannon, Mike Bullard, Bobby Jones, Don Perkins and others.Not a care in the world but how many goldfish we could win, who wecould watch getting dunked in the dunking booth, how many quarterswe could win in the penny pitch and how high we could ride in theswings.

In those days, the midway was covered with sawdust, cotton candywas a dime and an ice-cold Coke cost a quarter. A five-dollar billcould carry you almost the entire week! Back then the rollercoaster, the tilt-a-whirl and a few other rides didn’t exist. Wedidn’t need them. Our nights were busy going back and forth betweenthe ferris wheel, the merry-go-round and the swings, not to mentionthe multitude of booths that tested our skills.

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As we got a little bit older, the badge of honor was a purpleribbon pinned to your shirt. It was given to those who volunteeredto sit in the dunking booth. Yeah, we got a bit wet, but hey, wegot to ride all the rides free!

A number of years later, as Amy and I introduced our girls tothe wonderment of the Exchange Club Fair, I began to see the wholeproduction in a much different light. I also developed anappreciation for the time and effort Exchange Club members put intoserving this community. It is the unselfish dedication and effortof these 80 or so members and various other volunteers that makethis event happen. And do they work, but you will find nary a onewho calls it work – they call it fun!

It all started 51 years ago when members of the Exchange Clubdecided a local fair would be a perfect community project. Out ofthose early efforts and years of hard work was born the wonderfulcommunity event we have today.

This area owes a lot to the Exchange Club. Over the years theyhave given thousands upon thousands of dollars in scholarships tolocal kids as well as providing funding for other communityprojects. They have invested in new rides and equipment and built aBrookhaven tradition that is remembered by so many. But the biggestgift they have given to the community are the memories. Memories offun, friends and family that are forever embedded in thousands ofminds.

Over the years — as my girls have gotten older and a multitudeof goldfish have come and gone in the Jacobs family — rides on theswings are not quite as high on the list for me, but fair week isstill an important date on our family calendar. I asked my youngestdaughter last week if she knew what this week would bring. Withouthesitation, a big grin came across her face as she said, “Fairweek.”

The fifty-first annual Exchange Club Fair started last night andruns through Aug. 2. Enjoy. It is part of what makes the communityso great!

Write to Bill Jacobs at P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven, Miss.39602, or send e-mail to