Spinning sugar coats the air, and boiling peanuts bubble their salty scent through every line of people waiting to hop on a circular ride or shoot a basketball. Young lovers hold hands in line for the Ferris wheel, where they can sit close, and he can shake the seat a little and make her nervous, so she’ll scoot closer. Parents try to keep up with giggling children who think the miniature roller coaster is the most fun, most dangerous thing ever. The Exchange Club Fair.
My future niece, Kaitlyn, was showing a goat at the Brookhaven fair, so I went to see her. Complete with giant hair bow and cowgirl boots, the prissy six-year-old pulled that animal around like a professional. At one point, she had named all of her goats, Kaitlyn, but this one was named Whitney, and Whitney went wherever Kaitlyn led.
As soon as Kaitlyn stepped out of the gate, she appeared right before my sister, Kallie, and me. She had plans. We were going to get lemonade and ride the train, and she wanted a goldfish. I was hungry so I got one of the fair’s famous hamburgers and had to get some boiled peanuts. Kaitlyn was satisfied with a large cloud of cotton candy. She finished it quickly and was ready to ride. I was still eating, so Kallie appeased her for a little while, but I was soon being pulled toward the ticket booth. Soon, her desire for the train, became “swings!”, “swings!” I knew I wouldn’t make it on the swings. A flashback to my childhood sent a shiver up my spine and a bad feeling in my stomach. As a child, I had gotten sick on the swings. As an adult, I knew it wouldn’t be pretty. Thank goodness, Taylor, a 10-year-old who attends our church and who Kaitlyn greatly admires, showed up. She would be Kaitlyn’s swing partner. Kallie and I watched the two of them impatiently wait for the fun, flying ride.
As soon as she jumped off the ride, Kaitlyn was running towards the goldfish. Keeping up with her was good exercise for the night. Kaitlyn, Kallie and I all tried a hand at throwing the little ball into the tiny bowls of water, who’s openings seem smaller than the ping pong balls. One of our balls splashed into a bowl, and Kallie and I cheered for Kaitlyn’s accomplishment. Kallie had us both fooled. I honestly thought Kaitlyn had done it, but Kallie whispered to me later that she had thrown the winning ball. Kaitlyn’s face beamed at the small fish in the bag of water. She named it Diamond Sparkles right away.
Great memories are made at the Exchange Club Fair. Other than the swing incident, I LOVED the fair as a child. There was cotton candy and the small roller coaster that seemed giant at the time. Goats and cows were fun to look at and on the Ferris wheel, I felt like I was on top of the world; although, if anyone shook the seat, I would panic, not any different from now.
I can’t wait to have a child one day and take them to experience the fair. Maybe he or she will be more like his or her daddy and be able to ride the swings.
Lifestyles Editor Jessica Boyd can be reached at The Daily Leader at 601-833-6961 ext. 134, by email at email@example.com or you can write to her at P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven, MS 39602.