Thursday, September 29, 2005

Tradition

It's that time again. That one time a year I pay an exorbitant amount of money for a corndog, spend an evening being heckled by vendors wanting me to shell out money on games that are almost impossible to win, and stand in line for far too long to get tickets for a ride that might last 30 seconds, if we're lucky. Yes, the county fair is here. And despite my post-fair complaining, I come back and do this all over again, year after year. Why? It's a tradition. I shared this experience with my parents and now I want to share it with my son. So I spend the money and endure the decline in quality because that smile and those bright eyes make it all worth it.

My favorite county fair memory occurred when I was in about the 3rd or 4th grade. My grandparents were in town for a visit so all of us, my parents, grandparents, sisters, and I, piled in the car and headed to the fair grounds. As we were about to head home, it was far past our bedtime already, I found the prize I had to have: a large plush white buffalo. My heart was set on taking that buffalo home with me. I don't know what drew me to it, maybe it was my very distant Native American heritage, maybe it was because it was unlike any stuffed animal I'd ever seen before, whatever the reason, I was not leaving without it. Of course my parents, in all their thrift and logic, would hear nothing of it. I begged and pleaded, tears running down my cheeks. I threw the biggest fit I could muster but they were not wasting money on games in which you won a prize that was only a small fraction of the cost it would take to actually win it. But, you know grandparents, they throw logic out the window when it comes to their beloved grand children. So my grandfather layed his money on the table and picked up three softballs. Then one by one he threw them towards the milk jug, trying so deftly to land one in the opening. I can't remember which one was the magic toss, maybe it was the first one, maybe the second or third, but one of those made it and that white buffalo was mine. Never have I been more proud. And never have I loved my grandfather more. That was years ago. I can't tell you what happened to that buffalo. But I do know that when the day comes and Britton sees that one prize that claims his heart, I'll remember my grandfather, and I'll put every last penny on the table and I'll play until I win.

5 Comments:

Anonymous yolie said...

What a great story! Reminded me of watching my own sweet husband taking our daughter on one of those lose your lunch type rides at the fair when she was little. He lost it alright, while they were still up in the nether reaches, and poor Em was scared to death. Not as sweet a memory as yours but definitely memorable.
Have you ever read a book by Mary Karr titled The LIar's Club? She's a Texas girl like you from Lubbock I think. Anyway, it's one of my favorites.

7:27 AM  
Blogger Marit Cooper said...

What a wonderful story, you know that would make a great childrens book, illustrated in bright colours.

7:47 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

That was so sweet, I got a bit teary eyed reading it. I have so many memories of the fair. I love that is was a white buffalo that you fell in love with and not daffy duck or something. Cute.

8:56 AM  
Blogger Cynthia said...

Its those little things that make a heart sing! Is"nt it wonderful that that moment is so vivid in your recollection that someone , like myself, can feel the goosebumps, remember the exquisite chills down the spine, of a moment in time that lives on... forever.
Your writting often reminds me of Truman Capote.. when he writes you can smell the cake baking, feel the warmth of the fire embers and share the moment.
Did you happen to see the film "In America" ( I hope thats the right name, I"ll check) anyway there is a very intense sceene that revolves around a game at a fair... intense.
Thanks for responding to my invite, I so forward to your feedback and observations. Bye For Now...

5:47 PM  
Blogger Cynthia said...

Its those little things that make a heart sing! Is"nt it wonderful that that moment is so vivid in your recollection that someone , like myself, can feel the goosebumps, remember the exquisite chills down the spine, of a moment in time that lives on... forever.
Your writting often reminds me of Truman Capote.. when he writes you can smell the cake baking, feel the warmth of the fire embers and share the moment.
Did you happen to see the film "In America" ( I hope thats the right name, I"ll check) anyway there is a very intense sceene that revolves around a game at a fair... intense.
Thanks for responding to my invite, I so forward to your feedback and observations. Bye For Now...

5:48 PM  

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