The Tulsa State Fair is in full swing. Will we go? Don't know. We talk about it every year, but usually it passes before we make it over there. The idea of seeing the exhibits and sampling the food is appealing. Getting there, traffic, parking, crowds -- not so much.
When we were kids, going to the fair was a Big Deal. School let out one day, and my mom and various of her sisters would gather their kids and go for the day. We always packed a lunch -- just paying the admission and riding the rides was a splurge. We didn't waste any money on buying food unless it was cotton candy. Back then the fair was the only place we ever got cotton candy.
Our mothers would mostly turn us loose with instructions to meet at certain times under the KELI building. It was a spaceship-like structure that housed a radio station upstairs and was the easiest place to recognize on the grounds. Only the little kids had to stay with the moms -- I remember my aunt Lois looping a length of clothesline around her youngest to keep him nearby. People looked at her funny then. Who knew that in twenty years parents would be paying bucks for classier-looking kid leashes?
Bell's Amusement Park used to be right next to the Tulsa Fairgrounds, and they had the best rides. That, the baby animal barn and the quilts were the reasons I went to the fair as an adult. I was so disappointed the first time Bob and I went together because they wouldn't let me on Zingo, the big roller coaster. (I was five or six months pregnant.)
Bell's is gone now, Zingo along with it, and we haven't been to the fair since they lost their lease. Maybe this year instead of just talking about it, we'll actually go. After all, we haven't even had fried Snickers yet, and they've already moved on to fried watermelon, chocolate-dipped corndogs, Krispy Kreme cheeseburgers and fried bubble gum.
Hm, maybe if we go, we should pack a lunch. Wouldn't want to drop dead on the midway.