Sunday, October 2, 2011
TULSA STATE FAIR
Hi, Ho, we went to the FAIR! The Tulsa State Fair is in full swing and we checked it out today. It's only been about 100 years since we've strolled down the Midway, ate a corn dog or rode the roller coaster.
What a gloriously beautiful fall day to enjoy the sights and sounds of such an event!
We entered the gates after church this morning, choosing to stay "in town" rather than drive all the way home, change clothes and drive all the way back in. It worked for me. All I had to do was peel off the Sunday-go-to-meeting jacket, slip into some comfy sandals and I was ready. Honeybuns didn't take "fair clothes" so he was way over dressed! (Other fair patrons must have thought he was the President of the World, or at least President of the Fair! He bravely ignored the stares!)
We paid the exhorbitant amount ($10.00) each and headed through the gate for a good time. We strolled carefully through the horse barn and headed for the junk food. It was plentiful! Fried everything, turkey legs (salmonella on a stick) lemonade shake-ups and funnel cakes were displayed for our pleasure. Food stands were nearly stacked on top of each other just as we remembered.
Families were out with babies in strollers and grandmas in wheelchairs. Beer tents, red cross buses and policemen on golf carts lined the paths. We looked at new house siding, cattle trailers, bungee jumpers and swings made out of logs.
The "Exchange Building" was the largest exhibit. It was filled with new junk, no doubt from China. We gazed at purses, jewelry, jellies, cookware, hot tubs, leather belts and Ford trucks. Ford must be a big sponsor because that was the only brand on the property.
The most popular section of the building was the area corded off displaying tables of decorated cakes. They were phenomenal! Professional cake designers and designer wanna-bes from Florida, Arkansas, Missouri and lands beyond showed their talent. Their creations were unbelievably intricate, large and breath-taking! People lined up, took pictures and were astounded. Even the men appreciated the exhibit.
After about 2 hours of non-stop walking and people watching we finally found the 4H and FFA building. NOW, we were sure we were about to experience the HEART of the occasion. I had visions of thousands of entries sporting various colored ribbons.
Evidently those organizations are not wildly popular these days because the building was almost empty. There were a few boxes of produce that had been judged, even fewer baked goods. Several hanging baskets of greenery had evidently survived the extremely hot summer and were proudly bearing some ribbons. The domestic division included a few hand made items, but way too few! And I'm wondering how children learn how to do those things now, or if it's important anymore.
The Fair has evolved.
Trying very hard not to sound like an old lady, I DO remember learning SO much at my 4H club as a child. We baked bread, stirred up white gravy, and rolled out pie dough. I still have the little cookbook. I learned how to sew there (and have been sewing ever since.) We made up skits and performed for huge audiences, competed in county fairs and learned the art of graciously losing. One of our leaders arrived at every local meeting in her cotton dress and WHITE GLOVES. Aww, memories!
It's a bygone era. Today's kids probably don't need to know those things. Clothing is cheap at Walmart and good food is plentiful everywhere, in America anyway. Today knowing how to download, upload, and text on an iPhone are skills required. Counting gigabytes is much more important than counting stitches or measuring flour.
I wonder if the kids experience the same kind of pride, or the satisfaction of realizing they are capable of creating something with their own hands. I'll ask them!
Maybe a few will get into cake decorating! That seems to be where all the creativity lies today.
It was a good day at the Fair. It's all about learning something and that we did!