Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Small Town Memories II - A Scary Afternoon

In my last post, I wrote about sledding down a hill across the street from my house. This hill led to Island Park, our town park, where we burned Christmas trees and sang O TananeBaum with the firemen keeping a close eye. This park was also used for the county fair, therefore, there were stables and other buildings for displaying produce, some fresh and some canned, needlework of all kinds and the other items found at county fairs. A carnival always came and set up shop for the week.

The town children were able to go home for lunch and I usually did because my dad would come home for his lunch also. On one occasion I went home as usual and it was late summer with the fair still in town. I remember we had succotash for lunch because it was one of my favorite dishes made by opening a can of kidney beans and a can of corn and heating them through. I asked my dad  if I could go to the fair on the way back to school and he said if I ate quickly I could go for one ride.  I ate and then got a nickel from him for the ride. I knew just what I wanted to ride on---the Ferris wheel.  I was able to get right on board because I was the only one in line. I sat in the middle of the seat and tried to keep it from swaying. I had a healthy fear for the Ferris wheel. I began to rise in the air as the big wheel started turning. I loved being up there so high with fluffy white clouds. I lost all track of time and in one turn as I came close to the ground noticed I was alone. The operator had gone off somewhere. There I was going around and around and around. At first, I was ok with the situation but then I heard the school bell ring I got really scared knowing I was going to be late and that was totally unacceptable to my teacher. So I started to cry for help and just plain cry. I saw my dad coming down the hill to the fairgrounds. I hollered so loud but he didn't hear me, he just went around to all the rides searching for me. As he got close to the Ferris-wheel I began to really cry loud. He turned his head toward the sound of a child crying and I could see he was searching for me so I started waving frantically. When our eyes met I saw terror in his and I am sure he saw fear in mine as well. I cannot even imagine seeing your 8-year-old daughter flying around on a Ferris wheel all alone. When I saw his fear my own just grew to a panic.  Dad went in search of the operator and found him eating lunch under a tree. Needless to say, he was not pleased with that operator. I saw the two of them heading my way and it seemed forever for them to reach me.  Once that ride was stopped I flew off and into my dad's anxiously stretched out arms.  He walked me to school and spoke with my teacher.

This was my one and only attendance at the fair during school.  I had no complaints. I never wanted to ride on another ride without other people around.

To be continued..........

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