Monday, September 01, 2008

Grease, Sugar, and the Gorilla Girl

The voicemail was clear and succinct, "Summer's almost over. I need festival food."
There was an urgency in Susan's tone that demanded an immediate call back.
"I need elephant ears. I need a funnel cake. I need food on a stick!" After weeks of strict dieting and a systemic cleanse, my best friend looked fabulous, but was craving grease and sugar like a junkie.
"The Geauga County Fair is this week," I offered "Can you wait until Saturday?"

Tom, Susan, and I made the 45 minute drive to Burton, giddily throwing the GPS wench into a tech tizzy, by asking for directions then purposely taking alternative routes. You see, we were in MY old stomping grounds, Geauga, the sixteen townships which made up the 'hood of my youth. I grew up in Auburn, located in the southern part of the county, and like most rural kids back in the early '70s, participated in 4-H. The 4-H exhibits are still a major component of the Great Geauga County Fair, with horse shows, livestock auctions, sheep shearing, and milking demonstrations drawing large crowds of fascinated suburbanites

"Gabora the Gorilla Girl! Watch her change before your eyes from a beautiful girl into a terrifying gorilla! Guaranteed Alive! Only $2.00!"

How could anyone resist?

Well, Tom could. He stood beside the tent grinning and shaking his head while Susan and I, seduced by the campiness, forked over our money and entered the dark tent where we waited with about twenty other affectionados of midway marvels.

Soon a puffy faced barker appeared, beginning his shpiel with "Please put away your cameras." Not only did I ignore the directive, but I snapped his picture. Soon a bored redhead appeared inside a stage-crafted cage, while the puffy-faced man told the story of her capture from the dark continent. As the lights dimmed further a projector aimed on the transparent screen she stood behind began to metamorphose the fair maiden into a hairy beast. A sudden bang, a puff of smoke, and a flash of red light was followed by a man in a gorilla suit cavorting about the stage, while the puffy-faced barker shouted "Run for your lives! Gabora has escaped! Please exit at the rear of the tent."

"Oh look Sue!" I pointed "Myrna the Mermaid. The tiny girl who lives in a goldfish bowl. And it's only a dollar."

"I've seen that one before." Susan laughed "You get what you pay for. It's a sea monkey."

The Great Geauga County Fair has something for everyone. From apple pies to giant zucchini, hot air balloons and demolition derbies, square dancers and tractors. You can buy a new lawn mower, listen to the Geauga Fair Band play old show tunes, or pet an alpaca. Most important of all for our happy little troop, you can eat just about anything ever concocted that can be served on a stick, raise your blood sugar, or elevate your cholesterol.

I can't think of a better way to end the summer.

Check out the sidebar for more Fair photos.
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Kathy G said...

Sounds like a great time!

I live in a suburban area; the "county fairs" around us aren't so rural anymore. Last year I went to the Missouri STATE fair for the first time ever. The state fairgrounds has a good handful of permanent buildings (most of which have air conditioning, important in August!) and the biggest fairway I've ever seen in my life!

BTW, I'm updating my blogroll, and will be including your blog if that's ok with you.

marybeth said...

Thanks for your comments Kathy, and also for linking to this blog. One of the things I find so compelling about keeping an active weblog is the opportunity to have conversations with, and get to know people I cannot imagine ever meeting in my day to day life. When I get the time to read through my own blogroll, I always look forward to your "new things".

Susan said...

The pictures camue out great! I can't believe you got such a clear one of "umbrella hat" man!

Sammy said...

I think the county fairs can be much more fun than the state fairs. We've been to the Texas state fair, and found it to be way too commercialized. We live about 5miles from the Clark County Fairgrounds, but even this venue has become so commercialized that the attractions like 4-H, dressage, horse and tractor pulls, etc. Are there any Celtic festivals in your area?

geauga county fair said...

yeach I think so that the county fairs can be much more fun than the state fairs, nice pict captured :D