Monday, January 25, 2010

The More Things Change...

Confession: Until I worked at the Indiana State Fair, I could count on one hand the number of times I had visited the ISF. It wasn’t my fault, though; I lived in Perry County, a solid three-hours away, and the Wilcher mini-van only made treks up to Indianapolis a couple times a year to stay with my grandmother. Grandma’s house was (and still is) without air conditioning, so you can see how a trip to Indy in mid-August might be too much of a sweltering task.

However, I do have my share of State Fair memories. Take a trip down that lane with me, won’t you? The first visit is represented below.

1985. That’s my brother Eric on the left and me on the right, at age 6. We’re showing off our souvenirs from the State Fair in front of Grandma’s lemon-yellow house. I specifically remember picking out the inflatable sword in hopes that Eric would think it was neat, not because I really wanted it. I’m pretty sure it didn’t work--maybe because the koala t-shirt made me decidedly less cool.

The next trip to the State Fair (that we have record of, anyway) was a cause for much celebration: Eric’s endeavors in 4-H (our club was called the Shamrock Bums—no joke) earned his Foods II entry a trip to the fair! (Eric, forgive me, but I had to do this.)

1990. Eric is 12, and stylish to boot. Apparently all the cool kids were wearing their watches on their forearms, and that forearm is gesturing to the best orange muffins in Perry County.

It wouldn’t be fair to show the above picture and not the others of that special day. No one in my family is safe from the blog. Not even my grandma.

Mom, Eric, Grandma, and me. I remember this moment. We’re sharing an elephant ear in front of the Home and Family Arts Building. Please pay special attention to how my socks match my t-shirt; I worked hard to look that good. I especially enjoy the logo on the right side of the bench—one that is still used today and is familiar to fairgoers.

Last but not least, the family portrait.
Dad decided to let us take his picture. Grandma is taking the photo. That’s her denim pocketbook (always a pocketbook, never a purse) on the right. I hate to think we made Grandma hop off the shuttle to snap the picture and then make a run for it to get back on, but I can only assume her lack of home air conditioning made it easy for her to be active in the out-of-doors when needed.

Now that I work at the Fair, I see families making memories like these every time they’re here. Except their photos are much better, thanks to digital cameras that will delete all the bad ones. So get your neon socks out and set your forearm watches: the Indiana State Fair will be here before you know it. August 6-22, 2010!
Submitted by Claire Wilcher

1 comment:

  1. Love it! Especially the inflatable sword (which I hope you still have) and the welding goggles Grandma is sporting. ;-) Awesome family memories!