Thursday, August 9, 2012

Let's Stirrup Some Memories

County fair, theme above. What you're seeing here is my entry in the open class, Crafts, Woodworking, Other not listed above, Theme.

I got a first place and a smiley sticker on my tag. Prior years I have done various kinds of things, including furniture, but I've never tackled the theme before. All the metal parts, leather and shoe last were purchased at the scrap yard, thrift stores and garage sales. The indexing pins are brass. I thought that showed a certain level of style.

The bicycle part was inspired by recently seeing a picture of Linda C. and her sister Joanie, who lived across the street when we were kids. Joanie is developmentally disabled. She's a delightful person. She learned to ride a bike along with the rest of us, and would ride by on the street and let go of the handlebars with one hand and say, "Look at this!" We would clap or yell. Good for Joanie. A nice memory.

County fairs should be like that. A way to step back in time, to engage in conversations, to get past the "howyadoingfine" empty ritual and really talk. It's amazing what we'll share in a context like that, people milling about, cotton candy in Present Arms routines, kids asking dad for another string of tickets for the rides, hormonally oozing adolescents running in loose packs, talking loudly and jumping.

Conversations. The lady who canned the pickles. The kid who made the transformer out of sugar cubes. The commercial exhibitor who encourages you to lie down on the memory foam. (It didn't help--I can't remember his name.)

And there, perhaps oddly, was the city water department. Their goal, I would guess, was to increase awareness of our storm water system and our water treatment facility. We listened, enthralled, for fifteen or twenty minutes, asking questions, responding in amazement. The city appears to be doing a great job at the task, and I'd attribute that to the manager, with whom we were speaking. He was absolutely and thoroughly enthusiastic about his subject. Whodathunkit.

Lots of memories, hard to unstir.

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