Sunday, August 30, 2009
The Oregon State Fair on a Sunday Afternoon
Buddeshepherd is the guest blogger for the Ed Winkle Chronicles!
Ed Winkle asked me to write his blog while he is on his cruise. Ed's blog is always full of interesting information and insight. Plus, I think he always makes it to Church on Sunday. Those of you who read "The Lazy Farmer" know that I tend to ramble on and on and never proofread. And-I skipped church and took my family to the Oregon State fair today.
Actually my wife took us. Her car is so much nicer than my pickup that I am a little afraid to drive it. So I just rode along. It also took me quite awhile to wake up this morning as she brought me home a book about the Battle of Britain and I stayed up late last night reading it, so she did most of the talking on the way to the fair as well.
I always feel pretty guilty about skipping church, especially to enjoy such foolishness as the State fair. But we still had a good time.
We drove around in back in search of the promised free parking and so had quite a walk. We entered at the gate near the midway where all the rides are. Sadie, our 8 year old daughter, was in awe.
I was in awe of the prices for rides. Think I may have been on the farm too long. I bought a $20 ticket which equaled 40 fifty cent tickets. Most rides were 6-8 tickets so $4 a pop. Wife was looking for the sky diver but one of the ride attendants (I think they used to be called "carnies") said that ride was outdated. Instead they went for the Spider. It had little pods that you sat in and then as it rotated articulated arms brought those pods up in the air. It made a few turns and then the senior attendant decided it had a loose chain and shut it down and gave us our money back. The junior attendant attempted to tell me there was a problem but it is really hard to express yourself when you can only speak in monosyllables.
Next they tried the ferris wheel. It is huge. They could see the whole fair from the top. Sadie was a little scared at first but was fine once it started. We were going to ride the fair-lift which is a chair lift that takes you over the whole fair from one side to the other. Somehow we didn't. Think it was too much money. We got occupied going from one booth to the next and pretty much forgot about it.
We then went looking for the animals. The Oregon State fair is somewhere around 140 years old. Most of the old buildings are gone. I think the arena and the poultry building are the oldest.
We saw the chickens, cattle judging, miniature horses, giant draft horses, sheep, pigs, rabbits, an guinea fowl. They have to be the most ugly, and horrible sounding birds on the planet.
We had ice cream at the Dairy Farmers of Oregon booth, found some cotton candy for Sadie, looked at spa's, and decided not to spend $15 on a BBQ chicken dinner. We looked at the cake judging, found a really cool Lego display, and looked at student art displays. We took on last trip down the midway where I tried the water squirter gun and didn't win. Sadie tried the softball toss and won a stuffed animal. She also took a ride on the kiddie roller coaster but got pretty freaked out. She was tough and didn't cry or make them stop the ride so I told her I was proud of her. Then we went home.
I was planning on taking a nap as my feet and back were suffering but my wife put on a DVD. The Astronaut Farmer is a pretty silly movie. Guy builds a rocket in his back yard and orbits the earth. It is all about following your deams and family support and all that good feeling stuff. Of course Hollywood gets it all wrong. I'd bet that building a rocket in your backyard because your dad killed himself and you didn't get to follow your dream of becoming an astronaut is pretty selfish. Especially when you nearly loose the farm in the process and pretty much endanger your family's life with a highly explosive rocket in the back yard. But, what do I know about inspiring films. My family found it amusing. The daughter did not appreciate the lecture I gave her about following dreams that helped your family, and that if you risk the whole farm on some stupid scheme like building a rocket, or turning a corn field into a baseball park, there probably won't be some out-of-the-blue unforeseen windfall, like grandpa's inheritance, or space aliens, or no freakin' fairy godmother to get you to the ball.
She said, "dad it is just a movie, life is not like that, and you are so weird."