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Fair Enough!

Too Long At The Fair

Jesus cried, wept and died
I guess he went up to heaven
I’ve been downtown such a long, long time
I’ll never make it home by seven
Won’t you come & take me home
I’ve been too long at the fair
And, lord, I just can’t stand it anymore

(Bonnie Raitt)

Well, I went back for more. The Haddam Neck fair is a tradition for us, if for no other reason than it’s close by and the parking is usually good. (Unless it’s rained.) This fair is small by my standards, but it’s a local favorite in the same way that the Wayne Country fair was an annual end of summer event when I was growing up.
We always try to make some portion of the horse pulls, and this year we managed to arrive just as the Big Boys were coming in. We watched the beginning of the last class, then decided to grab a bite of dinner and see what was going on elsewhere.
There is always a small exhibit of livestock. I guess the 4-H program has a strong showing there. We saw lots of sheep, which I’d had more than enough of just having come from a three day herding trial! They also had some very cute goats. There was an “earless” breed of goat there, but I didn’t take any pictures because I thought they looked like freaks. They were pretty ugly. Sorry, but some things just ought not to be tinkered with!
It had slipped my mind that Aztec Two-Step was playing at the fair Sunday night. But then we bumped into friends who specifically came to relive their past by listening to the band. Aztec Two-Step has been playing all over hill and dale since my mid teens, a point they touched on several times. It’s a little sad that band humor has come down to making jokes about their AARP membership,  but there you have it. They were performing their Simon and Garfunkle Songbook, which was nice, but I’d rather hear Simon and Garfunkle do their own songs. It was good to see these guys are still make great music together, but we didn’t stick around the bandstand for very long.
Yes, there was a pony ride, but I’ve never seen such midgets at a fair! It seems to me that would exclude any child much over the age of six or so. I can understand maybe having one or two very small ponies for children who are quite young, timid or insecure, but it looked like all the ponies at this ride were stunted or they were minis. I’m not a big fan of minis, so I didn’t spend a lot of time at this tent. The little black pony was grumpy and stood with his ears pinned back the entire time. The white pony was quite sweet and very curious about my camera. Overall, it felt sorta sad and tired under that tent. Nothing like the pony ride at the Hamburg fair, where the handlers were very attentive to their ponies and encouraged any child who happened to pause to think about a ride.  This pony ride was attended by a couple of young adults who seemed much more interested in their own little group than anything else going on around them.
We meandered back over to the pulls just in time to watch the last three teams battle for first place. One team continued to dominate, making the distance easily in one pull. The second team refused to hitch. Pass after pass was made, each time with the same end result: the team lunged ahead just as the hitch was about to commence. Seconds ticked by, with the announcer marking time as the pressure mounted. When clock closed in on the last twenty seconds the team made one final pass, but again refused to hitch. The driver pulled out and accepted third place. The last team gave it their all, but used all three attempts without pulling the full distance. They settled for a gallant second place. We watched the awards and then my favorite part: the leaving of the teams. By then I was tired and had packed my camera away for the night, but I enjoyed watching the gentle giants file out into the dark.

2 responses

  1. cindy

    Love the big horse pulls! We saw some of the ox pull at Woodstock Saturday. Sas the biggest sheep I’d ever seen…a giant. The bunnies were also very cute.

    Used to follow Aztec Two Step “back in the day” interesting that they are still playing…loved their stuff, have to watch for them.

    September 6, 2010 at 10:38 AM

  2. I was thinking about going back this morning for the Ox pulls, but I’m too stiff and tired! I think I’ll pass. We might go up for the Big E. We haven’t been to that since we went there on our “first date” in the fall of ’81. Wow … where did the time go? Oh, and I got my flier for the November Equine Affair … that’s on the “to do” list for sure!

    September 6, 2010 at 11:19 AM

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