While most of our pals rushed to the monkey races as soon as we got past the gate at the fair, my cousin, George, and I scurried straight to the teasing taunts of the sleazy barker pushing the prurient treasures inside the tent holding Club Lido. Every year there was a new peroxide blonde. I always fantasized that she was from Minnesota, right out of high school. I probably wasn't that far off.
The smell of sawdust and hot grease. Pig races. Oh, I miss it all. Not enough to ever go again, of course.
What I probably miss the most is the oddities. Not just the sideshows with the dog faced boy and the bearded lady. Those were always too sad for me. No, I long for a glimpse of the world's biggest bull and the man in the iron lung. Yeah, that was sad, too, but otherworldly. A precursor of reality TV.
This year Jerry Lee Lewis is performing at the Strawberry Festival. The Killer. Eighty two years old. The original rock'n'roll oddity.
Oh, holding hands. My first memories of holding a girl's hand all involve the fair. I miss holding hands.