Friday, October 5, 2007

Fairs-past and present

Last night I demonstrated throwing on the potter's wheel at the Cleveland Co. Fair. Every year the Board of Directors of the Carolina Pottery Festival each take a night to promote the Festival and throw pots at the fair. I always enjoy it because I love what people have to say. I really love watching them watch me make magic with clay.

I usually don't get back to enjoy the fair itself, but get a fine view of the 240lb pumpkins, the 150lb watermelons and all the cakes and jams and jellies on display, as I lug my clay and tools to the demo booth. If I were in charge of the cakes, I'm afraid I would have to sample a bit.

When I was young and we were still living in Bossier City, Louisiana, we would go to the state fair. My grandmother would go with us and I have these great memories of bits of sounds, lights and color. I always loved the duck game, where you would pick up a floating duck and look underneath to see what prize you won. My grandmothher loved to play bingo--she was a three carder, minimum, and I would help her look for the numbers as they were called. Cotton candy and the smells of roasting hot dogs, and the cool, crisp air of the fall, the lights and thrill of being out late at night (for an eight or nine year old), those are all my great memories of fairs.

I got a glimpse of the past as I walked out to the car last night, carrying the last of the thrown pots. The ferris wheel and rides were bright against the night sky and there was a slight cool breeze and rain drops beginning to fall. Lovely.

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