Everyone has fair memories

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 2, 2002

Cheese curds, cotton candy and corn dogs.

It must be fair time.

I'm assuming many of you will be out at the fair, enjoying the sights and sounds of this annual event.

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We'll be there as well at our booth in the Plager Building. Starting Tuesday afternoon, someone will be there to answer any questions you may have about the paper. We'd also like to hear any compliments or complaints about your newspaper and what we can to make a good product even better.

I'll be out there, along with various newsroom, advertising and circulation folks on our staff.

And of course, Lee Bonorden will be there.

However, Lee admitted Thursday that he's trying to figure out how to give away scores of free ice cream cones.

We've got something for everyone at the fair this year -- for both our regular subscribers and non-subscribers as well. Circulation director Phil Grider tells me it will be worth your while if you stop by and chat. We'll be decked out in fire-engine red Austin Daily Herald shirts, so we'll be easy to spot.

I'm sure we've all got our favorite fair memories. Maybe it's when you were a kid in 4-H and won some ribbons. Maybe it's when you went on the Tilt-A-Whirl.

However, that was an unfortunate one for me.

I went on the ride twice and I felt pretty woozy afterward. So to slow things down, I went on the Ferris Wheel.

That didn't turn out to be a good move, as that bratwurst and cotton candy … well … you can figure it out.

The operator wasn't amused.

"What's a matta' kid, you can't even hack this?"

I didn't even care what he said, I just wanted to get off and get my bearings straight.

Last year's fair experience was interesting. I was still in Idaho and sat in the press box, directly above chutes for the bull riding. Being from the Midwest, I didn't realize how big a deal rodeo was in the West.

In between the events, they had a game called Bull Poker that folks from the crowd could participate. Essentially, you sat on buckets around a card table in the middle of the arena.

Then, they let a bull loose. The last person sitting on the bucket won $100.

Of course, each person wore a flak jacket. But, in my opinion, that didn't make a bit of difference.

The first sucker got plowed directly in the back. It was a loud 'thud' that could be heard on the other side of the ring.

He was a little slow getting up.

The table and cards went a-flyin', but the other three somehow avoided the catastrophe and split the money.

I don't know about you, but this bull weighed about a ton. That's no exaggeration, either.

Imaging sitting on a chair and having a big truck come behind you and give you a good nudge.

Of course, it may be at just 5 or 10 mph. But that's a prospect that I'd rather not face.

I'll stick with the Ferris Wheel.

Dan Fields can be reached at 434-2230 or by e-mail at dan.fields@austindailyherald.com