Fairgoers walk the Sonoma County Fair midway Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022, in Santa Rosa. (Kent Porter / The Press Democrat) 2022

Watermelon knives, mini donuts and memory lane

We began with the flower room.

As a result of on the Sonoma County Truthful, we begin with the Corridor of Flowers. It is simply the order of issues.

After I was younger and our household made the annual pilgrimage to the truthful, we at all times began with the flowers.

I have not at all times beloved wildlife as I do at the moment. After I was a child, I bear in mind it being sizzling, humid, and uninspiring to my youthful self. However extra importantly, the flower room was what stored me from seeing what I actually needed to see: the center.

However I am formally previous now, so my go to to the 2022 present began with the flower room.

Sunday marks the final day of the Sonoma County Truthful, so I used to be grateful to have been a part of a night full of all of its distinctive and oddly timeless joys.

Due to the pandemic, I hadn’t been to the truthful since 2019. And I missed it. There’s a sense of timelessness that I discover deeply comforting. Every little thing appears to be like the identical. It even smells the identical.

It’s a multi-sensory reminiscence pathway.

As an adolescent, I labored at meals stalls each summer season. I offered sweet and popcorn on the racetrack.

I labored at a sizzling pretzel stand. We weren’t allowed to promote damaged pretzels, so generally I pulled a little bit too onerous so the pretzel would tear aside and I may eat it.

One 12 months I used to be stationed at a sales space in entrance of the Chris Beck Enviornment and I swear I misplaced a few of my listening to after evening after evening of monster vans, demolition derbies and motorbike stunts.

So I sit up for the truthful yearly. For years we now have introduced our kids. As we speak they don’t have anything to do with their dad and mom, so my husband Charlie and I went solo.

As quickly as we have been completed wanting on the flowers, we went to the Grace Pavilion to see all of the issues on the market that we’ll by no means want in 1,000,000 years.

Like a knife-shaped factor made particularly for chopping watermelon. Simply watermelon. Or a macrame plant holder. Or a bucket hat with marijuana leaves on it.

After taking a look at extra yard windmills than any human ought to, I used to be drained.

So we went again to fantasy therapeutic massage chair man.

The salesperson noticed us circling the bizarre, space-age La-Z-Boy-looking issues. I informed him we weren’t going to purchase a $7,000 chair, however would we thoughts if we tried them?

By all means, he mentioned.

However he needed to inform us easy methods to sit there. These are usually not regular chairs. They seem like area modules. There’s an entry course of.

First, you want to take off your sneakers. My apologies to everybody on the Grace Pavilion on Wednesday evening.

Then you need to tuck your limbs into the deep creases of the chair whereas the salesperson composes some info.

After which, like a trick, I lean again and the squeeze begins. Think about a sort of blood strain cuff throughout your physique.

Then the knot massages begin to assault my decrease again. It was very annoying. Did I point out you are feeling locked in? I used to be really squirming. Issues are stinging me from contained in the chair.

On the following chair, Charlie is in heaven. He would not shake or transfer like me. The gnomes working inside his therapeutic massage chair appear a lot nicer than mine.

The salesperson informed me greater than as soon as: “You must see your face.

I survived, and if you get out of the chairs, he is proper. I really feel lighter.

Till we went to get meals.

In no explicit order, we had a gyro, a hen sandwich, and mini donuts. I really did not eat the chilly fries with an excellent bizarre assortment of bacon knots on high. As a result of, properly, it is disgusting.

Stuffed to the gills, it appeared like a great time to go on some rides.

At this level in my life, I do not actually do carnival rides, so it was my job to search out essentially the most smelly rides and put my husband on them. Simply to see what would occur.

We began with the Orbiter – a kind of tips inside a trick. After a gyro, fried hen sandwich and mini donuts, I believed this was a very impressed selection.

He regarded dazed, however was nonetheless smiling defiantly, so I attempted once more.

We walked to Spaceship 3000.

Think about the Jupiter 2 from “Misplaced in House,” solely extra jankier.

A panel on the facet folds up, and folks pay large bucks to climb the ramp, strap themselves into god is aware of what sort of security harness, after which proceed circling at midnight.

Charlie was the one one that wasn’t an worker to enter the craft, which I discovered a bit unnerving.

However he expressed no qualms about Spaceship 3000.

He did, nevertheless, look a little bit apprehensive when he got here out. (Qualmy is the official time period for an individual’s abdomen after a gyroscope, a hen sandwich, mini donuts, and two dizzying rides).

He had had sufficient. I had damaged it. However I nonetheless had just a few tickets to make use of, so he insisted on taking part in a carnival sport.

We are going to name this sport “Lose Your Cash”.

Three darts, one star. Hit any a part of the star and also you win a unclean stuffed animal.

Charlie’s first pitch bounced off the board. The second got here precisely one star away. The third got here fairly shut, however the smiling man manning the stand simply smiled greater and picked up the darts.

He really mentioned “Very shut” whereas laughing.

His job was completed.

So we went to see the goats.

The child goats have been cute, however I felt like I had a deeper reference to the larger ones as a result of they have been bawling loudly and crying to come back residence. They, like me, regarded drained.

However they have been additionally actively (and aggressively) opposed, which made me miss my children and the times once they simply got here with us.

So I talked to the goats for some time. Then I seen that Charlie had began to stroll away, which is what he does once I discuss to animals too lengthy.

One factor I missed was choosing up a memento. I did not get a unclean stuffed animal, or a leather-based belt with my initials stamped on the again, or a framed mirror with Snoop Dogg smoking an enormous joint etched within the glass.

We received a bunch of photographs from the photograph sales space. A tangible memento of the 2022 Sonoma County Truthful.

The abdomen aches are easing, however the photographs are ceaselessly.

You may attain workers columnist Kerry Benefield at 707-526-8671 or [email protected] On Twitter @benefield.

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