We're going to the Cummington Fair today! I'm so excited! We're going to see the bunnies and the chickens and the yaks and the tractors and the oxen
Poster image filched from chickenbetty's blog.
In recent years The Cummington Fair has been recycling its old posters from the 19th Century, and like recycled old calendars, using old posters where the weekend dates are the same as this year's fair.
At the Cummington Fair, it is as if 9/11 or the Iraq War or the Vietnam War or the assassination of President Kennedy or of Martin Luther King Jr. never happened. There are American flags here and there, but not a fearsome superpatriotic explosion of flags in your face. Little girls wander around holding hands, unsupervised.
There's Fried Dough to eat, of course, and pierogies, and hot dogs and French fries, and cotton candy, and every Delicious Bad Thing an agricultural fair out in the boonies ever deep-fried and served to people who should know better.
The worst peril or danger anyone faces is getting too close to some huge animal and getting your foot stepped on. The background noise in the animal sheds are moos and baaahs and bleats and the squawks of chickens and the grunts of gigantic hogs and sows. There are yaks and llamas and alpacas and camels. Ponies, of course.
I'm a City Boy, and it's here every summer that I have long conversations with farmers and the children of farmers who have brought their sheep or chickens or goats or heifers or bunnies to the fair to be judged and to win a blue or a red ribbon. It is here I learn about where my food comes from, and meet the people who grow it for me.
Giant draught horses pull sledges of a ton of concrete blocks. Teams of oxen with wooden yokes do the same! Ancient steam-powered tractors and farm machinery! Ancient automobiles -- one very nice gent let me crank-start his Model T Ford, the first and only time I ever cranked a car! (It's Very Hard!)
Wonderful cheap little hand-made arts and crafts for sale! Cheap screwy hats! This year's junky t-shirts! Biker leather crap! A lady who'll read my Tarot! Home-made jams and jellies and honey!
The Cummington Fair is just More Fun than people should be allowed to have with their clothes on. I'm so excited! A day in the Now which is EXACTLY like Country Fair Day 100 or 150 years ago! Almost no cell phones (I think Cummington, far from cities and up in the mountains, is a cell phone Dead Zone) or iPods!
Labels: Cummington Massachusetts