I had the early shift Saturday arriving at the fair grounds a little before 9 a.m. There is something special about directions that include “turn right at the goat barn, go to the end and then turn into the vendor lot next to the livestock exhibitor parking”.
The gates opened and the first visitors began their search for giveaways and as much free stuff as their plastic bag would hold. I was ready. I had a full helium tank and a 4 boxes of balloons prepped with ribbon and a nifty little filling cap. Soon the midway was adorned with small children holding on to red, yellow and blue Long and Foster balloons.
There was an occassional break in the action which afforded me the chance to slip next door to the Cheese booth and purchase a delightful grilled cheese sandwich. Later in the morning, I headed north to avail myself of a couple free samples of italian ice.
About mid-morning, I actually had the chance to chat about real estate. Two women came up and explained that their mom had recently passed and wanted to know if I could explain how they could sell the house when they both didn’t live in the area. I went over the process as best I could, got the information and made an appointment to visit the home after the fair and list the property.
Then came the pleasant surprise. The real estate editor of our local paper dropped by to chat me up about the market and what folks were saying when they visited the booth. We talked for a while and she made sure to fill out a form to enter her name in the drawing for one of my paintings.
As my shift came to a close, the sweetest little bundle of joy on the fairgrounds rolled up in the stroller her mom was pushing. She squealed with delight when I tied the bright red (just like Elmo) balloon to her little wrist. It was her first visit to the fair. Rather than pack and go, I offered to walk the grounds with her and her mom.
I made sure to point out McDonalds farm and enjoyed the wonder in her eyes as she stroked a bunny rabbit. Our last stop was at the ice cream booth manned by the Lions Club. We ordered and sat back in the corner so this little princess could watch people come and go. She actually has acquired the talent to bite an ice cream cone and soon her smile had a sticky chocolate ring around it.
I walked them to the exit and gave her mom a hug and thanked her for letting me pass on the tradition. Can life get any sweeter than having your daughter bring your first grandchild to the fair so that you can share a family tradition? I think not.