Tina takes her nephew Chase to the fair every year, going on 8 years or so now. They have a tradition that he looks forward to that involves a coin jar that sit on our dresser. All year long we toss coins into the jar. Every time Chase visits he checks the jar, noting how full it has become. When opening day at the fair arrives he and Tina take the coin jar to the bank and have the coins counted and exchanged for bills. This is their fair fund, the money they can spend that day at the fair. Chase doesn't know, but on occasion I go to the bank and get $20 worth of coins to dump in the jar, just so he can see the level of coins grow bigger in the jar. I am not sure what he likes more, turning in the coins or actually spending the day at the fair. I never go, I am not a fair-goer. They spend ample time at the giant slide, they eat their way through the day, and go on some crazy water ride at the very end of the day. They come home spent, with just enough energy to tell me exactly how much money was in the jar and describe the expression on the bank tellers face when he or she asks what they are up to with all that change. Chase describes every minute of the day in remarkable detail. They have a ball.
I am going to go to the fair this year and I am counting the days until the opening day, hoping to turn those bad memories of Machinery Hill into new memories. I have two stops to make during my highly anticipated day at the fair. The yellow and red french fry booths, well they serve gluten free french fries. I am going to eat so many french fries that I will probably get sick. I'll bring my own ketchup, just to be sure and make a day of it, eating fries in between my visits to the bee booth in the agricultural building, yes apparently there is an agricultural building at the fair. I imagine it might be near Machinery Hill. The Minnesota Hobby Beekeepers Association hosts an area in the building where bee lovers can see inside a bee hive, learn about the honey bee, watch honey extraction and even see what one can do with the wax. I can't wait. I can't wait for the fries or the bees and if all goes well, I expect to become a fair-goer. Who knows, 12 days of the great american summer event, I just might go more than once to make up for lost time.