An envisioning . . ..1960’s America and a hot afternoon at the county fair on the edge of town . . . . . .

Oh to go back and be here.

America somewhere out in the heartland and a hot afternoon in the summer of 1960 something. Yellow crop-dusting plane out where the fields meet the sky heading straight for Canada dipping its wings as it gets ready for another pass.

The state fair on the edge of town and something new to do or at least sort of new. Partly forgotten since last summer and that good enough.

A midway filled with cotton candy and a man with ice cold Coca-Colas. Someone calling with one of those games where you toss beanbags to win prizes. But no. All his good prizes old looking and covered with dust. Better the younger fellow two down with a bigger booth or the one down at the end to watch with his magic tricks.

The airplane ride but parallel to the ground, the better to scare Grandmother. Something that looks like the roller coaster cousins talked about after they went to the big fair in Saint Louis.

But the merry go round the same with its brass ring to try to grasp. Same swan and duck shaped benches for babies with their mamas and the horses and unicorns for everyone else. Mothers to stand beside and hold on when the man flips the switch and the music begins.

Corn dogs and cheeseburgers for supper. Father springing for all the french fries one can stuff in.

The last day and the excitement gone tomorrow with a chewed-up chunk of dirt and grass where it all went. Carnival people gone before the sun rose for their next show.

The stars overhead and the fireflies giving their own light, seeing to blink off and on like the lights on the rides as children race to take their seats before the last turn of the ferris wheel comes.

A dream sequence and then another. Light upon light revolving in the air. Magical. Suspended between one and the other in a summer night meant to never end.

Merry go round, Fair Park, Little Rock Arkansas. Undated photograph.
Merry go round, Fair Park, Little Rock, Arkansas, USA. Undated photograph. Image via University of Arkansas Little Rock Center for Arkansas History and Culture.

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