My earliest experience at the Mid-State Fair was in 1981 when I very first landed on the “shores of Cambria.” I lived at Rancho Marino, working horses, so when I was invited to go, I figured it might help me embrace this most recent persona. I figured a cowboy hat and boots might do the trick.
Coming from the greater Los Angeles area, the heat didn’t make me gasp as it does now. What did make this recently single girl lose her breath was, in those days, the plethora of young, well-built cowdudes. “No, Dorothy, I don’t think we’re in Hollywood any more!”
Of course, as time would tell, many of them WERE in Hollywood — in their own minds. But, there certainly were plenty of legit cowpokes there.
I’d attended the State Fair down in Pomona as a child a number of times. It’s interesting what an age-perspective does for one’s, well — perspective. Still, and still yesterday (why I’m sharing this vein of thought), I love checking out the livestock (not just the ones in Wranglers) and people-watching (including the wardrobes).
My girlfriend and I had a time at the fair yesterday as I’ve not enjoyed since that first excursion. Over the years, I’ve taken my sons, my sons and their friends, roommates and all combination of beings. Dragging babies through the unnatural, sweltering day on plastic and metal rides wasn’t the most fun. But watching them look wide-eyed at it all, laugh at the sheep and pigs and coat themselves with sticky cotton candy was worth it.
The fashion statements still sport some wide-brimmed hats, but more ball-caps, wider waistlines (by far!) and a bazillion more kids. Again, age? What was I caring about then that I’m not caring about now? Trolling? Comparing notes on which rides the kids would like? Envy of others toting little ones around opening their eyes to this new world?
Cue sound of screeching brakes. No, yesterday, with only a good girlfriend by my side, we admired babies from afar, watched kids “mutton bust,” critiqued the latest young-girl trends in skirts and dresses and looked at everything we cared to take our time to look at. Wow! THAT was fun!
I’m not going to say I did not enjoy previous excursions there, but it was different when you had to mind little ones, their feeding needs, their cranky times, partner levels of patience (and all of the above), etc. And, as my girlfriend pointed out, some of us (females) like to take our time, notice the details of what’s going on around us.
No, we did not stay to attend the Van Halen concert, although we saw much of Cambria there, and we did hear the sound check (strong!), but we did hear Soul Sauce play a small stage and I know that in the past, these free stages offer at least as much entertainment as the big-buck venue onsite. It did this day.
So, ignoring the heat, knowing I was in good company, rising above the crowd energy (psychologically) and taking my time to explore to my heart’s desire, I truly enjoyed myself!
hanks, Cindy, for getting me on that little adventure!
And I brought my own straw cowboy hat this time. And flip-flops. Too hot for tennies.
Dianne Brookes column is special to The Cambrian. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit her website at www.ladytiedi.com.