State Fair 2013: Girls Day Out

When I hired on at AT&T in 1986, three employees took me under their wings: Mary Beth, Joni, and Connie. I retired in 2004, but I still run with this pack of wild women that I refer to as my buds.

Recently, Mary Beth mentioned a girl’s day out to the state fair. A few days later the phone rang; it was a conference call and my buds were on the other end. Calendars in hand, we figured out a day all of us were free and penciled it in: Tuesday, August 6. Every Tuesday at the state fair is $2 Tuesday.

Two-dollar Tuesday included $2 admission with a voucher from Turkey Hill Dairy and tastes of each vendors specialty food for $2, which they were calling $2 bites. There were a variety of other $2 offerings that day, but admission and food were the main ones we were interested in. Another perk of Two-dollar Tuesday was riding the tram for free if you were 55 and older. Any other day of the week, we would have had to pay $1 per ride.

My buds are die-hard 60’s music fans, and that was the real reason Two-Dollar Tuesday was the day of choice. On the Marsh free stage, Marsh hosted the “Happy Together Tour,” which featured Flo & Eddie of the Turtles, Chuck Negron of Three Dog Night, Gary Puckett, Mark Lindsay of Paul Revere & The Raiders, and Gary Lewis of The Playboys.

August 6th arrived. We met at Joni’s house, where Connie and I found out that Mary Beth and Joni’s husbands, both named Dave, who are also die-hard 60’s music fans, were crashing our girl party. It was decided that all 6 of us would pile into Joni’s Caddymobile, a 2000 white Cadillac, in which the air conditioner had died a few days before: four post-menopausal women and 2 men in a car with no air. We were up for the challenge.

Front seat: Joni’s Dave was the designated driver, then Joni, then Mary Beth’s Dave. Back seat: Mary Beth, me, then Connie. Windows down, hair flying in the warm, gusty breeze, I could tell by the stares that we were the envy of every Carmelite as we cruised through hoity-toity Carmel on the way to our destination.

Feeling carefree and wild, we were at the top end of the 55-mile-per-hour speed limit. The wind whipping through our hair came to an abrupt halt as we fell in line to enter the parking lot. There were 2 lanes and irritation mounted as we realized we were in the slow lane. Finally, we were parked and out of the car stretching and complaining like the typical 50 & 60-year-olds that we were. We were there to have fun if it killed us.

We all had our cell phones in case we got separated, so as soon as possible, we ditched the guys, ignored their calls, and took off on our own. The Hoosier Lottery was just inside the gate; I saw a cloud of dust kick up as Connie and Joni made a B-line to buy tickets. That out of the way, we snaked our way through the vendors for $2 bites of a variety of tempting, grease and sugar laden snacks. My fair food of choice, when they made it fresh and handed a large puff of it to you wrapped around a paper cone, was cotton candy. Now it’s bagged days, maybe weeks, in advance and not nearly as appealing. Elephant ears are at the top of my list these days. A vendor was cooking up $2 bites and calling them mouse ears, it was the perfect size and selling, as they say, like hot cakes.

It was great hopping on the tram every little whipstitch, but disappointing that none of us ever got carded to prove we were old enough to ride for free. Just a few years ago, I would not have seen the humor in riding a tram packed full of blue-hairs. I still don’t see the humor, actually, but it beats walking.

At 5:00 pm, one of the Daves, after having circled the fair 4 times in the tram, saw that the Marsh free stage seating was starting to collect some early fans. At 6 pm, he decided he should latch on to some seats. Good thing, too, since it ended up being a packed house and a standing crowd beyond the seats. It was fun to see so many aging fans enjoying the music and legends of yesteryears rock scene.

By the time we left, the vendors were closing down. We piled back into the caddie with no air and headed to Joni’s house. With few complaints and very little whining, the trip was a success.

We got back late, so I spent the night at Joni’s house, which requires a whole other story. Stay tuned for more excitement …

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Wrong Hands

Cartoons by John Atkinson. ©John Atkinson, Wrong Hands

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