The fair is on and who can resist it? My wife and I, that’s who. We haven’t been to a state or county fair in many years because it just seemed like too much trouble. But in July we moved to a house right across the street from the Delaware County (Ohio) Fairgrounds, and in the last few days we have been treated to wonderfully entertaining sights, sounds and colors. Now we can just walk to it, so no more excuses.
Yesterday, we went and enjoyed the colorful sights and tasty food, watched a few of the harness races. In those, horses rapidly prance with a specified gait while pulling sulkies and drivers, a competition not nearly as spectacular as regular horse racing but a big deal around here. We ignored the barkers and their money-grabbing games of “skill.”
Of course, I’m always seeking subjects for Trailer Talk, and there were plenty at the fair. Food stands are on wheels, but most impressive were the complex and heavy rides. The kids and fun-seeking adults who buy their way aboard them are unaware that their many parts are permanently attached to special trailer chassis and powered by large trailer-mounted generators.
In some cases, the vehicle components are covered by shrouds and in others they are partially visible. I found and photographed some, and had fun doing that without getting my head spun and guts churned by vertical and centrifugal forces these contraptions impose on young, masochistic lunatics. They call it “thrilling.”
The rides and much additional equipment are clean and appear well maintained. Road tractors are late-1990s Volvos that look new. Carnival (“carny”) stuff wasn’t always so well taken care of, so my salute goes to Bates Amusement Inc., of Wintersville, Ohio, a company that seems to care about image and safety.
Oh -- one exception to my chicken-heartedness is the “Scooter,” whose rubber-ringed electric cars scoot around on a sheet-steel floor and bash into each other as their drivers squeal diabolically. As a boy, I repeatedly rode an almost identical attraction during the old Wisconsin State Fair in West Allis. There it was called Bump-A-Car, a much more apt description of what the thing is and the behavior it begets. The floor sections, ceiling, support posts, and wiring evidently fold up and onto a tandem-axle trailer chassis.
Heh heh, I plan to go back later in the week and do my share of vehicular assaulting. Look out, you young whipper-snappers!