I thought I’d wait another week to write this column.
Then again, I can’t wait.
It’s county and state fair season!
Just 15 days from now, the 72nd edition of the Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair, labeled “the best 10 days in fall,” will occur in southern Wayne County.
I can smell the aroma of sausage dogs, funnel cakes, barbecue and cotton candy — just to name a few — waft through the air.
I can hear the barkers tempting you to play games and win a prize, the screams from thrill rides on the midway and general conversations among families and friends.
It’s going to be a great 10 days.
During my younger years, my dad worked for Wilson Department of Transportation and always got tickets for the Wilson County Fair.
We’d usually go on Friday night.
Dad liked to get there before the crowd because he didn’t like sitting in the middle turn lane on Highway 301. If the line of cars was too long, he’d find a back way to get into the fairgrounds, drop us off at the main gate and then search for a parking spot.
We always ate before we left home.
Dad wasn’t a miser, but he preferred to save a few “bones” (one-dollar bills) for the numerous games that were up and down the midway. I can’t remember how many stuffed dolls I’d bring home every year from tossing rings on bottles, shooting ducks on water and throwing darts at balloons.
My brother was the thrill seeker.
His first stop was always the ferris wheel. Sometimes, he’d find a more thrilling ride or just walk around the midway. On occasion, we’d both hop in the bumper cars and try to knock the crap out of each other.
It was always a fun-filled night.
After a couple of hours, mom came searching for me and my brother.
Although the next day was a Saturday, my parents always worked hard during the week and were ready to go home.
I usually fell asleep by the time we left the fairgrounds. Mom would unlock the back door when we got home and dad would carry me to my bedroom. He’d lay me down, tuck me in and the night’s sights and sounds always provided wonderful dreams.
I couldn’t wait for next year.
Assignments at my previous job kept me from attending the Wayne Regional Fair. Rest assured, I’m going to be there opening day, camera in hand and try to capture the sights and sounds — not only through pictures, but words as well.
It’s definitely going to be the best 10 days in fall.
Rudy Coggins is assistant editor of the Mount Olive Tribune. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.