It’s the time of year when the leaves start to turn. When the 100 degree days turn into 80-90 degree days. Who knows, maybe it even rains a little. This seasonal change offers our libedos a varitety of new sensations and feelings. No longer are we thinking of days at the beach or summer vacations. No longer are we thinking back to school or mowing the lawn. The time has turned to Fall. Our thoughts turn to football, the State Fair, Halloween, and Fall Festivals. We think about the teams we support, their bands and cheerleaders, and the taste of fried Autumn and smores. Our kids are demanding Halloween costumes before the good ones sell out, and we parents are just thankful for a break in the hot weather.
When I was a lad of 8 years old, my firends and I would take the bus to the Texas State Fair on elementary school day with $5.00 in our pockets to spend for the whole day. First, we would hit the Midway where we rode all the rides and played all the games. Rides were about .25 to.50 each, and the games cost maybe a nickel to a dime. We would grab a corney dog from Fletcher’s first, then off we’d go for a day of excitement. We would arrive 8am, and by noon we would be just nausious enough to start in on the exhibit buildings where it was a cool oasis of free food and flyers. The automobile building was usually first, then the world exhibits building. Pappy’s Pals were great fun. We’d ride the Wild Mouse and the Flash. The Rotor, The Hammer, and Bump Cars were also our favorites. The Comet Coaster was old and rickitiy but we weren’t deterred.
Now days foods are much more exotic at the Fair. There was always cotton candy, Fletcher’s, and corn-on-the-cob, but we never had fried Snickers, or fried peanut butter and jelly. This year’s fried Autumn promises to be a winner on the back of last year’s fried Frito Pie. I am still pleased to see the tried and true foods such as the Belgian waffles with strawberries, and powdered sugar coated funnel cakes. Fresh squeezed lemonade is another recent improvement after walking the grounds awhile.
For many years when Grammy and I first started dating, we would go to the UT-OU games and incorporate that activity into our State Fair festivities. Ticket prices gradually rose to $150 each and so I would wait until 5 minutes after the game started on the front steps of the Cotton Bowl to purchase my end zone tickets for $20 each to partake in the Red River rivalry revelry.
My favorite football teams are the Longhorns and the Cowboys. I used to sell cokes at the Cowboy games when they played in the Cotton Bowl years ago. I still remember hollering “COLD DRINKS” at the top of Pappy’s palate! It would get so cold, at halftime that we would hide up in the top of the stadium huddling together to stay as warm as we could and take in the Cowboy/Packer games. I was 12-14 then and we were still pretty safe taking the bus to a from the Fair Grounds at all hours.
Amy, my daughter, has school and church Fall Festivals in which Grammy is expected to volunteer her services. I can’t hardly watch as Grammy’s calendar fills to the brim. She and the kids love the fall. Yesterday she took the whole clan to Party City for their Halloween costumes during the 1st half of the Cowboy game. By halftime they were all back with their plunder.
Ella, my middle daughter, will be sporting a sexy Pirate costume, while Amy will wear a Alice in Wonderland getup. Claire did not get a costume this year but will wear a past costume as she escorts her two children tricks or treating. The grand kids will wear a Kandy Corn outfit and a Foofa costume for family fun. Pappy will stay home and man the candy dish. (It’s a tough job but someone has to do it!)
We live in one of those neighborhoods were we have many trick or treaters every year so my kids love to come to our neighborhood for the fun. Pappy’s favorite treats to steal from his kids are Smarties and Tootsie Pops. Snickers aren’t bad either mixed with an occasional Baby Ruth bite size candy. My kids shoo me away after a few “look over there” types of candy stealing antics, “Pappy’s pilfering.”
Since the whole family loves a high school game we try to go to one a year or so. The bands, the cheerleaders, the drill teams, and oh yes, the football game is a big draw for us. Carnivals and festivals usually have Grammy manning the bean bag toss as Amy hands out the prizes. Amy and Ella have always enjoyed being helpers in the Pumpkin Patch each year at the church as they sell them for the kids ministry. “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” is also a must watch each year for us. Its a busy time!
Whether your Family likes Carnivals or Fairs. Whether they football, soccer, or cheerlead, make sure to get your share of the good thing. Its a special time of year for all of us to embrace and relish. (Or, in the case of corny dog lovers, to mustard.) Retry a hot Dr. Pepper with a lemon twist, or give the newest fried delicacy a try at the State Fair. Show some color at your favorite games and support your favorite teams. It’s all about losing yourself to the season and finding happiness with your family and friends through these fabulous activities. Have a great season and if you come by Pappy’s place for “Tricks or Treat” we will have three carved pumpkins out in the front yard and the scream pad at the front door to greet you. Pappy