Ode to a Fair and a Girl Growing Up

August 20, 2008

My darling daughter, age 4 ¾, will be starting kindergarten in six days, 16 days before the opening of what will be my eighth Fair. Obviously when I started here, my girl wasn’t even in the planning stages. But then, a few years later, there I was, teetering around like a weebles-wobble-but-they-won’t-fall-down figurine, nearly eight months pregnant. It was 2003, two years after that indelible Sept. 11 day. In 2001, we and our guests continued with the Fair with extreme patriotism running through our veins, Pat Benatar singing a plaintive but proud “God Bless America.”
In 2003, as a mighty expectant mother, I thought I could continue to the end of the Fair. Day three, I drove out of the Fairplex parking lot, feeling a little uneasy. I called my husband and we decided I better stop at the hospital – just in case! Well, my contractions weren’t bad, they said. I was still four weeks away from my due date, but it was probably a good idea to stop working now. A wave of disappointment rolled through my body. I was so looking forward to commiserating with the expectant moms in FairView Farms. The cows, the goats, the pigs, me – all of us with swollen ankles, bloated from water retention, aching backs, dark circles under our eyes due to lack of sleep from not finding a comfortable position on the hay or posturepedic.
Well, girls, I said to my beloved barnyard sisters on a visit back to the Fair where my husband pushed me around in a wheelchair, think of me as you labor in front of a mesmerized crowd here in FairView Farms. I’ll keep you as my focal point back at the private suite at the people hospital. There we were – the cow, the goat, the pig and me – creatures great and small in this wondrous world, knowing that our own private universes would never be the same. Is it a coincidence that the farm is my daughter’s favorite spot at the Fair? Hhhmmm…
Here we are, nearly five years later. There is so much anticipation and excitement in the air – for my girl as she takes her first step on her educational journey, as she becomes part of a larger world outside of her mom, dad and brother, and for another Fair, a Fair that will entertain more than one million people – a girl and a Fair that I will embrace a little tighter this year. Go get ’em Dizzy! And cheers is to a great Fair.
Memories great and small are created here at the L.A. County Fair. Come make some of your own!

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