If you’ve never been to a fair or fall festival in autumn you have missed one of life’s greatest treasures. The weather usually becomes cooler and crisper. The leaves on the trees are exhibiting their wondrous shades of yellow, orange and red.
I’ve experienced the glory of autumn all the way from Maine to Florida. There is nothing finer than to spend a beautiful fall afternoon at a fair. You don’t even have to purchase one of the many crafts or items on sale created by a multitude of artisans. Just to be walking, to sniff the fall scents, and be in company with others also taking in the beauty of God’s creation is divine.
I have not yet attended a fair this year. Later this week I am heading north for a visit. I figured I’d catch one of the wonderful fall fairs in New England only to find that their fair season has been over for a while now.
Attending one of the shows put on by a country music star is always my favorite attraction at a fall fair.
One year I saw Sonny James at the Durham Fair in Connecticut. My wife and I were part of a crowd of a thousand or so seated on the side of a grassy hill on a beautiful, starry evening. Sonny and his group performed from a small platform at the bottom of the hill. The crowd was taken with Sonny’s music. He was equally at home and sung to us over 3 hours!
Johnny Cash was one of the featured guests at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, Mass. one year back in the early 90s. I didn’t attend this fair usually, as it was too large an event for me; I couldn‘t get the full fall flavor and aura as I did at a smaller fair. I would make an exception this year and attend Expo in order to see this country music living legend.
I was going through a Johnny Cash phase in my life. I couldn’t read enough about him or listen to enough of his music.
He was to appear for a late afternoon show and as much as I wanted to see him, I was not going to take a whole day off from school. It was about 45 miles to the fair and I hated to speed.
I was able, however, to leave school a few minutes early and head out to catch that show. Traffic was backed up all the way from Hartford to the fair in Springfield.
When I finally made my way to the huge barn-like structure where Johnny was appearing I found the doors locked, and it was only ten minutes to show time. Those loyal fans inside had been sitting there over 5 hours! I was alarmed and downtrodden.
There was only one thing left to do. I headed for the offices that contained the people who were responsible for the entertainment at the Exposition. They were good to me and allowed me to see the man who was in charge of the entertainment and tickets.
How could he not relent when I blurted out my sob story of speeding all the way from central Connecticut, fighting traffic and that Johnny Cash meant so much to me at this time of my life?
The man listened and seemed concerned. He arose from his chair and quietly said, “Follow me.”
He took me to the barn I had left only minutes before. He produced a key from one of his pants pockets and unlocked a side door that didn‘t seem to go anywhere. He motioned me to enter. “Enjoy the show,” he softly said and left through the same door.
It was dark; the place was packed. When Johnny took the stage he was standing only about 40 feet from me, also standing. What a show! I still get goose bumps whenever I think of it.
Hope you get to a fair this fall. God bless you.