August 18, 1968_edited-1

 

REAL ID from 1968 - NOT 18
REAL ID from 1968 – NOT 18

People go to fairs and carnivals for fun, not to wallow in existential despair over the human condition. Given this reality, my own psyche was the dark cloud hanging over the corn dog stand that summer. Everywhere I turned I saw another story about loneliness, suffering, and doomed lives. There was a little boy, about 7, that hung around – son of a “carny wife” (woman who moves in with a carnival man for a month or two). All of the grown-ups kept telling him to get lost – but there were no children his own age for him to go to. He was just so – alone, (Where is he today?)

My friend JoAnn Hill, who lived in Willow Glenn, got a job in another food venue. We hung out together when we had breaks at the same time. She was tall – at least 5’11” – and model-gorgeous with long blonde hair. Walking around with her was an instant inferiority complex.

 

JOANN HILL
JOANN HILL

 

Since JoAnn and I worked there, we got free rides – not always a good thing. ┬áThe guy who controlled the spidery ride wanted to impress JoAnn so he gave us what felt like hours of extra spinning – I was almost sick to my stomach. Things didn’t improve in the sweltering heat of the Pup Hut. A bad situation got worse when I was tasked to shove sharp sticks into hundreds of naked doggies. It was truly the stuff of nightmares.

 

Feeling Sick_edited-1

And that’s why I’ve never consumed another corn dog.