Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Fear of Fair-lure

Hope everyone enjoyed their Fourth of July, whether it was just a work day or a patriotic day, or a  chill day (though we're no where near chill time here, a lovely 86 degrees NOW).  We had family here for part of the day, and we're saying a farewell to some of the gang who are moving back to Syracuse for job purposes, among other things.  We wished them well, and then one of them said the words that sent the chills down my MS clear but still painful spine.

"Why don't you come out for the Fair?"

Yikes. The Fair.  No, not just The Fair. The Great New York State Fair (Aug 23-Sept 3).  For many years my wife Jackie and I traveled out to the Syracuse to stay with relatives and go to The  Fair.  It was usually a weekend, we'd come out Thursday or Friday and stay until Sunday, heading to the Fair early and staying late.  We'd walk all over...

We'd walk all over.

I'd walk all over the place. Horse show, rock show, Bob Dylan, Boston, and even the free shows would have great folks playing like Charlie Daniels (and us dancing with the kids, swinging them around to the "The Devil Went Down to Georgia").  And the food, oh the food.  The sand sculpture, the butter sculpture.  Cows.  Bunnies. Hokie crap.  Maple snow cones.  The train at the far end of the grounds.  More cows.

Some of the funniest and wonderful moments of my life happened there, ones I have to tell you in person.

I'd walk all over then.  But I can't now.  Oh, I can get around, but every step hurts.  The MS crowd knows the drill.  I can take pills, and sometimes they help, and sometimes they don't.  I'd have to sit down, what, every one hundred feet?  Where?  They'd have to drag me everywhere. Do I really want to go through this?

"Sure," I said, "bring the wheelchair."

The crowds.  All the pushing and shoving and even an "excuse me" now and then doesn't make it any easier.  I suppose I could walk, pushing the chair and get in it when needed.  Maybe a walker (four wheels please).  Or maybe I should just stay home.  I suppose they can drop me at a picnic table for 8 hours or so.  Keep the salt potatoes coming (I hope my doctor isn't reading this).

When most of the family moved away from the Syracuse area, we stopped going to the Fair, having had one last blowout day (with the Dylan concert).  We always thought of it around Labor Day.  "Remember when the guy started singing at the same time the State Police started their gun shooting demo about fifty feet away?  Every time.. the guy started singing... the troopers started shooting.  It went on and on and on...."

Like I said, you need to see the demo.

So we'll see what happens.  This will be the first large test, pre-DisneyWorld, of what I can do on a large scale.  Maybe we won't go at all, and I'm psyching myself out for nothing. But for the first time I am thinking of what I have lost, not just what I can still do.

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