Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Can you really ever go home?

Someone once said that you can never go home or at least someone said something like that. So, who am I to listen to that someone. This past Saturday Ken and I made the drive to my hometown, Lancaster. We had two reasons for that visit. First, visit my parents. Mom gave me some shoes, made us lunch...all in all a good visit. Second, the reason why I picked last weekend was to go to the Antelope Valley Fair and Alfalfa Festival. Yes folks, that's right, I grew up in a town that celebrates Alfalfa each and every year. You have to understand, I grew up going to this Fair so when I moved to the city (aka Orange County) and went to the Orange County Fair, well let's just say that I was thoroughly disappointed. There is nothing fair-like at the Orange County Fair, it's just a little to city for me.

So we were off to the AV Fair. It moved to a new location about 7 years ago, so it would be a new experience for both of us. As we walked in the gates, I looked around and took it in. The new location lacked the character of the old place, but I was determined to remain open to the experience. First stop, a Henna place where I got a really cool, if fake, dragon "tattoo." Then we were off to the barns. Being that is was the second to last day, most of the animals were gone, either sold or taken home. I did get to see some chickens, turkeys, goats, llamas, sheep, cows, and pigs.

Ken didn't enjoy the smell much, but to me it brought back some great memories of being a kid and walking through the animal pens with my dad.

Next, we were off to the beer booth. I didn't enjoy the beer booth much when I was still living in Lancaster, since I wasn't 21 for most of that time, but we took the opportunity on this day. We sat with my dad and a couple of his friends, drank our beers and watched the people walk by. Always a good time.

Now it was time for the Rural Olympics. We didn't stay for all of it, but the best event that we saw was the haystealing contest. Unfortunately, I was too much in awe of the event to remember to record it.

I must admit, while walking around the Fair that afternoon and evening I scanned the faces in the crowd to see if I recognized anyone. I did not recognize a single person. It has been about 20 years since I lived there, so it really shouldn't be any surprise but I kept hoping I would recognize someone. I gave up my hunt, got a bag of carmel kettle corn and we left the Fair behind. I am now filled with my quota of cowboy hats and small town fun for awhile and am safely back in Orange County.

You can go home, it may not be the same as you remember . . . but then neither are you.

1 comment:

Ken La Salle said...

Home is an always-evolving concept and I'm glad your home is with me now. I was looking forward to stepping into a bit of a time machine and removing myself from the painful suburbs of Orange County. This did not disappoint.