The Cummington Fair’s 145th year


With eyes lined,


And mighty haunches fed, bred for dragging ten thousand pounds,


In regal repose, the beast of burden between appointments with the public and the pull.


Steve and I strolled the garish fairway of sugar and screams,


And abdominal organ rearrangements, two for the price of one.


We ambled to the stage for a pretty good Johnny Cash impersonation.


And to another to sing the national anthem in the dark.


We witnessed drivers loading into their reinforced weapons, soldiers going to war for the Demolition Derby.


 The deafening derby’s aftermath in silent wreckage.  All in the name of destruction.

Some things never change.

It’s a comfort to know that there will always be the best bouquet, the perfect green bean , the finest pair of knitted gloves, the strongest oxen team, the most fortified jalopy, singers who imitate the great, and Steve and I, like other spectators, gathering for an evening where screaming your head off is not only the norm, but the expectation.  It’s like being young.

First photo by Steve Kramer, the rest by yours truly.

5 thoughts on “The Cummington Fair’s 145th year

  1. where screaming your head off is the norm….love it!
    That beautiful graceful beast, always heart tugging to see these magnificent creatures tethered and enslaved. So grateful for their strength and endurance and sculptural presence. My son is writing a paper just now entitled “All Roads Lead To Rome”. All the great beasts that are part of how we as a civilization have labored hard to create the world that we live in, dirt roads, gravels roads, paved roads, bridges, roadways paved in oceans…ultimately to connect us all.
    Hope you and your friend screamed your head off and had a ball!
    Love the images, visual and word


  2. I love going to the Fair, always takes me back to a simpler time seeing the livestock, the displays of ladies cooking and needlework, the sickening rides, the crazy food–deep fried twinkie on a stick and a corn dog should only be considered once a year in such a venue. LOL! Going to the Fair makes one think of life when it was more rural and people were not worried about being hip and cool in favor of cultivating a garden, tending to large working breeds of cattle, cross stitching and canning.


    • Thank you, Scottie! The description of fullness in your heart does just fine. They were hard to write because they weren’t about grief which has been so tangible lately. Maybe you are responding to the fact that they aren’t about grief, at least not directly? What I was going for in the Cummington Fair one was illusive but after 24 hours and moving photos and thoughts around, I felt I found it, like being young…


      • You are so insightful. They weren’t about grief, but I didn’t want to say that because if they had been, that would have been perfectly fine, too.


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