Sunday, July 19, 2009
A Fair Day, A Not-So-Fair Night
It started out as a lovely day yesterday with my daughter Katie, her husband Bill, little Henry, son Jeffrey, Kate's father-in-law Richard, and her friend Allison. We went to the Saratoga County Fair (in Ballston Spa) at dinner time and enjoyed not only Fair Food but going in and out of many exhibits as well. Henry, now 14 and a half months, loved seeing the baby pigs, the cows, and the quarter horses. Like my mother, I'm fascinated by people and "gaping" is a less than polite past-time but I do it! Very interesting how many shapes, sizes, and variations there are among the human species! A county fair is a great place to gape. We wound our way through the fair, all of us wanting something different to eat. I settled on my fave, hot dogs, but others enjoyed Indian food, gyros, fried dough, burgers, pizza, a kabob or two, coffee and ice cream. Later, there was a stop at a fudge stand where a candy apple and taffy were purchased, too. It's interesting, this eating-your-way-through the fair practice. Individually, none of us was particularly gluttonous, but collectively, it really was an embarrassing amount of food consumed! Earlier in the day, I'd hear Bill just suddenly announce "Fair food!" as he worked. He was looking forward to it for a long time! The aroma of peppers and onions wafts through the air like gastronomic incense -- the lure to the fair's culinary offerings a huge part of the whole experience. Of course, the fair is about so much more than food, and I took some incredible pictures of lit-up rides and colorful vendor carts set against the backdrop of a twilight sky. I had a great shot of Henry on Bill's shoulders, a Ferris wheel in the background. And I took a number of shots of Katie with her friend Allison, who is leaving to live in Texas in a week.
One way to arrive at the Saratoga County Fair is to wind your way up Prospect Street to the parking areas. Much of Prospect Street is a very steep hill and the traffic was lined up as far as I could see ahead of and behind my car. I drive a standard, and, mid-way up the hill, there was a guy on a motorcycle behind me. I strained to balance the clutch and the gas, and realized that something was beginning to smell really bad. It was my over-strained clutch. I stalled once, scaring the motorcyclist, I'm sure. He veered out of range, to potentially save his own life should I not handle the clutch appropriately, a real possibility! I revved it back up and kept moving forward, and finally found a parking spot not too far from Gate 3, but that smell stayed in my car long after the fair was over. It's not a nice smell.
Later that night, I spent a few hours in beautiful downtown Saratoga. I parked and locked my car, and left the sunroof open a bit to try to get rid of that bad clutch smell. I locked my pocketbook and wallet in the car. When I returned to my car, it was obvious it had been broken in to. The contents of my glove box and center console were strewn about, and someone had rifled through a bag in the back seat. My pocket book, left under the front passenger seat, was on the seat and dumped out. My wallet was gone. My camera, including those lovely shots from the fair, was gone. Gift cards I'd been waiting to redeem (until I'm in the new house) were stolen along with credit cards, my debit card, medical i.d. cards, my license. The whole kit and caboodle. I was at first really mad but then sad because I love my camera and can't get those photos back again. I immediately drove to the police station where I was treated with respect and concern. The officer was going to go investigate the area where my car was broken in to, and I signed a form for the FBI just in case anyone steals my identity (which, if they do, they'll wisely return promptly because it is of little value to anyone but me). And now there's the dealing of it all, and the feeling of vulnerability. Someone has my license, the one with the good picture, damn it. My cards, my information. I feel as though someone is looking in on my life, and there's nothing I can do about it. Because there's nothing I can do about it, I'll let go of this anxious feeling and try to have a good day. I have $9.00 in quarters until this all gets straightened out. The sun is shining. I have a quarter tank of gas in my car. I'm going to go for a ride and enjoy the day!
Photo credit: FLIKR Saratoga County Fair, Google Images