1928 - Alderson High School - 1968


My Memories of the State Fair
Ward Parker 2008

In the early 50's, there were three "events of the year", Christmas, last school day, and THE FAIR. The fair was a family event for us. My mother and grandmother would cook all day the day before "fair day". There were boxes loaded into the back of the 49 Chevy pickup containing fried chicken, boiled ham, homemade light bread and biscuits, jars of pickles, apple butter, jelly and of course, grandmothers scratch made pound cake with caramel icing. Dad drove, with Mom and Grandmother sitting in the front, and Granddad would ride the back with my brother and me. Of course the pickup had cattle racks and we had a board that we could slide into the next-to-top slats, where we always rode in warm weather.

One memory of that ride is Davis Stuart road was really rough. (was it still gravel and unpaved in 1950?) Of course our stock had to be taken care of before starting for the Fair, so it would about 8 AM when we took off. Grandad would give my brother and me a dollar bill for spending. We were then turned loose to the sights, with a strict admonition to be back at the truck at noon exactly.

Being farm kids, the first place we would head for was the little Ford 8N tractor displayed running with the steering wheel tied in place. It would idle around in it's little circle all day long, without any fence, and the only "safety device" was the Ford tractor dealer sitting in a chair in a tent who would yell at you if you got too close to the un-manned tractor. He also sold the little model Ford tractors, cast with such detail you could see the air cleaners and clutch pedal. We would stand and admire them (never had the $3.00 to buy one, today they sell for $500) for a while before heading to the horse barns to admire the big work horses. Granddad would usually be found there, sitting on a hay bale, chewing tobacco and talking with other horse people. Sometimes he would dig another dime or two out of his pocket for us. There were several rides on the midway that cost a dime then, including the Ferris wheel.

After the horse races we would head for the midway and gawk at the sights. I even paid a quarter one time to see the 22' python. I thought it was dead because it didn't move. To this day I don't know if it was dead or alive. We all met back at the truck at 5 PM to head home and do evening chores. By that time it would be getting pretty chilly and we would don sweaters or coats and lie down in the truck bed to avoid the wind.

I don't attend the fair now but I sure have a lot memories from the 1950's!

For A. H. S. Ever Always - In Every Way For A. H. S.