I mention the latter because carnival people have received a lot of bad press. I could write many stories about the good deeds that these sometime scruffy people have done. Sure, like any other group, there have been some 'bad apples', but they are in the minority. Since Cindy is very devout, she and John, her husband, say grace before every meal. We have been friends for over twenty years. John now erects and takes down the Crazy Mouse Roller Coaster.
From there we went over to see fair owner Al Dorso who insisted on stamping their hands so that they could ride all night for free. The children, all of them – big and small – were thrilled. Entering the ride area, I stopped at one more food trailer. The owner, Mel, and I have taken a double Mel picture every year for years. Alas, this year it may not come to pass because we are never there at the same time.
The three young ones went on the Giant Slide, although it took some coaxing to get young Janice to go. She finally climbed the stairs along with Lynn, her mom, and that kinda overcame Janice's fears. She and Cassy ran to go on other rides while it was difficult to get young Christy off the rides.
We stopped off at the Hall/Christ Oddity Show where co-owner Chris Christ was acting as the ticket seller. Both Chris and Ward are among my longtime friends. I first met Chris when he was playing a spot near to Wildwood and the local hospital. Chris invited the group to go in as his guests. They stayed there for a long time so they must have enjoyed the show. I stayed outside and renewed my friendship with Chris.
Nothing would do but for Sophie, Cassy, Christy and Janice to go on the Sky Ride. A one way trip, they used their hand stamp to return while Lynn, Alicia and I sought walking relief on benches provided by Amusements of America.
After watching the pig races, we went over to Gu-Mas for zeppoles which we ate at the food court set up by Little Richard who has a very long food trailer at the State Fair Meadowlands. Little Richard was sitting down outside smoking his omnipresent cigar. I had to take a picture of him and Sophie.
Before leaving at 10PM, we stopped over at the Caramel Sundae ice cream trailer where another longtime friend, Mary, served the little ones, me included, with their multi choice of soft ice cream cones. Ray, Mary's husband, and I had open heart surgery around the same time 20 years ago and were part of 'The Zipper Club' of carnies that met once a year near Tampa.
On the way out, little Janice, evidently impressed by my friendships asked me if I was rich. I replied in the positive, that I was rich in friends!