MY MERRY MEMOIRS... (Chapter 23)....

...when I was very young, I went to the Lucas County Fair every August!... for entire days at a time. I loved all the sights and sounds, especially at night!... the long strings of colored lights and mismatched bulbs draped between the carnival rides and novelty tents.... the tawdry calliope music jumbling different melodies against each other, the arcade games with their bells ringing, the shooting gallery pings and bangs, the laughing and screeching on the tilt-o-whirl and the roller coasters. I was mesmerized by the mysterious gypsy fortune tellers, and the handsome and sweating barkers and the wranglers who ran the rides and did the heavy lifting around the grounds... When I was about 12, I asked a nice man with a big smile and a thin mustache who was standing near one of the Belgian waffle stands how I could get some job there with all the traveling folks that moved across the country along the carny circuit together..... maybe I could just start out as a helper in the cotton candy trailer? He looked down at me with great humor and gentility, lifted his crisp boater to mop his glistening brow and the thinning hair that was trying to stay carefully combed, and murmured, "Darling girl! Look over at our Miss Gloss! Now THAT'S what a cotton-candy hostess looks like! You need to have the look!! The LOOK!!!....now run along and stay out of trouble!".... then he winked at me and smiled even more broadly with a warm and faintly sexy chuckle, and a twinkle in his eye... Many years later, I ran into Miss Gloss... she had the same hair-do, had married a dentist in Toledo, and had gotten a job in a grade school cafeteria kitchen serving chipped beef, chicken tetrazzini, and creamed corn to children at Our Lady of The Vapors Academy.... (Miss Gloss was always so efficient, so rapid in the execution of her duties, so quick to dash about the cafeteria serving everyone that she eventually was given the nickname "Flying Butt-ress!".... it was scrawled on bathroom walls for years after her retirement...along with loving portraiture.... and anatomically correct sketches of the football team)

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