Driving in the Fairlane | TheFencePost.com

Driving in the Fairlane

It’s amazing to me that the Weld County Fair has been going strong for 100 years. And there may be other fairs throughout the U.S. that might be 100-plus years old.

I remember as a kid going to the county fair with my family.

Although I grew up on a sheep farm my father never let us show sheep. We were in 4-H though so I entered some stuff in the fair.

But the best part of the fair for me was the rides and the games. And, we always went through the barns to see all of the animals.

And there was always a parade to kick off the fair.

Because my father restored antique cars and trucks, when I was old enough to drive I had to drive one of his vehicles in the parade. He loved when my sisters and I drove his vehicles so he could be on the street taking photos as they went by.

So we would had to get up at the crack of dawn to drive to the town where the parade was being because some of those vehicles had a top speed of 30 miles per hour, especially the ’49 International trucks. And we had to follow each other closely in case one of the vehicles broke down.

And gawd forbid it would rain when you were driving one of the ‘49s because the windshield wipers were very slow. When you slowed down they slowed down and when you stopped they stopped. I believe they were vacuum-powered windshield wipers.

And if it was really hot, there was no air conditioner in any of the vehicles.

So we would crawl along slowly to the parade with our gallon ice cream buckets filled with candy to throw to the children. Back then we were allowed to “throw” candy. We didn’t have to physically hand it to the children like many parade rules today require.

One particular year I was driving one of dad’s Ford Fairlanes. This vehicle had a tendency to overheat but my dad had been working on it and thought he had it fixed. About three-fourths of the way through the parade the engine started to overheat, probably from driving 15 miles per hour for an hour.

But that wasn’t my only concern. My main concern was that I ran out of candy. That had never happened to me before and I was horrified. As I drove through the crowd steam pushing up from under the hood of the car, kids were yelling, “Hey lady, where’s the candy?” Some just stood there with their little hands out frowning at me. Others just stood there looking stunned. I felt like the Grinch.

Fortunately I made it through the gauntlet and parked the vehicle.

My takeaways from that experience were to never again drive that vehicle in a parade and to always have more than enough candy on hand.❖

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