Fairs and Carnivals
The World's Fair... county fairs...carnival rides...cotton candy...sideshows...
At Silverado, everyone had something to share about ferris wheels. Vinita liked this wooden version. There were memories of queasy stomachs and spectacular views of nighttime fairs.
St. Louis World's Fair
We talked about the "Observation Wheel" at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis. We tried to guess how many passengers could ride at once. The answer is, 2,160! There were 36 cars that each held 60 people! We wondered why we don't see anything so amazing anymore.
A Song for my Mom
I reminded the group that my mother had grown up in St. Louis and grew up hearing her mother's stories about going to the World's Fair as a child. I asked them to see if they recognized my song. As soon as I started to sing, "Meet Me in St. Louie, Louie" my mom and the others began chiming in..."Meet me at the fair." I guess they did recognize it!
We talked about movies with fair themes. Betty and Vivian looked at photos from Rogers and Hammerstein's State Fair. That got us off on a tangent about yummy fair food!
Rita held onto a DVD of Carousel and grinned slyly at the photo of Shirley Jones. "How did you get my picture?"
I love Rita's humor!
New York World's Fair
Rita remembered that her brother got to go to the New York Fair in 1939. No fair that she didn't get to go! I told about going in 1964 and how my favorite part was "It's A Small World". Our group actually managed to recall most of the words. No problem with the melody. We agreed that once you've heard the song, you can never get the melody out of your head.
The two songs we sang ended up being the highlight. I was surprised that everyone seemed to know and join in with both! Once again the power of music! Why oh why didn't I record some caliope music that sounded like an old carousel? That would have been a treat!
For 20+ years children have called it the Magic Quilt. They've danced and pretended all over these colorful squares. I've dragged it to schools, shelters and studios where children have climbed on top to hear Magic Quilt Stories and to act them out.