Chapter 17
The Great Minnesota Get-together

ONE of my family summer traditions is that we have always visited the Minnesota State Fair each year. My mom has told me that she has been to every State Fair since 1977. My Dad has not missed a State Fair since 1976 and I have not missed one since 1984. We have never failed to have a great time at the Fair.

We have seen several good concerts at the Fair. Some of these have included Barry Manilow, The Monkees, John Denver and Peter Noone. My mom told me that she use to cry when she listed to Peter Noone who was once known as Herman from Herman's Hermits. After Peter Noone performed we waited on a long line and we got to meet Peter in person. He was so nice. He signed autographs and posed with us for pictures. Another famous person that we once met at the State Fair was State Senator Rudy Boschowitz. He was selling milk at his own stand. He talked to us and posed with us for a picture.

One of the things I have enjoyed doing at the fair is playing the piano under the grandstand. Piano salesmen have always set up pianos on display and I have routinely gone over and began playing songs. Huge groups of people have formed around me while I play. People have even requested certain songs. Usually I have received lots of applause.

We have enjoyed going on a few of our favorite annual rides such as the Merry Go Round, Old Mill Ride, the Space needle and the Sky Ride. Before they took away the Merry Go Round I use to record the calliope songs and then go home and play them on the piano. It goes without saying that the food has been an important part of the fair particularly the Pronto Pups and french fries.

Of all the exhibits at the State Fair I think one of the ones that was the most interesting and unusual was when I got to watch a live presentation of a dog being spayed. Last year they added a technology center and I could have spent days in that one building. I am sure that I will now be making an annual visit to that building. I sure hope that this is one family tradition that will continue for years to come.

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