We hit the “fair scene” pretty hard this year. As a family we have been to two county fairs and two of my boys also went to another county fair with some friends. In addition, as this newspaper is going to print, we are off to the Minnesota State Fair. We have one son showing a project and a pig at the state fair through 4-H, so we will be spending at least a couple days at the Great Minnesota Get Together this year. That’s a lot of fair time.

Our kids love fairs. And for good reason. There are always lots of kid-friendly foods,  animals,  exhibits, farm machinery, free stuff, entertainment, games and rides.

With a family of five, taking in a few fairs in one summer can be fairly expensive. And our kids are starting to realize that although I do publish a newspaper, the printing press can’t print $100 bills for me. So when we arrive at a fair, one of their first question is always, “Is it wristband day?”

This question is a result of several years of arriving at a fair during the day other than wrist band day. They know that their chances of going on a lot of rides is far greater on a wristband day. We are suckers for a good deal.

Our kids also love the freedom to do whatever they want. And if they like a ride, they can do it over and over and over and over and over again. It is the same reason they like going to waterparks and amusement parks… the perfect blend of freedom and an endless amount of fun (until the park or fair closes).

I was sitting on a bench watching my kids run from one ride to another at one of the fairs. Sitting on a bench at the fair (for long periods of time) is a great opportunity to think about stuff… especially when the lines are really long.

Usually at fairs, my thoughts include: I wonder how often they perform safety checks on these rides? Do the ride workers make the same as the game workers? I wonder how many kids try to make their own wristbands and sneak on the rides? Stuff like that.    

One new thought that came into my head  while waiting on one of the fair benches…wouldn’t it be nice if adults could have wristband day, too? I’m not talking just about just going on rides. I’m thinking bigger than that.

What if every adult would have one day a year where they received a wristband and that wristband would give them the ultimate freedom and perks for 24 hours.

For one day a year, you could do whatever you wanted for a small one-time fee. You would have admission to any theater show, sporting event, amusement park, concert, golf course or park. You would have free access to spa services (hair, nails, massage). You could drive any car you wanted for that day. You could travel anywhere you wanted. You get the idea.

Of course, this is pure fantasy. But it is still kinda fun to think about. What would you do if you had a wristband day? Would you take a balloon ride to Boston to  watch the Twins beat the Red Sox at Fenway Park and then drive a convertible to Maine to have a lobster dinner? Would you golf at Augusta National and then finish the night with a steak dinner and an Elton John concert? The possibilities are endless.

After thinking about this more, I did come up with three things that come close to my proposed wristband day for adults… all inclusive resorts, vacation cruises and huge buffets. Same idea, just on smaller scales.

Next up, the Minnesota State Fair, which has the best cookies, great people watching, and hundreds of benches… and those benches are perfect for eating cookies, people watching and taking time to think. I wonder what big thought/idea I will come up with at this fair.

Cookbooks

The latest edition of the Senior Perspective cookbook is in the works. We are currently looking for a couple of things:

Photos! Do you have a fun photo of someone eating or preparing a dish? It can be either a current photo or a photo from your photo album. Any era works.

We are looking for fun photos to compliment the recipes in our book. You can send the photos in by themselves, or include the recipe with the photo. Just make sure there are people in the photos. We love smiling faces!

And you get something extra, too. All those who submit a photo that is  included in the book will receive a free copy of the cookbook mailed directly to them!

More information on cookbook photos can be found on Page 7A.

Also, as long as we are talking cookbooks, we could use some more recipes in the following categories: ethnic foods, meat dishes and beverages.

Please submit your photo or recipe by Sept. 4.

Books will be printed this spring and delivered to a bunch of area businesses in November.

Honoring Our Veterans

Our special section, “Heroes Honored,” which honors living veterans, will be published  and inserted in each edition of the Senior Perspective in November. If you would like to honor a special veteran in your life, there will be an opportunity to do that. More details will be in next month’s paper, but to give you the basics. You will given up to 100 words to honor your veteran in the special section. The cost is $25 per tribute and that money will all be donated to Eagle’s Healing Nest, which is a place where veterans in the area can go to help heal the invisible wounds of war. See page 3 for more info.

The deadline for tributes is Oct. 9.