That's the old Strib building. The original picture:

Back to the Fair, of course. Of course.

What did I eat? Can’t eat the same thing very trip. Every - damned - Fair I go to the adjunct Food Building for a Chicago Hot Dog. It’s not in the Food Building building. That’s next door. It’s still something of a mystery why there is a Food Building in the first place. The Fair is all about Food, scattered in hundreds of discrete locations. But it can be confusing to stroll and troll, looking for the word or picture or aroma that hooks you; the Food Building presents a set of options, and if you cannot find what you want to eat there you sense that you will not be satisfied if you roam outside the walls.

DECIDE. Decide, you must.

There’s a Hot Dog stand in the Food Building; it’s Peter’s. A basic hot dog is $2.50 and it is good. (They don't have a website, although there's another place with the same name that has the unfortunate URL Why? Was it rabid ) But the Chicago dogs are served on a seeded role with sport peppers and a dash of celery salt and other things that are true and good. Usually I have the one with spiced meat ladled over the compressed tube-form minced meat; this time I went for the Chicago Style, and ate it at a stand-up counter by the door.

And it was good.

And after that I had some Mini-Donuts. There’s but one choice: Tom Thumb, thanks to superior branding. The logo is from the 40s, and if you have learned anything from this site, it’s that a 40s logo has a power that leaps across the decades and says “the cultural spirit undetectable in this image ties back to the 20s, gathering the dissolute energy of the Lost Generation and the rapacity of the Coolidge Boom into a focused definition of America that managed to survive the Depression and bloomed anew when the challenges came from abroad. Also, it’s a guy riding a feather.”

I ate four and tossed the bag. If you eat eight. you have consumed the calories of eight. If you eat four and toss four you really just had two.

This was my . . . fourth? Fourth trip to the Fair. It was an interesting day, the first one in which I start to disconnect from the event itself, see it as work, but still enjoy it as a Fairgoer, a member of the throngs. I’m about two days from turning on it.

Friday I did not go to the Fair. I just wrote about it. Turned in a video and a column and a profile. When the quitting whistle blew I napped, drove Daughter to a sleepover - the last hurrah of the last weekend of summer, for kids - then shopped for items to feed the folks coming over for the Hugh Hewitt Jasperwood get-together. Smoked salmon and nibbley things, minus the smoked salmon. I bought new bottles, because when you have a party you don’t want to put out half-tapped bottles, or even bottles with an inch down on the neck. As it happened many guests brought bottles of their own, and at the end of the night I was looking at a forest of high quality hooch, which got put behind the other bottles from a previous party. I won’t touch any of them because they might come in handy for a future party.

Even though I will buy new bottles for the future party, and people will bring their own.

Saturday: I don’t remember. Oh: back to the Fair. I shot the Grandstand Bazaar, and found the same guy who’s been selling mops since whoever knows when, although the bleached yellow low-mohawk has been modified to ordinary hair. Same Aussie accent, although it’s fading. I went home and did the video, and as usual lacked the shots I wanted or needed, but thus it has always been. If I had a crew it would be different, but it’s just me and the camera. Which has a tripod, though; that lends credibility. See, if you’re videotaping kids at the junior ferris wheel, you’re a creep. If you have a tripod and laminated credentials you’re legit.

Sunday - get this! - I went to the Fair. No seriously. Daughter was at the Fair with friends, but didn’t run in to her. Which is a new thing I will discuss later, maybe. Got a text from the Giant Swede; he was there, and wanted to know if I was at the Fair as well. Hah. Of course. So we met up for coffee at a Lutheran diner. You buy a cup and they bring you THE POT. And if you finish the pot they will bring you ANOTHER.

We reminisced about Fairs of yore, and this and that, and kids, and life, and then I wandered back to the Education building to do a shoot - and ran into someone I dated back in the Days of Yore, who had a booth with her husband. Haven’t seen them in 30 years. They said I hadn’t changed, which indicates poor vision, or kindness, or maybe “still the same strutting half-pint popinjay you always were, I see.” I’ll go with kindness.

Went home, had supper out with the family, then drove to Target with daughter for a few items necessary for Monday’s school start. Towering clouds closed out the day. For her, closed out the summer. She got to control the radio on the drive home. A song about the Dog Days of Summer ending played, and it fit.

Me, I have a week left. Wonder where I’ll spend it?


The evening clouds from the backyard:

Ah. Summer.




No updates this week, except for the updates. Matchbooks and such. See you around!



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