Thursday, 16 August 2007
Let's Go To The Ex!
Light takes on a golden hue as the sun takes a little side trip to the south, crickets compete for our attention, and the grass gets crispy... it's Exhibition time again.
Since 1879, the Princes' Gates have opened every August through Labour Day, treating us to cotton candy, sunburn, and a guy who shouted "Doggy Doggy" through a loudspeaker. It's a showcase of agriculture, industry and the arts.
The last time I went to the EX, my kids were little. We ate our way through the Food Building, watched large families from the Maritimes fiddle and clog their way to fame, and rode the Merry-Go-Round again and again.
My earliest memory of the EX was the day my sister was allowed to go earlier with friends and spend all day on the rides. I had to wait until later to go with my parents and little brother. I had these free tickets to the David Cassidy show. I was in the fiftieth row, and my sister was in the second row. All I saw was this little pinprick singing "I Think I Love You" with everyone screaming and bawling around me. I was bored, and angry that I couldn't go on the rides like my sister. When the show was over, my parents collected us (along with my brother who got to go on all the rides -- do I sound bitter?) and we drove straight home.
A few years later, I did go on the rides. My one and only real live view of the Osmonds was from the top of the double decker ferris wheel. I remember a long row of guys in white bell bottomed spandex and Elvis collars adorned with rhinestones.
Still later, I indulged in my love of horses and watched countless rounds of show jumping. I spent most of my time in the Horse Palace, petting velvet noses and dreaming of owning a horse someday.
Back-to-School sales aren't the harbinger of the end of summer. It's the EX.