It was one evening of the summer I spent in Owatonna. Mary and I had just got home from the Carnival. Mary had helped setting up the booth for the Democrat. We were tending the booth most of the evening. I met many people and remarkably remembered all of their names, even a week later. Mary was particularly impressed by that. I drained half of my energy for that actually.
The rest of the evening at the carnival, I wandered off. I found it amusing how big the turkeys were that had won purple ribbon, or yellow, or red, or blue --or maybe because I haven't seen many of them before--. There was the school booth. They put up the children's art work. That must have meant a lot for the kids for everybody to see their works. My favorite was the nursery manor's booth. The elderlies had made recycled greeting cards, bookmarks, and flower arrangements. I bought almost every card they put on display that day. For 50 cents each, you couldn't get any better deal. And of course there were cotton candy, corn dogs, taffy, and lemonade at just about every turn of the corner.
It was the very hamburger I had for dinner that evening that has made me decide to never have any more hamburger. The hamburger meat was so juicy and almost shocking pink. I took it as it was raw. So when, later on, Daddy Orville made hamburger for our barbecue nights out on the lawn, I refused them as many times. Sometimes I couldn't bear the look of disappointment on his face, I insisted on only eating around the edge of the hamburger where the meat would most likely be done. Fair enough. But I had to let him down the one time he barbecued for us toads or frogs or something in that species. Raw hamburger was one thing, and four-legged jumping green creature was another.
I enjoyed my little adventure at the carnival and worried a bit if my roaming alone lead me lost. I was, and am, never good with direction. But throw me a map, I'll figure it out. It was probably a simpler version of Alice in wonderland. Although I can't remember how the story goes.
I think it was Anna then who had found me and told me that we were ready to head home. Anna, for me, was a mixture of Kelly Osborne, minus the minus attitude, Edie Brickel, and Princess Diana. Got the picture? She is a very friendly girl without being too lively with pink hair and snake pet. She was trying to make me feel comfortable at all time during my stay with her and her family. Without much effort she apparently succeeded. I wish we could have stayed longer at the Carnival but some of the lights were out. It wasn't quite dark yet at 8.30 pm of the summer up north.
So we were home. Mike was working. He was a Pharmacist & a Manager of a 24 hours drug store downtown (if there was a downtown of a small town). He worked odd hours. I think that's how a drug store should operate. Available at any time. I didn't know where Tom was as I never have known. I'd say he was out of town to Wynona where his girlfriend lived. It was a about two hours ride eastern crossing the river and state border to a neighboring Wisconsin. Wynona Rider was actually born there. We dropped off Anna at Megans for sleep-over.
I remember sitting on the rocking chair in the living room rocking slowly as I was humming 'The Way We Were' to Mary's piano play. She said we should call a piano teacher so I can play and sing. We never quite got to it. I had to fly half way across the country down South, leaving the place for the longest time I thought I would never have missed should I had never come to know it. It's a place where you practically awakened in the morning by the chirping summer birds. I would slide the window up and scare away the birds, and was left with a total calmness gazing out the street. I'd still, now and then, be brought to the thought of quiet Owatonna by the smell of a certain kind of wood (I have a very limited knowledge of wood variety, I'd say it's cherry or oak). Or when I see a postman or a story telling at the library, or Oil of Olay, or Campbell soup.