Category Archives: Massachusetts
I go to the Franklin County Fair almost every September, although my attendance has slipped since I left my home. The midway is always crowded with dusty work boots, tart caramel apples, and teenagers carrying toddlers and giant cups of lemonade. 4-H farmers hose down cows until their legs glow perfect white, elaborate quilts hang in the round house above an old man slowly playing a keyboard, and bright fruit wins blue ribbons. Fat trout slowly wave their tails in the fish and game barn. Sometimes there’s a calf that will lick your hand with its thick tongue, and you can climb on the tractors to have your picture taken.
Going home feels strange, though: the rides seem more broken and the hometown metal band less loud, everything looks smaller and I feel more out of place than ever. My 4-H club meetings and barn jobs seem immediate to me, but I know they were a long time ago to anyone else, and I don’t know what it means to live in a place that I’m not from. But the light at the fair is still beautiful, fried dough with maple cream seeps grease into paper napkins like it should, and the demolition derby is loud as hell and completely exhilarating.