I woke up, knowing something exciting would happen today. Today, I am going to the South Plains Fair to talk to a young lady, Sarah Allen. I am nervous, but anticipating a great experience. The South Plains fair has benefited many people, and today! will interview one of them. Getting to the fair is no easy task. From my house, you have to take the Loop all the way around until you reach downtown Lubbock. Maneuvering many twists and turnarounds, I know I’m getting close. After some frustration and yelling at my GPS, I arrive.
The Fairgrounds are built on ancient asphalt, with patches of grass and weeds sewn in. I pay for my ticket and walk through the black metal gates. Immediately, I am hit was an intense aroma. A smelly, yet pleasing, mix of cigarette smoke, frying foods and livestock fills my nose. I look around at the booths, often themed. I walk by one booth made up of rasta hats, loud Bob Marley music, and hemp lotion. Another, Hello Kitty themed, smelling of 13 year old girls, was filled with pink purses and sunglasses and candy.
I eventually make it to the Art gallery, a large metal building on a slab of stained concrete. | step into the art building and I am directly confronted with an overflow of stimulus excitation. In front of me, rows and rows of crocheted items, large hand-made tapestries, scrumptious pastries, and various youth art pieces. I wander around. Eventually, I find the youth art section. It’s rather hard to miss, with most of the exhibits being neon or tye-dyed. There I see Sarah Allen. She’s dressed in a bright pink graphic tee, Bermuda shorts and flip flops.
She’s of the tall lanky sort, with a mess of dirty blonde hair on top, tied in a tight knot. We exchanged greetings and I began to ask my prepared interview questions. “When did you start doing art? ” I asked, holding my notepad and pen. “Since I came outta the womb,” she punctually replied. I learned many facts within that awkward span of 30 minutes or so, including the fact that when she was little, Sarah and her dad used to have drawing competitions to see who could draw an object more accurately. “What’s your favorite medium of art to work with? I asked, “I really like clay and pastels but I’ll settle with most anything,” she replied. I asked her what kind of pieces she entered in the fair today. Decidedly, Sarah stood up and walked towards the enormous glass cases filled with art pieces. She riggedly pointed at a few pieces and gave minorly meaningful explanations for them.
She entered photographs of beautiful flowers, clay sculptures of animals and a brilliant painting of a bright sunset. She groaned and pointed to one particular painting of a light post in a sunset, which had many ribbons on it. My ex-boyfriend painted that,” she unhappily commented. I was thoroughly impressed, to say the least. Sarah’s face grew a small smirk as she philosophically said, “Art isn’t just a physical thing you can make, art is music too. ” She was soon off and spouting information about her love of piano and guitar. Sarah, only 13 years old, had already written 3 compositions by 12, and published 1 song in a children’s piano book. To say that she is gifted in art is an understatement. We were getting restless, as standing and talking can do to one.
Sarah decided to see the fair, and I walked with her, eager to flood my senses with the unusual. We casually strolled outside only to feel a bit of moist falling upon us. However, the rain didn’t stop our tour. We stumbled through stands upon stands. Most vendors sold the same thing-funnel cake and corn dogs and lemonade. Few adventurous minds dared to invent oddities- fried strawberries, fried pork chops, ice cream on a stick and the like. I was confronted with the fact that most of the owners, or operators, of the stands looked a little gruesome.
They appeared to be homely, rugged, even criminal; very appealing for the interested buyer. Before I could unrightfully judge the fair workers any further, the sky let loose. Big droplets of rain barreled down upon our heads and we ran for shelter. Sarah and I clung to the side of a booth with a vinyl roof, safe from the rain. The smell radiating from that food booth make my stomach groan. The downpour happening from outside our wall of safety grew more intense and terrifying. I took this as an opportunity to converse with Sarah.
She admitted her thoughts on the fair too. I honestly hate the carnival part of the fair” she muttered with utter disgust, “It’s filled with raunchy people who pressure you into playing their rigged game, or ride their unexciting rides. ” The roaring rain shower decided to die down so we attempted to walk outside again. We soon got news that all the rides were shut down so we took that as a sign to leave. I thanked Sarah for this fun afternoon. All in all, it was a good day. After ending my day with the eccentric Sarah, my artistic bulb grew brighter. I suddenly had a new appreciation for art and music, and even the fair.
She reminded me that while you don’t always win at the fair, it’s not about winning or losing, it’s about enjoying what you do. While going to the fair, and getting soaked by an impromptu rainshower, aren’t always the way I’d like to spend my day, I have a better view of them now.. enjoyed spending time with Sarah and who knows, maybe someday I’ll try my hand at art too. Sarah plans on entering pieces to the fair for as long as she can. The South Plains fair has benefited many people, and today I interviewed one of them, and had a good time while doing it.