A Day at the Fair

From Grandma’s Album… A Day at the Fair – A Cherished Memory – Helen Bues (Grandma) and Anja Bartlett

Oh, what a lovely day! I am going to a fair, my very first, the 1927 Fair of the Iron Horse, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad’s one hundredth year of history. The fair was to be held in a big field just south of Baltimore City. The “iron horse” was what we called the B&O R.R.’s steam engine that my daddy worked on.

Poster for the fair

Our trip down to the site fairgrounds was beautiful. The day was warm and sunny, our clothes, cleaned and pressed Sunday-best. Mother looked lovely in her blue serge suit, Daddy handsome in his. Five-year old brother Charles was cute as a button, his made Eton-style by Mother’s talented hands, and I was in my pink silk dress with TWO ruffles at the hem, edge-faggotted by the neighborhood Jewish Tailor – the only handwork Mother could not do. We looked swell. And, of course, we were riding in the our brand-new Ford! We were the cat’s meow!

We arrived at the fairgrounds promptly and safely with no flats, even though we had our repair kit and an extra inner tube and wash-up towels, cloths and soap.

This photo of The Ford Piquette Avenue Plant is courtesy of TripAdvisor

But “Look! Look!”

“Look at the Parking lot!”

“Daddy, look!”

Oh, me! A whole field of shiny black “tin-lizzies,” just hundreds, all alike, just like ours! Rows and rows and rows… Oh, me, how will we be able to find ours? We were the only family for blocks around our Baltimore neighborhood with a “machine,” and here were hundreds.

No, not Grandma! A young lady, “gussied up” for the fair! September 28, 1927 – THE FAIR OF THE IRON HORSE — Helen B. Meeks. Date Created: 1927-09-28 Copyright Notice: Baltimore Sun

My cool unperturbed dad just smiled, “You know what, Helenko? You are now seven. Why don’t you memorize our license number?”

“Of course!”

Here was a solution and memorize I did.

…All day!

Every ten minutes or so, I’d spout off. My every-patient folks didn’t seem to mind. Neither did Charles who I think was secretly going to be “backup” in case I failed. I didn’t though. Proof is the writing of this memoir.

But please don’t ask me anything about the Iron Horse! That’s all I remember of that wonderful day!

For more on the Fair of the Iron Horse, by far the best webpage that goes thoroughly into the entire fair, and all the trains, is http://www.rgusrail.com/mdfotih.html

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Page added and published 8/24/18 (C)M. Bartlett
Last updated 8/24/18