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My Futile Search for a Hand-Dipped Corndog

August 29, 2006

About a week ago, I get a random phone call from my friend Brian. You may know Brian from the wedding photos. Well he told me that he was coming to the Tri-Cities (my hood) to visit Washington and show off his new bride to old friends and family who did not make it to the wedding. This meant one thing – Road trip to Richland.

I was excited to see Brian and Traci again. I had not seen them since the wedding. And to see Brian in the Tri-Cities would be a treat. It was as if the old gang would be together again. Instead of having our good friend and Justin’s ex-girlfriend Melanie in the group, we would have Brian’s new wife. Subtract a lawyer’s daughter and add a Mormon. Good times.

Brian mentioned to Justin that it would be a lot of fun if we went to the fair. It happened to be the last day of the Benton-Franklin County Fair. Now when I was a kid there was two extremely fun parts of August that I would look forward to – buying school supplies at Payless and going to the county fair. All the good times and the memories at the fair. My first random relationship with a girl was at the fair. It wasn’t that exciting because her mom supervised us the entire time and she lived in Kennewick and I lived in Richland. That distance at 13 years of age is the equivalent of an East/West coast relationship. I don’t even remember her name.

My family went to the fair with two main objectives: Eat heart-clogging food and hear the country music show. We would start with an Our Lady of Lourdes Hand-Dipped Corndog. It was a great value and it was so good. Top that off with a plate full Piggly-Wiggley fries. Then dessert always consisted of an elephant ear and a double scoop ice cream cone. I cannot believe I am still alive. But I always like the corndog the best.

Before last Saturday, the last time I was at the fair was six years ago. And at that time when I went to the Our Lady of Lourdes corndog stand I was horrified. They stopped selling corndogs and started selling salads. I stood there in disbelief. I went up to the counter and asked the lady why they stopped selling the corndogs and she rolled her eyes and laughed. I could tell from her body language that there had been numerous meetings and discussions about it. She told me that upper management gave them problems for this fundraiser – they were a healthcare provider and they should act like one. So they started selling salads. Much to the disbelief of the long-time employees and most importantly, me.

This year, I was secretly hoping that six years later upper management realized the colossal mistake they made and went back to selling hand-dipped corndogs. With Brian, Traci and Justin at my side, we wandered to every food vendor looking for the Our Lady of Lourdes stand. An hour later I found the stand and saw that it was taken over by a Mexican food restaurant. The only remnants of an Our Lady of Lourdes presence was random hand sanitizer stations everywhere. See photo below. From corndogs to salads to hand sanitizer – my heart was broken.

The last remainders of a once great society. Photo by Nick Peyton, taken August 26, 2006.

The last remainders of a once great society. Photo by Nick Peyton, taken August 26, 2006.

Despite “corndog-gate,” the fair was tons of fun. Hanging out with Brian and Traci was grand. They are a great couple. And spending time with Justin at the fair is always fun – partly of Justin’s unwarranted fear of the goats and other barn yard animals. I hope you enjoy the following photos. I took them in black in white to capture the all the nostalgia I was feeling on that random night in August.

A photo of a rather loud rooster. I think it hated me. Photo by Nick Peyton, taken August 26, 2006.

A photo of a rather loud rooster. I think it hated me. Photo by Nick Peyton, taken August 26, 2006.

 A photo of Justin, look how much fun he is having at the fair! Photo by Nick Peyton, taken August 26, 2006.

A photo of Justin, look how much fun he is having at the fair! Photo by Nick Peyton, taken August 26, 2006.

A photo of a very hungry goat. This guy was eating a wooden sign in his pen. Photo by Nick Peyton, taken August 26, 2006.

A photo of a very hungry goat. This guy was eating a wooden sign in his pen. Photo by Nick Peyton, taken August 26, 2006.

 A photo of the famed ride The Zipper. When I was a kid a was always to scared to ride it. Photo by Nick Peyton, taken August 26, 2006.

A photo of the famed ride The Zipper. When I was a kid a was always to scared to ride it. Photo by Nick Peyton, taken August 26, 2006.

A photo of Brian and Traci grubbing on a funnel cake. Believe it or not, this was Tracis first funnel cake. Photo by Nick Peyton, taken August 26, 2006.

A photo of Brian and Traci grubbing on a funnel cake. Believe it or not, this was Traci’s first funnel cake. Photo by Nick Peyton, taken August 26, 2006.

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