First, a quick quiz...
What is this a picture of?
1) Grass starting to green-up after a summer-long drought
2) A calm, quiet neighborhood in the suburbs
3) One reason why I am not parking cars for State Fair this year
On August 3, 2006, My-Sugar-Na and I closed on our dream house (Side note; "Not another damned flashback. We get it, you loved your house". Well, this is my blog, so neener, neener, neener) on the corner of 86th & Orchard. Between my grandparents living in West Allis, and then my parents taking over the house while I was in high school, I spent a lot of time growing up in this city. Not only was this an opportunity to come back, but with a five bedroom house and all those kids...
Closing day was on the first day of the State Fair. Of course My-Sugar-Na and I went over there and just sat on the porch, taking it in. Nobody in the neighborhood was parking cars, but there was that buzz. People walking to and from the Fair, carrying stuff; be it cream puffs or chamois or the kids that were too pooped to pop.
That year, plans had us coming back on Saturday with the kids to paint, pick out bedrooms, start bringing over boxes and stuff, and generally begin life as a West Allisianite. Parking cars? Not on the radar.
So that Saturday comes and we are painting and cleaning and doing whatever. (Sponsor's Name Here)'s Official children and stepchildren (then 14, 13, 9 and 8) went outside to do whatever kids in a new neighborhood do. Mid-afternoon comes, and one of the kids come up and asks if they could park cars in our yard, because everybody else is doing it. In my mind, we were too far from the Fair - three LONG blocks - I couldn't imagine anyone paying to park that far away. But, reasoned I, it would keep them out of our hair (and keep their fingers off my purple walls).
A few minutes later, I hear an exclamation "WE GOT ONE!" Then another. Then another. Within an hour, we had about six or seven cars. I know they were parked haphazardly (though I made sure nobody was parked in). By the time we were ready to leave, I had $40 in my pocket. A legend was in the making. The KING of 86th & Orchard.
We spent that money at Organ Piper Pizza that night.
The above picture is of a peaceful neighborhood in the suburbs recovering from the drought with too much crap in the yard which would prevent parking. Well, that and the fact that we are about 2 miles from the Fair now. We are still in West Allis, but really, how many people are going to pay to park 2 miles away? Hell, even when I go to the Fair for our traditional Crazy Grazin' Day feast, I plan on driving to the old neighborhood to park.
OK, I promise not to bog the next 11 days down with too many sissy trips down Sentimental Street. No doubt, it will be a challenge for me to come up with 10 more topics, but what the hell, let's give it a go.
But it wouldn't be a State Fair Blog done (Sponsor's Name Here)-style if I didn't pat myself on the back for blog postings of days gone by. So each day I will link to all previous blogs since 2008 (I think 2007 is lost to cyberspace forever. Former MyCommunityNOW.com editor Mark Maley never told me how to access my 2007 material once they started changing servers every month). I just read each of these, and in a way, it is a bit of a history lesson on a micro level (Kind of like the 1980s version of Trivial Pursuit that we bought in 1992. 20 years later, some of those pop culture questions seem soooooo dated).