The second Saturday of the State Fair has always been a gold mine for lawn parkers like me. And this year was no exception.
Starting at 10:30 AM, cars started streaming into our yard. Again, I am 3+ blocks from the southwest entrance, so if I am starting to get cars, imagine what residents on 84th between Greenfield and I-94 were doing! Among those streamers, however, was non-revenue squatter Knobbleknees and my brother, Mr. Uncie (which actually was fair, as they resuced me from Arlington Park racetrack on Friday afternoon).
But the neighborhood was a-buzz. Folks were excited about the Fair. One lady that had parked her car was standing a chatting with me about the business (and by the business, I do mean the industry) when her children were literally tugging on her shorts to start walking.
And it was non-stop. By 12:30 PM we had 10 cars but we took a break as I had ordered Johnny V's Family Meal Deal and that's when the delivery driver arrived. We ate lunch on the porch and watched the neighbors look at our yard and start to set-up shop. Once we got back to work we filled our yard in no time at all.
I went inside to catch my breath and contacted My-Sugar-Na, who is unavailable to help this weekend, and said that I was coming for a visit. Before I had a chance to get up, three cars had left and those spots had been replaced before I had a chance to react. (Side note, I have been critical of both My-Sugar-Na's and my own children for their lack of help with this year's Fair. But I think just the non-stop nature of Orchard St. yesterday kept them motivated. All four of them did a bang-up job, and with one exception, they did not make me want to jam a waving flag through the ears. This weekend has become very disjointed, and they generally have risen to the challenge).
(Another side note, the kids help allowed me to get on-line and order a week's worth of groceries from Peapod. Their prices are higher than Pick-N-Save, but like a grocery store they have specials that bring down the prices many of the items on my list. I bought everything except milk - which we can get from Speedway or Walgreens - and bread which is always cheap at the used bread store two blocks down. After reviewing my list and reviewing the charges - including the delivery and fuel surcharge but less the new shopper discount, I figure it only cost me about $10 to $15 more. But between parking cars all week and the other things going on, it is actually the best $15 that I've spent in a long time).
After returning around 5:00 PM, the kids told me that they had replaced six more cars (in three hours!) A quick walk-through of our yard showed that all the vehicles were cars (no SUVs or minivans in the bunch). This allowed for significant parking efficiencies - shorthand for "Geez, lets cram some more cars in here!" At one point, I had 15 cars... two above the previous considered capacity. About that time, Knobbleknees and Mr. Uncie came back and showed us an indian-style dress that they had purchased (far more exciting than a chamois, but not quite to the level of bed linens). I thought it was a little expensive, bit Knobbleknees mentioned that it was 2-1/2 times more expensive at the Woodfield Mall, so she couldn't resist. Fair nuff.
Around 7:00 PM, a couple of cars had left, so I asked my kids to hang back and fill the spaces as I took My-Sugar-Na's daughter for a visit. When I got back a couple of hours later, my kids said that they filled up again really quick.
For the day, a new James Family record of 30 revenue cars were parked... the third record of this Fair. With one more glorious day to go, we have parked 110 cars. As I mentioned last week, I think the slower economy has been a boon to the Fair, and wonderful mild and less humid air on six of those days has taken away an excuse for some people. In my first entry last week, I mentioned that I couldn't get excited about parking cars last year. I couldn't have been more wrong. The neighborhood just isn't going to look the same tomorrow. (Side note to KBK Pack Fan... one more day of car parking stories, then I can talk about stuff that more poeple than I care about... like the brewing war between Russia and Georgia).