Have a Marlis Day!

The County Fair

Posted on: August 19, 2013

ImageA few weeks ago I watched my granddaughters show goats at the county fair. Except for the fact that my children showed lambs, nothing had changed. I felt the ambiance of the fair the moment I stepped onto the dusty fairgrounds, always a sensual cornucopia of colorful lights and tantalizing aromas. Music streamed from the merry-go-round mingled with the sweetness of children’s laughter. Colorful balloons were aloft, already lost forever to wailing children whose only crime was forgetting to hold onto the magic. Only half full, the Ferris wheel, tall and majestic, spun in its familiar circle inviting everyone to the county fair–this spectacular annual event of rural America.

Since I’ve always loved the county fair, I borrowed it for the setting of a pivotal chapter in my second and favorite mystery, Death of a Hoosier Schoolmaster. As I walked the grounds this year, surreal memories of amateur sleuth Margo Brown swept over me. I caught images of her viewing 4-H exhibits and touring livestock barns, all the while setting a trap to solve her mystery. Feelings surged when I feasted on the same dinner at the same food booth as she did in Chapter 13. At the queen contest, I had to catch my breath when I remembered Margo Brown in disguise watching the show and later tackling her Nemesis in the exhibit hall. I forced myself to sort out the fiction, yet the events of the novel seemed so real to me, as vivid as any fair experiences I’ve ever had. I fear that someday I won’t be able to distinguish the real facts of my life from Margo Brown’s world. Oh well, her world is a heck of a lot more intriguing than mine. If you haven’t read Death of a Hoosier Schoolmaster, it’s available at amazon for only $2.99, but don’t blame me if you read it and then look for Margo every time you go to the fair.

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