Thursday, September 13, 2012
We're back on the midway at the Washington County Fair. I will tell you something. Carnies are harder to photograph than starlings or kingfishers. They don't miss anything. You point a lens at them and you are instantly busted. He's got me all figured out behind those wraparounds. Carnies are like accipiters. They don't miss a movement.
A crowd had gathered to watch a magician perform. The perfect setup. None of them paid any attention to me and Shila. There was something so medieval about it all, and beautiful, too.
Sinuously amazing. Where her center of gravity is, who knows.
So there's this ride, I don't know what it's called, maybe a Tilt-a-Whirl. But to me it looks like a salad spinner for humanity.
It spins and spins, faster and faster, and then goes up on end, centrifugal force keeping everyone perfectly in place.
No matter what they do with their hands.
I didn't realize until I edited these shots that I had captured a bit of human behavior that still astonishes me.
Now. Watch the blonde lady in the denim capris and blue print blouse. Third from left.
Call coming in.
Digging for the phone.
Several revolutions later, still trying to extract it from her pocket. Can't be easy with those G's. And I'm not talkin' 4G. Gforce.
Finally gets it out.
And she spends the rest of the ride texting.
I don't know. I like my new iPhone, but if I were whirling around at 50 mph in a giant salad spinner, I might just let 'er ring on through. If there were ever a situation where you might want to pay attention to what's happening at the moment, I'd pick spinning around in a giant salad spinner 30 feet above the earth.
This little vignette of human behavior actually scares me. Of course there is the possibility that the call coming in was really important. So I have to cut her some slack. I just think I'd be too terrified to let go long enough to answer, much less frame a reply. Ride it out.
People were standing in line for a half hour at a time for the honor of being spun-dry. Not me, boy. Blarrrgh. My inner ear got up and left me when I was still in my 20's.
Fascinated by relatedness--faces in duplicate.
More humans spinning through space. There's a dignity maintained, despite the crazy whirl.
Maybe not his idea of a great ride. Just tryin' to fit in. Pokey little midway. No Wild Mouse.
Just a coupla guys spinning around in a cup.
Dead heat for favorite image from the fair between so many, but I like this one. How is it that little boys grasp the power of centrifugal force so readily? I get the theory but still don't trust it, would be hanging on like death to those chains.
Patient ponies with precious cargo.
The proud look one astride casts upon commoners below. I remember casting that look, back in the day. Never mind the mamahand on her arm...
This hat stayed on in the Human Salad Spinner. A coup.
You're gazing out over the crowd, and suddenly there appears a phoenix before you.
People don't even know how beautiful they are. I hope you've enjoyed this walk through the midway.
Such a humble little fair, but packed so fully with everything an artist loves--the bizarre and the beautiful. I return to it each September for that wistful yearly afternoon of bliss. I think this was my favorite ever. All the strange and wonderful collided at once.
The clouds, threatening all day, finally organized themselves and formed a slowly spinning vortex. Shila and I looked at each other, laughed one last time, each of us independently framing the shot with the clouds lined up so they seemed to emanate from the funnel cake trailer, and packed it in.
We did not eat funnel cakes. We were good. I had a corn dog, though, and let me tell you it was dee-lee-shus. Even though I peeled most of the corn off it.
The heavens opened just as we buckled our seat belts. Our camera gear, dry as a bone. It was the perfect outing.
Photo by Shila Wilson
Bigger can be better. So can more.
A girl can dream, right?