What was the American culture and what happened to it? Was it mom and pop, apple pie and Chevrolet? What happened to the American Dream of self reliance, hard work, a man and a woman getting married, buying a house, raising a family in a two parent household, a belief in Christianity and attendance at church on Sunday?
A recent example of our cultural loss was evidenced by the poor attendance record of the 2012 California State Fair which is down 250,000 attendees over the past decade. The Cal Expo General Manager cites hot weather and the failing U.S. economy for the drop in attendance. I guess it couldn’t be poor management, high parking and entrance fees, 11 a.m. admission, 2 p.m. Carnival Rides and lack of participation by all California counties in featuring their communities. Featuring gut wrenching food like deep fried pickles, etc. doesn’t help either.
During my youth, I attended the fair at least twice each year when it was located at the old fair grounds, which was located along Stockton Blvd. My fond memories of the fair include the Counties Building, the Commercial Buildings, the Horticultural exhibit, the farm animal exhibits and the Midway. Daily horse races and nightly grandstand entertainment with fireworks was icing on the cake. There was something at the fair for everyone. Kids went one way while parents went the other. Families reunited by meeting at the Golden Bears in front of the Counties Building at a prescribed time.
Food items included corn dogs, cotton candy, candied apples and ice cream bars. Delicious Orange Julius drinks could be purchased outside of the main gate. Yes, fair time was a wonderful time which signaled the end of summer and the start of school.
Sadly, our children and grandchildren will never know what life was like in America when the American culture was alive and well.