My First Job Involved A Lot Of Arguing With Carnies
Yes. This is a thing that happened in my life. Imagine it yourself: a fifteen year old, five foot tall, 110 pound Behka getting super excited to get some pocket money by working at the Missouri State Fair. Back then, if you knew someone that already worked there, it made it easier to get in. I don't know if that's the case now, but a teacher of mine told me to write his name on the top of the application, and I did.
So there it was, Fair Time. I was told to report to Gate 6A. Gate 6A, if you don't know, is an exit gate only during the Fairtime. I got there and imagine my surprise when I see my 6th grade art teacher at the booth! Mrs Shelby was very nice and explained to me what my job would entail. I was to sit outside the hospitality booth, and stop anyone trying to drive into the gate from doing so. They were to enter in Gate 6, Gate 6A was exit only. If anybody had questions, then I was to direct them to her.
Well, you can see where this is going, I bet. 6A is right next to the Matthewson, and it's right by where most of the Midway is located. For about four days of the Fair, I did my darndest to fight the angry Carnies. They all wanted to come into gate 6A because it was "right near my setup" or whatever. Oh, the names little me was called. And it was so hot. No shade there at all. It got to the point where if I wasn't quick enough, the carnies would just drive past me. One guy threw a full beer can at me, hit me in the arm. Now keep in mind this was back in the day, so I'm sure the Carnival workers who are in operation now are different.
I don't think anybody would get away with calling a 15 year old girl some of the names they called me today. Anyway, I think Mrs Shelby had had just about enough of this, so I was transferred to another gate down by the State Fair Arena. The crowd of campers and cowboys were much more polite and understanding.
I worked at the Fair for quite a few years, as I'm sure a lot of you did, it was a sweet way to make some quick money. I worked admissions, mostly, but I did a few other things - basically everything but traffic and janitorial stuff. I never did get the most coveted job, though: Courtesy Cart Driver. Oh man, I wanted to drive the golf cart around all day so badly. I don't know who you had to know to get that gig, but it just looked like a lot of fun. Still does, honestly.
So there you have it, a small trauma in the life of a Sedalian. Did you ever work at the Fair? What did you do? Do you have any memorable stories from it?