Cotton Candy

I figured it was time to write about a different kind of cotton. You know I pick on cotton picking nit pickers a lot. Well this is fair time in lot of places in the country. County fairs, state fairs, fairs here, fairs there. You always see people with this cotton picking cotton candy. Looks sticks like. Messy even. 

Now I remember mother telling many a time.. This works both ways. I got told the story many a time. She and her brothers and sister went to this fair of sorts many a time I guess. 

Any ways I got to give you a bit of location of all this. They lived in the little town of Thayer, Missouri. That is on the very edge of Missouri. A hop skip and jump is Mammoth Springs, Arkansas. Now I can come up with a couple stories here. But lets take care of the fair first. If we got time we could get into the other one. 

Some time in August I guess, not sure. The people of Mammoth Springs has a what is called, “Old Settlers Fair” or something like that. There is also a train that runs from Springfield through these villages then on south. Well it also runs the other way too. Back in those days. 1915 and so, the train ran north at midnight. Cost the whole sum of one dime to ride train from Mammoth to Thayer. A trip of a couple miles as the road goes. That kind of hilly there. Road makes a couple twists and turns. 

Now best I remember the story. Should remember I heard it from all of them except a couple. That would be Homer for one. He was the oldest, he died when I was a baby, and I think maybe one other never told me the story. Grandmother was dirt poor. But she could scrape up a dime for each kid. That may have been a total of 50 cents. Five kids went if the two oldest didn’t go. They would have been 17 and 15, there abouts. 

Any ways here goes the tribe. All hot footing it down the couple miles to Springs. One thin dime in hot hand. They may have had a bread sandwich to eat. That would be about it. One dime though. They spent the whole day looking the shows over, that is the outside of the show, can’t spend the dime you know. They would give any thing for a drink of something cool, can’t spend the dime you know. They sure would like to try out the cotton candy, can’t spend the dime, you know. They just did a lot of walking, looking, and got told move on kid you not spending a dime, move on.

At midnight those that still had a dime in hot hand rode the train back home. I think that would be all of them. They knew better then spend that one thin dime on cotton candy.

Now I said I had another story. It is also a sad story. And maybe I should keep quite about it. But I think it shows how slow change comes about. We like to say this would have never happened. But I have had this told to me a few times. At Mammoth Springs was a lot of people of color. At Thayer none. On the railroad station at Thayer was a sign. I will let you figure what the sign said. It wasn’t too nice. The sign is no longer there. 

Back to cotton candy. I too have never tried the stuff. I wonder if i should?? No it’s nothing but sugar fluffed up with air. Think I will pass on it. 

Bill Walker

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