I sat at an open air facility at the Tri State Fair in Amarillo, drinking a beer. As the fairgrounds empty, I am left with after images. I remember walking along the crowded midway with Miss Amarillo 1969. The pulsating neon spokes of the giant Ferris Wheel in the nearby field seemed a world away. Childhood is close by, but you can't quite touch it.
The plinking of a piano filled my ears in a style that seems to flutter bravely like a balloon escaping to some beautiful place between a little country church and an old New Orleans whorehouse.
Walking along the back of the fairgrounds near the exit, standing with the crowd, thinking the thoughts of a lifetime.
The thoughts are ones capable of making you cry and comforting you at the same time. They do both to me.
I feel a palpable sense of history passing, ephemeral as the dopplered voices on a midway ride, and yet, I know something will stay.
I think to myself: 80% of the people here are not with their first choice.
I pull out of the parking lot. I catch the face of a young girl smiling at me wearing a peach colored dress. At first I stare in disbelief, then a sort of gentle reverence, then the absolute innocence of wonder at what life after high school would hold for me.
I drove by Dick Bivins Stadium where I had sat in the stands as she marched with the marching band twirling her baton. A gentle rain begins to fall and I realize that there are somethings that even time can never take away.