(ghosts of summers long ago. ) 
     An Excerpt From “THE PORT – The Beach Carnival

Darkness and the first echoes of “UNDER THE B” was the signal to put on jackets if there was a breeze and wander down towards the lights and mounting excitement.  When you are very small the noise and hustle of so many adults performing their arcane rites can be frightening and exciting.  You had to wiggle your way to the table’s edge then find a number that wasn’t being played but still looked promising.  Your age was always a good bet, or the year you were born.  Stake it out then see how long it took for luck to smile on you or move on down the board to someone else’s territory.  Stay where you are?  Or Move on down?  Difficult choices when you’re 9 and down to your last dime.  Try the wheel for a homemade pie or a cake that might still be warm from an up-town oven.  The really good carnivals had a fishpond where everyone was a winner.  But, having played it safe, you got far less than when the odds were longer.  Popcorn, cotton candy, taffy apples.  The assault on the senses rose as the darkness fell.  

By standing at the edge of the circle of light and noise you could look over the darkening lake, with maybe a gentle breeze in your hair, to see the moon and stars dance on the water.  Here was the ragged edge, the dividing line between two worlds: one exciting and chaotic, demanding in its shrill call to the senses.  The other, dark and alien, a subtle allure stretching forever beyond sight.  I always turned and ran back to the safety of the things I knew.  I won a chaise lounge playing bingo that first year at Port Elgin.  When faced with a choice from that mountain of extravagance, I chose something practical, safe, something I thought my parents would approve.  A few years later, I might have picked otherwise.  

But then, it seemed like the right thing to do.

Lesson #22 – Choosing The Chair

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