Amherst Community Fair (shot from town center looking south)
For all too brief a time Amherst downtown came alive with the sights, sounds and smells of family fun that dates back, well, forever. Especially after dark, when the rotating colored lights produced something magical.
Amherst Community Fair shot from Amherst College looking north
The Amherst Community Fair beat the odds this time around by not bringing on the monsoons. A standard joke around town is if you need it to rain (which we certainly do) then bring on the Community Fair.
Like psychedelic flowers
Although Wednesday opening day did see a fair amount of rain and Thursday a brief encounter with a menacing giant black cloud that issued a bolt or two of lightening.
Late Thursday afternoon: ominous cloud came calling
But Friday and Saturday were picture perfect and drew better crowds.
Friday at sundown
Friendly carny worker helps Jada after ride finishesMy fondest -- by far most vivid -- memory of the Community Fair dates back over 50 years to 1964, when I was the same age as my daughter Jada is now.
My mother suddenly on a Saturday night packed us all in a beat up station wagon and drove the mile up Main Street not telling us where we were going until we came within view of the those magical lights brightening the downtown.
Perhaps made even brighter due to a dark pall that had descended on our town & nation only 6 months earlier when the stunning report instantly echoed from sea to shining sea: "Shots fired on the Presidential motorcade."
And for my Irish Catholic mother a double shock because she had just two months earlier lost the only other man she ever loved, my father.
As she handed each of her four children a (very) limited amount a ride tickets, in the light cast from the Ferris wheel, I could see on her face something I had not seen in eight months: a smile.