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The Morning Show
The Morning Show

State Fair Romance
With a Morning Show Twist

August, 1999

YOUR TRUE-LOVE STORY, IN A SONG! Ann Reed joined the Morning Show one day during its live broadcast from the 1999 Minnesota State Fair to sing a song about State Fair Romance, with the help of plenty of listeners.

If you'd ever fallen in love at the State Fair, Ann wanted to hear about it - and you responded! Here are of your submissions.

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When I was 6 or 7 years old, my parents took me, my two older brothers, and my younger brother to the Minnesota State Fair for our first time ever. My two older brothers were old enough to hit the midway on their own, so long as they took my younger brother with them. Me? I had to stay with Mom and Dad while we went over EVERY inch of Machinery Hill and the Fine Arts building. I begged and begged to go to the midway too but neither Mom nor Dad could handle those rides. Finally, at about 6:00 pm, I got my one token carnival ride: Mom took me on a boat ride through the Tunnel of Love! Needless to say, that was NOT the ride I had in mind! (I remember hearing "smacking" sounds among the other occupants of our boat, so it must have been SOMEONE'S idea of the "perfect ride"!) I'm now 53 years old and I can remember this just like it happened yesterday! I wonder why, ever since, State Fairs haven't been a super big attraction to me??!!

Listening to your program this morning brought back memories of my first romance. It was in the late '50s and throughout high school I pined for one particular boy who pretty much ignored me. We were both in the high school Band and two summers in a row we came from the Iron Range to play at the State Fair. A romance blossomed between us each time - my first visit to the Fair was also my first romance (with "Bedroom Eyes"). I still have the heart bracelet we had "engraved" with our nicknames for each other, Freddy and Susie, on the Midway. I remember that the dorm rooms above the FFA building were so hot that we were the last ones to go inside at night and the first ones out and walking around the fairgrounds very early in the morning. I fell in love with the fair those summers and have loved it ever since.

Thanks for the memory,

Twenty years ago the Minnesota State Fair was the backdrop to the final act of a romance. I had met her in high school. Through high school and college and for several years after that we had grown closer and closer with the fresh intensity that only youthful first love can create. But as time went on our interests and work separated us. We grew apart. I came to Minnesota to go to graduate school. She went off to follow her dreams. Then, several years later, in the summer of 1979, she moved to St. Paul. She called and asked if we could get together sometime. I was torn. I was close to asking a wonderful woman I had met in school to marry me. Yet, the lovely remembrance of our young romance was suddenly back, beckoning like the fragrance of lilacs in spring.

One night in August, I went to see her at her small apartment near the fairgrounds in the St. Anthony Park neighborhood. We talked. We talked about the past and the present. I told her that I was sorry, but my future was with another woman. She told me she was very sad, for she had always thought that, sooner or later, we would get married. As I stood to leave, she hugged me tightly and sobbed. And, as we embraced in a final good-bye, I saw out the window, spinning in all its gaudy fluorescent glory, the huge double Ferris Wheel of the Midway. Even today, twenty years later, when I think of our goodbye, what I recall most is not her words, or her face, or her tears. What stays in my mind is the sight of the two colorful wheels, spinning and spinning, but never touching.

Tom Ehlinger

My first date, my first kiss - it happened at the fair. It was summer. My cousin introduced me to his best friend, Rick, who was nice, cute, and almost 17. But, the rule at my house was that I couldn't date until I was 16, which was a month away. To soften my parents, I introduced my cousin to my best friend. Then it would be a double date with a cousin and a family friend as known quantities. And the date would be a daytime one - AT THE STATE FAIR.

After hemming and hawing, it was okayed. My friend and I shopped for similar outfits. We both wore white pleated skirts. The four of us spent the day at the fair seeing everything, eating much, going on rides, and laughing lots. By evening Rick and I were holding hands. He kissed me in the Tunnel of Love.

We went out to the car to listen to the radio, and wait for the fireworks display. A new song was being played, "Call Me Mr. Blue" We heard it about 13 times that day and even though the lyrics didn't fit, it became "our" song. But Rick must have had too much sun and fair, he didn't feel good and had to lay down in the back of his parents station wagon. I left him there and went to the fence with the others to watch the fireworks which were the best I had ever seen.

Even though the date had that ending glitch, Rick asked me out again on my birthday. We were in "puppy love" for more than a year - until he went away to college. Rick was the perfect first date and first love, and it all began at the State Fair, August 31, 1960.

Candy Berthel

postlog: I married John, a farmer, whose idea of romance was - you guessed it - tractor hill. No tunnel of love for him.

It was a hot, steamy late August day. We had just been joined in "blessed headlock" days before and my new love and I had made certain that we would spend part of our honeymoon (did I mention that it was steamy?) at the Great Minnesota Get Together. It was fate that we would be here in this situation, as both of us had grown up loving and attending the Fair as children. As the years, and bags of Tom Thumb donuts, go by, it is a given that our anniversaries are spent with our own two wee little fair lovers at this great spectacle of human commerce and gastronomic perversion. Kind of brings a new meaning the phrase "Great Minnesota Get Together", doesn't it?

Kevin Keller

We met almost 21 years ago, August 24, 1978. I was 17 and selling tickets for the Trackless Train ride. My grandfather, a veteran of 51 state fairs, got me the job and it was my second fair. The "conductors" and "engineers" of the train ride were complaining to me about there crew chief. It was the first day of the fair and his first day supervising the ride. Apparently he did not know he was supposed to give them any breaks. They were all afraid to talk to him. I told them to point him out to me, I'll set him straight. About 30 minutes later, he arrived at the train stop where I was selling tickets and I proceeded to tell him he didn't know what the heck he was doing and inform him what he should be doing. David told me later he fell in love with me right there and then.

I worked the next 12 days at the fair with this guy hanging outside of my ticket booth. Everyone knew where I was working, they just looked for David. We started dating the Friday after the fair ended. He took me to see Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (the one with the BeeGees and Peter Frampton). We continued dating and after one year, were engaged. We were married in July of 1980 and have been together since.

David still works at the fair; he is Facilities Coordinator and we live on the grounds with our three cats and three dogs. No, not by the grounds, directly on the state fairgrounds, up by the water tower. We get to have romance every day at the fair and fall in love with each other all over again. It is magic.

The corndog might be eternal, but finding true love can fill any appetite.

Lisa Pulkrabek Juettner


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