Thursday, March 16, 2006


Book Fair

Tonight I went with a friend of mine to her son's elementary school book fair/spaghetti dinner. It brought back a flood of memories. We currently live in a really small town. Everyone at the school knew everyone else. All the families sat a 4 long tables and we ate spaghetti and Olive Garden salad from Styrofoam cartons. It was great.

I grew up in small town Connecticut (yes, I realize I could have left the "small town" out and it would have meant the same thing, but I lived in one of the only neighborhoods and it had less than 30 houses- that kind of small town) from second grade until 8th grade. I went to Dean's Mill and Mystic Middle. The school I was at tonight reminded me so much of Dean's Mill.

The Book Fair was a highlight of elementary school. We always got to pick out some books, and that was where I stocked up on MadLibs, which I am happy to say are still available at the book fair - although it was Fear Factor MadLibs. There were all kinds of new books that I had never heard of, as I don't have a kid, but there were also some books that I remembered reading - Island of the Blue Dolphin, Number the Stars. One strange thing was a re-vamped Baby Sitters' Club book. It's a freaking comic book now! I think the Book Fair helped develop my love of books. There is a specific smell that I don't know how to describe and a certain joy that always comes to me when I see books like that. I'm glad they still have these.

My mom was highly active in the PTA, especially once I had moved to middle school. She was one of the main organizers for our Spring Fair. It was mega cheesy, almost cliche from an 80s movie. There was a cake walk, a fishing pond (which was our Tommy the Turtle, which my sister once peed in, not at the fair), a moonwalk and various other carnival games. There was a silent auction and field day events. Because my mom was in charge, we got all the prizes delivered to our house. We always had a supply of left overs too- crayons and crappy jewelry, cowboy hats and paint sets.

Although I don't think I could stay in this small of a town, and while sometimes it sucked, I never really appreciated what I got growing up in a small town. We were safe. People knew each other. We had pick-up games and play night hide-and-seek. That doesn't happen in cities. So thanks MMS and DMES for being exactly what you were.

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