[Read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4] The picture is of the mural on the south side of Sanger Harris. There was also one on the west side of the store, but a little different. When the artist – I forget who it was – painted these murals, it was a big freaking deal. The media came out and took pictures, filmed interviews, and the like. And not just Dallas media.
And it was interesting. On several occasions I knew of – or was with – people who spent a considerable amount of time staring at the mural transfixed. No doubt it was due to consumption of one substance or another. Although the mural was, indeed, fascinating, they would have been just as transfixed in a donut shop watching the holes go through the donuts – if you catch my drift.
Speaking of substances, transfixation, and the mall, there would be, maybe once or twice a year, a carnival in the parking lot of the mall. I’ve spent the past few weeks trying to find time – and remember – to go take pictures of the carnival they have had there. The carnival there recently was a full scale traveling carnival. Nice, well-kept rides, fun house, food, the works. Despite what the pictures show, there were people there. Just not where I was taking pictures.
Which is a contrast to the fly by night outfits that used to come through back in the ’70’s and ’80’s. Some of them had, maybe, five to eight rides. None of them were big rides. They might have a little trailer where they served popcorn and drinks. The man in charge was usually fat, big, and smoked cigars. It was like there was a corrupt carnival managers union.
I had friends that worked at the carnivals – usually only once. I was not fond of working around moving metal parts that squeaked and sounded like they could fall apart at a moments notice with tremendous speed. The manager would promise to pay them like $10 an hour -quite a bit back then. He would pay them on Tuesday, the second day, for the first day if not both days. Then he said he would pay them again on Friday.
When Friday came he would say that he had already been to the bank -he paid in cash. He said he would pay them on Sunday with a bonus if they would go ahead and work Saturday. You see it coming, don’t you? My friends would show up on Sunday morning and there would be nothing but a bunch of trash in the parking lot blowing in the breeze.
Sometimes things change for the better. I was tempted to visit the carnival, but I was short on time. That, and I don’t do rides – except maybe, the Log Ride and the Runaway Mine Train at Six Flags. However, standing there watching the carnival, for a while I was back there as a teenager. Sauntering through rides and bright lights, watching the girls that were wandering through. Having nothing else to do or any better place to go. Maybe Papa’s Pizza on Northwest Highway for a pitcher of beer.
Then I sighed, got back in the car, and drove back home to one of the girls I watched back then. I guess change is relative, huh?
Peace be with you.