Saturday, May 24, 2014

Off to the May Fair

Today's American Top 40 re-run leaped ahead almost a decade to 1982. Super groups, New Wave, R&B, and country ruled the airwaves on Memorial Day Weekend that year. Hits from that late spring included "Heat of the Moment" by Asia, "I've Never Been to Me" by Charlene, "Always On My Mind" by Willie Nelson, "Don't Talk to Strangers" by Rick Springfield, the theme from the Oscar-winning film Chariots of Fire by Vangelis, "65 Love Affair" by Paul Davis, "867-5309 (Jenny)" by Tommy Tutone, and "The Other Woman" by Ray Parker Jr. Harmony reigned at the top of the charts; the Paul McCartney/Stevie Wonder duet "Ebony and Ivory" was in its third of seven weeks at number one.

I headed out around 10 after 9. The weather was the same as yesterday - sort of cloudy and blustery, but no rain, and cool for this time of the year. It was great for yard sale exploring. I found one at Oaklyn on the White Horse Pike between the defunct Taco Bell and the Little Bear Day Care. It was the same one I hit the day the Farm Market opened. No records this time, but I did pick up a copy of the Disney Pollyanna on DVD still in its wrapping. I made two more yard sale stops in Haddon Township and in Collingswood, but found nothing interesting.

Every year on the Saturday before Memorial Day, the Farm Market expands into a huge "May Fair" that covers most of Haddon Avenue in Collingswood. Since I was in that direction, I started with the classic car show. This is a huge affair, taking up several blocks in its own right. I saw quite a few nifty vehicles, from a bright red two-seater from the 1910s to a large purple 60s Challenger to a beautiful olive-green Ford from the late 40s-early 50s. A country band played their own original tunes in front of Louie's Barbecue.

The bulk of the Fair is made up of craft booths, food booths, and booths advertising local and some national businesses. Though I did take a look at four booths selling doll clothes, I bought nothing this year. I did those sales from American Girl back in March and April. I headed for the Farm Market instead. The Farm Market is folded into the May Fair for the weekend...and it was PACKED by 10:30. You literally couldn't move in some spots, it was so busy in the narrow block of Lees Road off Haddon Avenue they had it squeezed into. It was worth it in the end. The first strawberries and zucchini of the season made their debuts just in time for the holiday weekend. I also picked up grapefruit, organic romaine lettuce from one of the organic booths, carrots, and spinach.

As I strolled around the midway area where the kiddie carnival rides and pony ride and games are, I noticed a couple of signs for a yard sale on Oriental Avenue. It ended up being just two blocks from the fair. I found three records:

Frank Sinatra - That's Life

Jeanette MacDonald - Smilin' Through

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - The soundtracks to Swing Time and Shall We Dance?

The man in charge mentioned that he'd be doing it again during Collingswood's Town-Wide Yard Sale on June 7th and would have more records out. If I have the time on that day, I may have to go back there.

I made a stop at the Collingswood Library to use their bathroom, then went back on the street. The Fair was getting more and more crowded by 11:30. I took one more look at another doll booth, then returned to the Lumberyard Condos where my bike was parked and headed on my way.

There was a nice little yard sale on Collings Avenue as I headed down that way. A mom and her daughter were mostly selling toys, but they also had some nifty books. I ended up with another Clarice Bean story, Clarice Bean Spells Trouble, and two fancy Build-a-Bear tutu costumes I think might make nice Halloween and dress-up outfits for the dolls.

I figured Sorrento's Pizza, on the other side of Collings Avenue from the May Fair, would be a much quieter place for lunch than anywhere on Haddon Avenue. It was fairly quiet in there when I came in. One older man sat in a booth, watching the Los Angeles Dodgers play the Phillies. A few people came in later. Otherwise, I ate my white vegetable and plain cheese slices in silence. The place had gotten a paint job since I was last there, there was less junk in the hall between the main dining area and the kitchen, and they had a new widescreen flat TV. I enjoyed my pizza and watched the game before heading out. (Oh, and the Phillies went on to beat the Dodgers 5-3.)

My next stop was a quick one at CVS. They were having a buy one, get one free or half-off sale on Scunci rubber bands and hair clips. I bought two sets of rubber bands and two sets of hair clips - mine are all starting to get a little worn. New Jersey Monthly has a couple of interesting articles on the resurgence of the Wildwoods in their annual Shore edition. I picked up that, too. Also grabbed two sets of small dollar plastic storage bins for my UBS ports.

I stopped at Dad's to say "hi" next. He and Jodie were working on their computers and watching endless Law & Order re-runs, as usual. They're having a Memorial Day barbecue. It starts at 3, but there should still be plenty of food around by the time I get off work at 4:30.

I passed the rest of the afternoon at home. Ran a couple more wartime shorts as I unpacked my finds. Bugs and Daffy were the stars of my three favorite Looney Tunes war-oriented shorts. Bugs eats a carrot that turns him into a superhero in "Super Rabbit," giving him the powers to go up against a rabbit-hating cowboy and his horse. When the going gets tough, Bugs turns into a real hero....a Marine officer. Daffy is having none of this "serving" stuff and does everything possible (and many things not possible) to avoid that pesky "Little Man From the Draft Board" in "Draftee Daffy." For one of the few times in the entire Looney Tunes series, Bugs goes up against an antagonist who gives as good as they get when he tries to keep a Gremlin from sabotaging planes in "Falling Hare."

Did some more cleaning after the cartoons. I dragged the porch furniture - two ancient plastic chairs and a blue milk crate - downstairs along with the scrub bucket and brushes. I thought it might be easier to use the hose on the bike and the porch furniture this year, instead of just the bucket. It did work out better, though nothing on this planet will ever make those chairs really clean again. I did what I could and took everything back upstairs to dry.

When I got in, I read the Wildwoods articles for a while, then jumped in to a very, very long and hot bath. I hadn't had such a nice bath in ages. My legs felt sooo good. Read With the Might of Angels as I relaxed. In this Dear America story, Dawnie Rae Johnson is a tomboy in 1954 Virginia who loves Jackie Robinson, her pogo stick, and wants to become a doctor. She knows the school for African-American kids in her town won't give her that opportunity, so when she learns about the desegregation of schools in the south, her parents agree to let her go to the fancy all-white public middle school. Most of her town isn't as ready for desegregation as she and her family are. Dawnie and her family suffer humiliation, but when Martin Luther King Jr. visits their church and inspires the congregation to a boycott of a local dairy and a spunky Jewish girl befriends her, Dawnie realizes that one person can make a difference...and can prove that real strength comes from the heart.

Mom did research in the early 2000s when she helped my brother's class do a project on Ruby Bridges, an African-American girl who was the first black child in an all-white elementary school. Not to mention, Mom lived in the south when they were still integrating the schools and remembers a lot of this from her early childhood. I never forgot her talking about how brave Ruby was, which is why I wanted to read this book. As someone who has been treated differently my whole life, I can somewhat understand what Dawnie and Gertie went through. I'm so glad schools were integrated by the 80s. Cape May Elementary had several African American students, at least one Asian Coast Guard kid, one of my few childhood guy friends was Asian Indian, and more than a quarter of Cape May's population was Jewish or part-Jewish. I never saw anything strange about any of it.

When I finally dragged myself out of the tub, I watched Teen Beach Movie as I made Italian Chicken and Tomatoes and a nice romaine salad for dinner. For Mack (Maia Mitchell) and Brady (Ross Lynch), two surfers who live in a small beach town, life is one endless wave...until Mack tells Brady she's going to a private school out east because she thought that's what her mother wanted. Mack goes out to take on one last rogue wave, and a worried Brady tries to save her. When they come up for air, they find themselves in the world of Wet Side Story, a typical beach party movie of 1962. Brady, who loves musicals, is thrilled. Super-mature Mack is not. She doesn't love musicals and thinks the story of rival gangs of surfers and bikers who fight over a beach is silly. When the leads of the film fall for them instead of each other, they do everything they can think of to get the leads together so they can make another rogue wave and go home.

A very cute homage to the Frankie/Annette "beach party" movies of the early-mid 60s, there's a surprising amount of bite in this one. It actually reminds me a lot of Enchanted, another Disney movie that parodies musical conventions. Mack complains noisily about people breaking out in song for no reason and resists every time she's called on to do it. I also love the goofy subplot about the scientists who want to clear out both groups to build a resort, but end up bringing everyone together instead. It has more in common with some of the goofier James Bond films than Frankie and Annette, but the hammy villains are still pretty funny.

Obviously, this isn't for people who are musical-resistant like Mack or won't get the spoofing of beach party movie conventions. It's a tad bit corny for real teens, but for younger kids and parents who remember the Frankie/Annette films or are musical fans, it's a sweet little TV flick that might be worth catching on the Disney Channel sometime.

No comments: