Marilyn Snedden sends along this interesting note:
“The reno of the Almonte Fair’s main hall is going well so when they found the poem from a generation ago, I thought people would be interested to see how long we’ve been talking about needing to fix the hall.”
OUR GRAND OLDE DAME
What wondrous sights our eyes behold
as our 90s universe unfolds,
The Millennium is coming fast
but, dear friends, let’s help preserve the past.
Our Grande Olde Dame, of the N.L.A.S.,
needs a facelift and a brand new dress.
Where our valley kin once danced at balls,
from the roof her tears of rain now fall.
Turn back our clock with me in rhyme
to some memories from a gentler time,
Remember how we couldn’t wait
till the doors swung wide on the town’s Fair gate
This was a world without TV,
now imaginations cease to be.
We were transformed then for one thin dime,
to Tarzan or Jane at Almonte’s O’Brien.
But as summer days drew to an end,
those dimes or pennies we might spend
at the show or blackballs at Corderres,
were saved in bottles for our Fair.
And, finally the magic came
the sounds, sweet smells, the carney’s games.
Cotton candy, greasy burgs and fries,
scary rides and sideshows, barker’s cries.
And up the steps to our Fair Hall,
where town ladies’ quilts adorned the walls.
Shiny jars of pickles, golden pies,
wore judges’ ribbons, coloured ties.
Bright flowers grown wore every hue,
huge pumpkins, corn, wore ribbons too.
And upstairs displayed for Mom and Dad
was the genius work of their lass or lad.
Next over to our livestock block,
where junior farmers show their stock.
Hardworking kids, thank God they care,
for you see our future farmers there.
What magic spread before our eyes,
the carrousel the bullet ride.
With our beaus we rode the Ferris wheel,
hugged tight we faced scared girlish squeals.
“Now step right up” the Carney’s cry,
“for just a quarter you can try
knock down a bottle, throw a ring ,
and a big stuffed toy your skill can bring.”
Then came the end of a perfect day,
as we wandered down the grandstand way.
Mac Beatty’s band a Valley sound,
and the magic taps of Buster Brown.
And we greeted friends the Almonte way,
“How’s it goin pal? g-day, g-day.”
And to fiddle tunes our toes would tap,
happy babies bouncing on mom’s lap.
Friends, have we really change so much
have we valley folk lost the country touch?
With the beauty of our country Fair
let’s help support it show we care.
Our Grand Olde Dame goes back in time
built by kinfolk in 1869.
With dignity she has welcomed all
farmers, royalty, in our Grande Hall.
She needs our help, she’s aging fast
this Victorian Lady from our past.
In this age of speed, TV and space,
let’s make her shine again with grace.