I saw an ad on the back of the newspaper my husband was reading. It said in big letters: HOME SHOW. That took me back a ways. When I was young, we had a large roller skating arena in town. At the very top was one of those lovely disco balls, only this was way before the 80s. Every year, merchants set up shop in little booths inside the place. There were so many aisles, it was easy for a little girl to get lost. My sisters and I loved to go. When you entered, someone always gave you a shopping bag with their advertisement on it. We would go from exhibit to exhibit and pick up all of the free pamphlets and little samples they had. As we went along, we might collect several balloons, a ruler, a yardstick, a soda jerk hat, key chains and other items. When it was over, we left and at the exit, a saltwater taffy vehicle was always there to attract people hurrying on their way. Once, we got a box. The best part was watching the machine in the vehicle pulling the taffy. It made it look much better than it tasted. At least that's what I thought.
At home, the paper treasures were put in with my school stuff. I used them all to play school with my dolls. I was always the teacher. Dolls needed new materials every now and then.
One year my mom and dad won a pig. Yes, a pig. It was displayed on ice in a freezer which was what was advertised. You guessed the weight and the closest guess won. How lucky can one family get?
When we were teens, my best ever girlfriend Carol and I would go to the home show. As we got our bags and started down the aisles, Carol got a great idea, "Lets turn our rings around and
pretend we're married." Agreed. So as we walked along, picking up items like wall paint samples or dehumidifier brochures, she would stick out her hand so the huckster couldn't help noticing it. I'm sure he was impressed. I did it too, but I never was as brave as Carol when she was doing a scheme.
At the end of that time, I kept my bag for awhile. I looked it over and over. I put it in categories. I put the best stuff on top. After some time, I threw it out. This may seem dull, but kids didn't have all the entertainment they do now. I had to get mine when it came, in the form of a bag full of goodies.
My husband and I didn't go to this home show. I didn't even mention it. It wouldn't be fun anymore. Now I have lots to do and a bag of stuff would only mess up my house. Still the huge words on the back page did send nostalgia through me like a dart. So glad to have done it, so glad I don't have to do it now.