Although my cousin Lindy and her husband James, dropped off some Fisher Scones after her visit from our State Fair in Puyallup two weeks ago, I haven’t really connected with the fair in years. Money is always a good enticement for me, however. For the last weekend of the 2019 Washington State Fair Peg and I got to meet Roberto the Magnificent at Cattlin’s Restaurant in downtown Puyallup. Roberto was performing his act and wanted it videotaped to create a new demo.
“Our state fair is a great state fair,
Don’t miss it, don’t even be late.
It’s dollars to donuts
That our state fair
Is the best state fair in our state.”
Lyrics composed by O. Hammerstein II
I do like to people watch and the fair is a great place for that. Peg has been a fairly regular visitor at the fair. She usually attends and helps with calligraphy demonstrations by her group, Tacoma Calligraphic Guild. I generally drop her off and pick her up; this time, however, we worked the fair together. We ordered two BLTs to go from Cattlin’s, which came with cups of cantaloupe. Fried bacon is not a health food, but compared to much of the food available at the fair it is. My mouth dropped when I first saw the one foot blocks of curly fries and onion rings . . . and dropped even further when I saw the huge turkey legs people were gnawing on as they walked around. I fantasized about bumping into someone and then helping them pick up their snacks and sampling. The biggest temptation for me was the corn on the cob. When we ate the BLTs they had been sitting for a couple of hours and were a little dry, but other than a few crusts, they were wolfed down. Corn on the cob would have been a nice finisher.
We videotaped two performances by Robert Stuverud (a.k.a. Roberto the Magnificent). He has appeared on America’s Got Talent and the Today Show and virtually every NBA arena where he performs his Roberto the Magnificent’s Crazy Comedy Stunt Show! Robert juggles, does magic, rides a unicycle, has his dog do tricks. He enjoys himself, and has a ball. He teases kids and adults alike. He gets them up on stage. The children gladly volunteer their fathers and mothers and the parents encourage their children to participate as well. – robertothemagnificent.com/
After the first show Peg visited the fine arts pavilion and enjoyed viewing the art. She returned for the second Roberto show as the Junebugs were performing. The Junebugs are guitarist Moses Barrett, drummer Kyle Owen, and bassist Nathaniel Daniel. Their first song was Paul Simon’s “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard.” I was hooked. They played covers and then switched to their own compositions. I’m not sure what Barrett’s instrument was, but it looked like a combination of an electric guitar, a Dobro and a banjo.
“The Way Back” was my favorite piece. I enjoyed looking around at the audience. One group of six, all wearing black t-shirts were dancing and swaying in unison to the music. About ten feet away I watched a teenage girl dance to the music by herself and off to the right a mother in her twenties danced with her babe in arms. To my left I saw a father and mother give a dollar to their four-year-old son and send him down to the stage to offer a tip. – thejunebugs.net/
The whole afternoon was like a family get-together. Roberto encouraged his audience to come back for another helping of music from the Junebugs and the Junebugs encouraged their people to enjoy the antics and fun of Roberto the Magnificent.
The afternoon crowd for Roberto had an excellent time. For two decades he has been performing for live audiences. He loves the people and they love him. Virtually every seat at the Coca-Cola Stage was full. People laughed and enjoyed themselves. Roberto couldn’t reach everyone, but he did have one more show to perform that evening. Families reacted as a group and afterward an adoring public had questions and praise for Robert and his act. This was a giant slice of America. I saw Muslim Americans, Asian Americans, White American, Black Americans, Mexican Americans, old people, young people, and everything in-between. We were just Americans on a pleasantly warm Sunday. This is truly, our state fair . . . and I was proud to be a part of it.