Vic Fair: Faces in a crowd

... a gloomy day turns out just fine

from SilverStringers Shirley Rabb, Tom Dillon and Don Norris

Everybody loves a fair. Even a city fair. The kids, mom and pop, grandparents, cats and dogs, all go to the annual Melrose Chamber of Commerce Victorian Fair. Everybody!

Self-motivation gets one spinning. At right, all the "Melrose Townies" were out, including this attractive one from Hoover School.

The kids were there, the register-to-vote lady was there, even the auxiliaries were on duty. Nice.

Early on, perennial favorite citizens Marcy Holbrook and Jim Oosterman, vice president of the Melrose Cooperative Bank, were there.

Just as the rain went away, spectators moved into the staging area beside the Melrose Savings Bank, or MassBank, or EastBank. At the right are the Blue Of A Kind, an acappella group, which performed beautifully.

Kids were all over. At left, one youngster gets strapped into the whirleygig, another two admire a new toy, while, at the right, a group tries out the Melrose High robot-designing students' latest technical wonderment.

The annual Victorian Fair is sponsored by the Melrose Chamber of Commerce and supported by the Melrose Free Press. The Fair just keeps growing and growing, for some 27 years now.

The Melrose Public Schools had a booth, and guest keeper was none other than Superintendent Joseph Casey, meeting and greeting. At the right an audience dared it to rain (which had stopped at noon), while the list of shows went on for several hours. The Fair draws talent from several communities.

More beautiful faces in the crowd.

Here's a tricky one: Stringer Shirley Rabb was just about to snap the fellow in the red sporting outfit when this tall, slender attractive young lady strode right into the viewfinder. It always happens that way. Unfortunately, a sign hanging in the foreground hid her face -- but no matter, the resulting action still makes for a delightful picture -- an attractive woman, hanging sign, red suit, clam chowder and all.

Representative Katherine Clark used her own booth to meet and greet the voters. At the right Mayor Rob and son Ryan schmooz with fairgoers, in front of MMTV cameras.

Ah, the camera elicits smiles.

No story, just an attractive picture of life in Melrose. While we didn't take names, at the right is Stringer Tom Dillon, who shot many of these photos.

See! I flashed the camera at her, and she broke out in a beautiful smile. At the right are former Melrose residents Norma and Martha Billington, enjoying an outdoor lunch at Turner's. Unfortunately we didn't get the red-headed youngsters name, at the right.

Lots of people bring their dogs to the Fair, and why not? The pups are friendly and most everyone loves to pet a dog. Even other dogs get along with other dogs -- at the Fair. Stuffed bears don't count.

Tom Dillon's camera caught no less than 16 identifiable fair-goers in this crowd scene.

The dark glasses keep the creampuff out of the victim's eyes, at the pie throwing booth. At the right, another self-motivated young lady got to giggling even before the group started pumping up their whirleygig.

The cloudy day didn't stop fair-goers, although this year's event didn't break the record established in last year's sunny-day affair. It has become a tradition, and everybody loves a fair.

Fair-goers, however, are happy people. At the right, Dana Jewell shows Stringer Don Norris a photo he took of four buck deer, at a little hidden pond in Melrose. We're getting overrun with wildlife, here in our small city.

Realtors took part in the fair, although real estate isn't exactly a hot commodity in todays mixed-up economy. But then, my small house could sell for $350,000 -- although we only paid $13,000 for it -- 50 years ago. Nevertheless, we're staying right here, in Melrose. It's a good place to live.

Commentary by Don Norris.

October 3, 2008

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