Tag Archives: church festival

Color Cash and Dad, Jalopy Junction and Son

29 Apr

It produces both laughter and screaming: The Kamikaze, The Sand Blaster, The Mega Wheel, The Spinning Cups, and The Water Gun Game.

Church Carnival

Every year the Catholic folk down at my church organize a big spring carnival with kiddy rides, adult rides, and games. Popcorn, cotton candy, live entertainment, food booths, alcoholic beverages, and throwing ping-pong balls into bowls of water. This is what we looked forward to every year.

It was tradition in our family to attend the festival. My parents, uncles and cousins always attended the little fair. We enjoyed the atmosphere and the family gathering.

But since my dad’s passing and the kids getting older, the family crowd has gotten smaller and smaller.  Party of four today. It got me thinking about my dad and the entire family celebrating. I remember my dad coming home, cash in his pocket and ready for us to hang out. But it wasn’t so much the carnival rides. He wasn’t big on rickety pieces of metal spinning you in circles at high speeds. His favorite part was the games.

Roll-A-Ball Game

There’s nothing like the rush of a water pistol in your hand ready to squirt the clown face in hopes that your cartoon character makes it to the top first, or the small ball in your hand during the Roll-A-Ball game where your train or horse tries to get to the finish line first every time you roll the ball.

You want to hear the DINGGGGGGG! You want to look up and see your number light up. That’s what made him smile.

Color Cash

But his favorite game happen to be Color Cash. As I walked passed it, I remembered my dad laughing in excitement as he tried to will the spinning soccer ball to land on the color he bet to win. The whole family tried to will the ball. It unleashed excitement. He would spend most of the night on this game of chance. Losing forty, maybe fifty bucks. Winning fifteen or twenty. He said it evened out in the end. He helped the church and had a good time in the process. The whole family did.

Color Cash drew out all kinds to the betting table: fathers, teachers, single moms, rocker chicks, grandmothers, biker dudes, nuns, and baseball-cap- wearing-sports enthusiasts. They would eventually high-five each other during wins. Complete strangers bonded by a soccer ball and colors. It was good to see my dad smile.

So in between the popcorn smell and barbecue aroma of the food booths, I got a little sad thinking about my dad. I wished he was there, playing Color Cash and betting five dollars on green, or red, or white, or yellow.

Jalopy Junction

Then I looked at my son.

Nothing like the Jalopy Junction, merry-go-rounds, and a squirt gun race to make your day, and your son’s.