Down the Backroads | The Dreaded Merry-Go-Round - Kentucky Farm Bureau

Down the Backroads | The Dreaded Merry-Go-Round

Posted on Oct 1, 2021

The Dreaded Merry-Go-Round

I remember vividly the days of my youth spent at our local county fair every summer. It was always fun and exciting to see the rides, experience the food, and watch our local horse show.

And it became somewhat of a rite of passage during those early teenage years when you first got to go to the fair, without your parents.

I recall my first unchaperoned county fair for many reasons. I felt as though I was an adult walking around the place with my best friend. And boy, did we think we were something!

Of course, we had to smile and wave to every young lady we saw and give the “tough guy” nod to the gentlemen.  

Now, I would have been completely content to have spent that entire evening walking around trying my best to look cool and eat as much famous fair food as I could, but the subject of amusement rides came up and I had to face one of my biggest fears.

You see, as a young child I had a disastrous experience one hot summer fair night when, after consuming a couple of hotdogs, a large cup of lemonade, and a swirl of cotton candy, I accompanied my younger sister on the merry-go-round.

What began as a big brother task became an experience that would haunt me for years. About midway through the ride, all that food and drink began to move around in my stomach in a very unpleasant way.

And by the time we finished, it was all I could do to make it off the carousel before all that food and drink exited by body. (That’s about as nice a way as I can describe it.)

The event left me with an intense fear of rides, especially the merry-go-round. Fast forward to that first teenage fair trip and, as luck would have it, one of those nice young ladies we had smiled at, wanted me to accompany her on ?you guessed it? the merry-go-round!

As I mustered up as much courage as I could, I reluctantly agreed and began what seemed to be an endless walk to what appeared to be the biggest carousel I had ever seen in my young life.

At that point in time, I wanted to run away and find my momma. How could I face this fear and how awful would it be if history repeated itself?

As afraid as I was, I found the courage to board the dreaded merry-go-round, although I don’t recall much of the ride, I must have momentarily passed out.

I do recall squeezing that young lady’s hand so hard I could have cut off her circulation. But I made it through, without losing my fair food. And I learned a valuable lesson from all that trauma.

What we often fear is usually not worth being afraid of and if we let fear consume us, we may never discover new joys in our life.

May we all put our fears behind us and look forward to a merry-go-round of a future, as we travel down the backroads.