One of the nicest weeks of the summer for me was when it was time for the annual Barrett Township Volunteer Firemen’s Carnival. It was just a week of fun in the late 1950s, enjoying the food, games, and rides.
Certain things I remember about the carnival were how much fun a kid can have with a supply of thin dimes. I had many rides on the Ferris wheel for only a dime. Play those games for a dime trying to win a stuffed animal or a little ceramic piece. I remember winning a little set of three ceramic kittens in the late 1950s and giving them to my mother. Those kittens sat on a shelf in mom’s kitchen until she sold her home and moved south in 2006. I guess those kittens got thrown out during the move. How many times I looked at then with a smile?
Watch the wheel spin round and round hoping it would land on my number. Take a little ring and try to get it to land on a little stick. One booth I always wanted to go to was run by a nice woman that our family knew well. When I didn’t win and no one else was around the booth, she would push my dime back to me with a smile giving me another free chance. I hope she knows how happy she made this little boy time after time.
I played a lot of bingo at the Carney. I won a little ice chest that our family used for years. I also remember winning a little lamp that our family used for a long time. The fun was when my last number got on the card and I got to yell BINGO!
It was a nice week of walking around with friends and enjoying the time we spent together. Talking and having a hot dog or burger along with a soda and discuss what we were doing over the summer break from school.
The carnival then always gave away a car on the last night. I always bought a ticket and hoped my ticket would be called, it never was. I couldn’t drive at that time anyway, so it would have gone to mom. Sorry mom, my ticket must have been buried deep in the bottom of the barrel. Maybe they should have spun that barrel around one more time. Have you ever wondered where in that barrel your ticket was, maybe being right next to the one called?
The Carney was a major fundraiser for the Fire Company at that time. It was a long week for the people working the Carney. It was a fun week for the kids.