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One of the highlights of summer as a child was when the fair would come to town. I thought it was wonderful when I was old enough to go in a group of friends without adult supervision. Of course this meant that shenanigans were going to take place. Since my father was a firefighter my family always got free passes into the fair, but from the time I started going without adult supervision it was a rite of passage to go under the fence to get into the fair. Kids will be kids and Mildred will definitely be Mildred. That's just the way it is and always will be.

The Bangor State Fair I'm sure wasn't any different than any other state fair of that era or so I thought. There were were rides, games, food and tucked at the back of the fair were the plethora of side shows. The rides made me hurl because I have motion sickness so unless I was coerced heavily and shamed into it by my friends to go on them I avoided the rides like they were the Bubonic plague. For me, it was the side shows that always fascinated me. The weirder the better I liked them! The barkers stood outside tempting people to come inside to see the oddities or to see the half naked dancing women. Of course, there was always a line of men waiting to see those luscious dancing women. We never thought they were very luscious, but what did we know? That didn't interest us! We always just sashayed by as if we were the real hot stuff and then we'd giggle like only little girls could do.

I'd been away for a few years at drug rehab, but when I was 18 I returned home for a visit. That was when I got an eye opening experience regarding the Bangor State Fair. My brother, Brian and his significant other, Rose asked me if I wanted to join them at the fair one evening. I had been feeling rather low and needed to get out so I decided to go with them. Other than maybe running into someone I hadn't seen in years, I couldn't think of anything that could be new about the fair, but since I didn't have anything else to do I accepted their invitation. So off we went to the fair... It all seemed too familiar. The smells. The lights. The sounds. Even the faces of the people I didn't know. We walked around and I have to admit I was disappointed I didn't run into anyone I knew...not one person!

Then we came to the sideshows. The men were outside doing their usual spiel, but then one caught our attention. He was hollering something about his show being for brave men and liberated women. He looked at my brother and said that he'd let Rose and me in for free if Brian paid for his own admission. Before we knew it we were inside the huge tent standing before a stage along with maybe 30 or so other people. As I slowly looked around, I discovered Rose and I were the only women in there. As the music started, a scantily dressed dancer came out on stage and with in less than a minute she was completely naked. My mouth dropped open! Can she do that? Is that legal?

I was at the Bangor State Fair I told myself as I looked around the dimly lit tent to make sure there wasn't anyone there I knew. I thought the police were going to come busting in at any second. As the dancer made her way around the stage she crouched down into a crab walk and started offering the people along the perimeter of the stage the opportunity to sample her wares (perform oral sex on her). When she got to my brother, she said, "You want some, honey?"

My brother responded as if someone has asked him if he wanted a donut. He told her that he already had some of his own and tilted his head towards Rose. She then made her way towards me and I had this OMG look on my face that gave her my answer as I just put my hand up as sign that I was okay without  "a taste." She just smiled at me and gave me a wink as she made her way around the stage. I'll never forget this older man on the other side on the stage who grabbed ahold of the cheeks of her ass and pulled her to him as he dove into her like he was at a pie eating contest. You could hear him slurping away over the music until "security" broke it up. By that time the song ended and we filed out of the tent. All I kept thinking was now everyone I grew up with will be lined up outside waiting to see me... I wanted to kick my brother because he thought it was hilarious that Rose and I had no idea what happened inside those sideshow tents. Call me na├»ve, but I guess I never in my wildest dreams ever imagined anything like that actually happened in Bangor Maine. Note to oneself: paybacks are hell!

I heard that the police shut that stuff down finally. I guess they weren't being paid off enough or something. Anyway, all I kept thinking about was all the times as a kid when I used to walk by those sideshows. I wonder if that sort of thing was going on then and the song that was playing that night as she "danced" is burnt into my memory for all time... Now, no matter where I am if I happen to hear that song I think of that "wild ride” at the Bangor State Fair.

I can picture every move that a man could make
Getting lost in her lovin' is your first mistake
Sundown you better take care
If I find you been creepin' 'round my back stairs
Sometimes I think it's a sin
When I feel like I'm winnin' when I'm losin' again

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