It was back to Staten Island this past Sunday to attend the Richmond County Fair putting us in the mood for the upcoming Autumnal Equinox, which is just around the seasonal corner (yay!)
It is a small home-town affair this Fair but, they packed it with an eclectic mix of rides, animals, games, music, food and history, running right up the middle of Historic Old Richmond Town composed of houses, shops and farms dating from the Dutch Settlers in the 1600’s to the mid 1800’s and the Civil War.
I made a bee line for the make shift corral that held the curly-headed Llamas and shaggy ponies munching on hay and submitting to numerous photos and head pats. Next stop was an old Dutch home where I found a comely woman in period costume of long white dress, white apron and frilly bonnet standing at a table in front of an enormous stone fireplace stirring a mixture in a clay bowl. Her name was Carol Obler a resident of Staten Island, who volunteers as a tour guide at Old Richmond Town and was so patient as I peppered her with questions about the history of the house and what she was baking, etc. She offered me a taste of the latest batch of 1-2-3-4 cake, which is a melt in your mouth rich buttery cake that is easy to mix and make because it has only four ingredients (click on the link above for the recipe.) We spent a pleasant few minutes chatting and then I asked permission to take a few photos of the inside of the cottage before walking back out into the noisy bustle of the 21st century.
Walking along the street I met a young and charming woman in a short blue dress and sash proclaiming she was the newly crowned Miss Five Boroughs. Further up a hill I stepped into an old general store where I was greeted by another charming young women in Civil War era dress complete with a plaid hooped skirt. Out again on the street I met a tall thin mustachioed man, a long drink of water as my mother would have said, dressed in top hat and baggy stripped pants that concealed the stilts he was balancing on to the delight of the small children gathered around his knees. Further along the road were two tapping Tinsmiths hard at work and a snake oil salesmen selling his wares from an old green suit case.
I heard some good old rock and roll music in the distance and followed the beat to a small band shell where none other than Elvis, in a tight white fringed and beaded jump suit entertained the masses with the hit songs from the late great King. On the opposite side of the band shell was a ballad singer in a pink cowboy hat who was adjacent to a small orchestra playing under the shade, just a few feet from a young woman cooking apple butter in a cauldron over a fire, adding to the mix of musical sounds and cooking aromas permeating the air.
It was late afternoon and the sun was hot as we bid fare-thee-well to the County Fair and drove to a relaxing late lunch under the cool umbrellas and breezes of the Tiki Bar at the Maria Cafe.
Enjoy this fairest of the fairs.