Tuesday, July 19, 2011


I must admit, I was looking forward to this year's county fair. I received a fair pass for my birthday (from John, of course). But the fair didn't start out too well for me.

For 12 years, I took pictures of the demolition derby and winners of each heat. Then I would submit those photos to the newspaper for printing.

Last year, the company that took over running the derbys (his name is Don) decided that they didn't want to share fairground booth space with me. They knew I would give my photos to the winners, because I was just that way. I did it for the guys, for many years, and they all liked it. The company would rather tape and sell their videos than share.

So this year, I was out there for pleasure and observation only. What did I observe? Not too many cars entered the derby. One heat, over and done. Don's friends came, but very few local guys, or in the two neighboring counties, bothered to enter this year. They already know what a joke it is...the way Don runs things. Suffice to say, not good.

I always had one big cheerleader in my photography of the demolition derbys - Betty. She was my biggest fan, mainly because her son and grandson used to enter cars in the derbys for many years. She would always ask me, after it was over, "did you get any pictures of them for me?" I would always give her the photos of the action with them in it, or the winning photo. She loved that, and I loved doing it for her. Betty left us earlier this year, and I miss her at the fair and around town. I know Betty is looking down, knowing this year I didn't get any photos of her family, because they were not there.

Back to my big start to the fair. After the tractors and combines, I needed to walk up to the restroom before the main event. Needless to say, I never saw the main event. As I was walking across the track area, I saw John and took his arm for a minute and said I was dizzy. The area just seemed to be spinning around.

I took a deep breath and walked on, up to the restroom building. Once inside, it was warmer than outside, which was already HOT. For some reason, the room started spinning again, I was trying to breathe, and I put out my hand toward the floor because I thought I was going to end up there. Somehow, I made it over to the bench inside the room, put my head back and reached for my phone. I sent a text to John, "911 passig out rrm" and passed out on the bench. I know I didn't spell it right, but I was lucky to get that much done.

I heard a woman's voice calling my name, and the breeze of a fan on my face. I opened one eye and saw my old friend Alice Craig standing there fanning me to cool me off. My body temperature had gone sky high.

I finally got up off the bench with a struggle, and John was at the door looking for me. He got me back to the first aid station and my old friend Jeff took over. I found myself lying on the cot, given water, and he was asking me questions to make sure I was alert. He also took my blood pressure, which was "way" down, a good indication of passing out. But then I knew I had.

So I spent my time cooling off on a cot, instead of watching the poor derby event, which was over very quickly. After I recovered, another friend walked me to my truck and I left for home to lie down.

It was hot out there; I only had one sandwich all day, the one I got when I got to the fairgrounds, and all I did was sit in the back of my truck - but that was enough to make my body temperature rise to the fainting point. I guess I will have to go better prepared on my next visit. And drink more water. I learned my lesson. As Susan said, (Jeff's EMT partner tonight) people get more susceptible to the heat as they get older. Thanks for reminding me Susan. I know now. Thanks for your help John and Jeff. I appreciate you both.

1 comment:

skymetalsmith said...

The heat is fierce this summer Gail. I can't ever remember it being this bad! My Doc wrote a prescription for an air conditioner for me...but I can't get an appointment till August 16th! You take care of yourself. Stay cool!