Free Fair Park!

I swear -- swearswearswear -- this is our last item about Fair Park. At least, for today -- I'm headed over to the George Allen, so. But, seriously, I highly recommend attending Park and Rec board meetings, mostly because Park and Rec's the only city entity I'm aware of that uses the Texas Discovery Gardens for government business -- the Grand Hall, specifically, which is an awfully nice place in which to hear City Attorney Tom Perkins go over lobbyist registration regulations, as he did today. (I did like it when one park member said, "Where are the teeth?" But that's another story for another time and another writer -- Sam?)

After the Band Shell and auto museum items were passed, and before the board got down to other business, First Assistant City Attorney Chris Bowers got up to talk about the legal nitty-gritty that'll allow the museum to move into the Grand Place. At which point, the board went into executive closed session, and I got the boot (I was the only reporter in the room). Which is how I came to spend the next 45 minutes wandering the fairgrounds.

The only people I saw during my sojourn were a few schoolkids and their teachers and a few park upkeep people -- hard to believe on such a glorious morning (well, not so hard to believe). No sign of the Code 58 set, but I did notice something else: One of the front gates to the Cotton Bowl was wide open, so I wandered inside.

Shhh, don't tell: I sat in the bleachers. Wished I'd brought a football and friends. Wished I had friends. Took a picture instead. A serious question: Why doesn't the city charge to let folks down on the field when it's not being used -- which, by my estimation, would be 360-some-odd days out of the year? Just wondering. Forget it. I was never here.

I walked around some more -- my, the Midway's a lonely place when the State Fair's in hibernation, and, man, I sure hope the aquarium's open by year's end. (That was the best elementary school field trip when I was a kid. So, sure, I didn't know any better.)

The restored fountain looks amazing -- too bad it wasn't, ya know, on. (Effin' money.) Walked back to the car and noticed the side gate to the Band Shell was wide open. Took a few steps and walked right onto the stage. Took another picture. Wished I could have stayed there all day. Wished I could have remember that Ann-Margret song from State Fair. I'd have busted it out right then and there.

Hey, what are you doing tomorrow?

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky