• Clarke Wallace


I’ve been spending some time this year at the Woodbridge Fall Fair promoting my book HARM’S WAY,which was released recently. The Fair is split over three days of the Thanksgiving weekend. I have been sitting at a table in a whitewashed, barn­­-like structure.

On one side of me are racks of those young and old and in between who entered the photo competition. On the other side was a church group selling tickets to multiple draws. Like dinner out for a family.

Way down at the end of the building is the Canadian Peregrine Foundation with the several falcons perched in the open on upright logs. The local Fire Brigade had a booth here, first day of the fair, telling us how to keep our houses from burning down. Or flooding. (Shut off the water system, they tell you, among other things, when you go away.)

I enjoy this annual Fair where you can plug into the arts, agricultural and homecraft competitions; a kid’s village. Pony rides, pioneer and blacksmith demos. Not to forget a petty zoo, a corn stalk maze large and high enough to get you lost. Clowns, a midway complete with a ferris wheel. Live music all day long.

The Woodbridge fair began in 1847, if you can believe it. That’s 172 years ago.

It takes up some 25 acres - 9.5 hectares - in Woodbridge itself. One year a bunch of us kids decided to sneak into the grounds. We dug a hole under the far barbed wire fence and crawled in. We were so proud we got away with it. Only to learn days later my mother cornered one of the fair executives, paying off the five admissions. What a bummer.

Sunday. I noticed this guy carving large animal figures out of old tree trunks (see photo) right before your eyes. Not far off, a smithy forging not horseshoes so much as fireplace pokers and other things he fashioned the old way.

Monday. Where else could you learn how to throw an axe at a target some 20 feet away. Or have a chance to learn how to recognize Ontario grains. Oats. wheat, barley, and so on.

Author’s comment: I met someone while walking around to stretch my legs. It blew my mind. It’s really him? Last person I expected to shake hands with.

It’ll blow your mind too when you learn who he is. There’s the catch. I’ll show you only by you checking my post tomorrow. Curious? Hmm.

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