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By Donald Hubbard
We avoided psychiatrists in Hale, Connecticut in the 1960’s, figuring a few things, that if you did not go to one, you were not ill. Also, they were thought to be mad scientists or hippies and they probably charged too much, and were seemingly illogically, Communists. Though as assistant town librarian Mabel Swing once observed of Floyd Danielson, “a few visits couldn’t hurt.”
Floyd noticeably regressed each year during the Hale County Fair, a coalition of cotton candy, coronary occluding fries and chintzy rides. Generally the townspeople regarded Floyd as an eccentric, a harmless town coot who drank alone and spent much of each day blubbering or watching soap operas on television.
The fair brought out his inner-carny as he rode his horse onto the town green and let the kids feed the horse and sometimes Floyd himself, carrots.
One year Floyd bought a ticket to the Ferris wheel for his horse from a bemused drug addicted man at the ticket window. The Ferris wheel operator, a young runaway girl all freckles and a past history of impropriety, said “we can’t do that.” Floyd looked around, said “I don’t see a sign saying horses can’t ride.”
The girl possessed little public relations skills or much of an ability to address peculiar situations, so she got scared and ran away from her post. Seeing a Ferris wheel without an operator, her boss ran over to accost Floyd, swearing and demanding that the horse go to hell.
When Floyd said, “my horse has just as much a right to ride that Ferris wheel as you do,” the boss pulled out a revolver and shot the horse dead. As Floyd mourned, the boss gave away free tickets and filled up the ride with stunned parents and their children.
Floyd told me later, “the horse was old and tired and I thought a ride would be nice. That did not seem crazy to me.”
#Unreal #Fiction #Sanity #FerrisWheel #CottonCandy
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