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Horse & Trolly

Everyone is a Winner

Since attending SMU, along with the livestock competition, the midway of the State Fair of Texas has always been a fun excursion. My favorite was the classic midway game that required knocking over three large fuzzy-faced cats mounted on popsicle stick targets requiring all three throws being successful. Some hinges were sticky and a direct hit would not knock over a cat. The carnies’ perfectly timed distracting shouts added to the adrenaline. Players would wind up like Nolan Ryan. I used a soft quick dart style throw, lining up directly in front of my targets rather than making cross-throws. Years of playing allowed me to become so proficient that to show off I would throw balls simultaneously with my left and right hand, knocking over two cats at a time. Alas, a few years before the pandemic, the game was removed that had been played at fairs across the country for a century. Still the plate throw remained where two plates placed close together provided a tempting target, but the bull’s eye to break the two required plates was the size of a quarter. Negotiating with carnies was part of the fun. I love rules and always verified them ahead of time so none of my successful throws would be disqualified, and better yet, some of my unsuccessful throws might be counted as a winner. My favorite rule was a chipped or cracked plate counted as a broken plate. Carnies often will turn a chipped plate upside down and treat it as an unbroken plate. On a close throw I would always ask the carny to pull the plate out to see if I chipped it, resulting in me being a winner. After several years, this game also disappeared from the midway. For the first time in many years I returned to the the midway on opening day and saw a new plate throw that required four broken plates on four throws. There is nothing more nostalgic than a carny barking out EVERYONE IS A WINNER as he hands you a stuffed animal. *Everyone is a Winner

#StateFairOfTexas #Midway #EveryoneIsAWinner

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