Tuesday, September 8, 2015

CNE: Summer's end

Canadian National Exhibition, Toronto, September 2015

ANOTHER YEAR HAS PASSED in its customary way around here, with a hot, humid Labour Day weekend and a day with the family at the Canadian National Exhibition. Last year I brought my camera on assignment; this year I just brought one along, intending to capture glimpses while I waited in the inevitable line-ups.

Canadian National Exhibition, Toronto, September 2015

Perhaps because of the crowds and the crush and the noise, I always find myself looking up when I'm at the Ex. For a few weeks every year, people are suddenly in motion above the ground on this spot, hauled and thrown through the air by spindly, temporary structures of dubious structural integrity. On Labour Day weekend, the sky is split by roaring jet engines and etched with chalky smoke trails for the air show.

With apologies to Charles Pachter:

Canadian National Exhibition, Toronto, September 2015

The Ex takes on its most magical aspect at night. I couldn't imagine leaving before sunset, or riding the ferris wheel in the midday heat. The rides that are merely mechanical wonders in the full light of day become mysterious and perhaps more potentially lethal when lit by floodlamps and their own marquees of coloured, blinking lights.

This year for the first time it occured to me that one day, hopefully not too soon, I'll probably be too old for all of this.

Canadian National Exhibition, Toronto, September 2015

AN APPEAL: This blog is celebrating its first anniversary, and hard use has taken its toll on my old HP scanner, which now only produces clear scans on a narrow strip on the right margin of its glass. I'm on the market for a new scanner, but the only comparable replacement costs several hundred dollars beyond my budget, so I'm asking anyone who's enjoyed what I've been doing here - and wants to see more - if they can chip in and help. There's a PayPal button up near the top, and anything would be appreciated. Also, if you feel moved, please click on my Amazon.com links - a small percentage of anything you buy helps fund this blog. Thank you so much in advance.

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