Dispatches from a Reporter's Notebook

Fair Daze

Posted October 22, 2006 7:52 a.m. EDT

There's nothing quite like covering the North Carolina State Fair. When I first came to WRAL in October of 1994 I had the opportunity to do one of my first live-shots at the fair. As I stood on top of our van looking down at the tens of thousands of people jockeying for a piece of ground in the midway I was amazed. I had been in big crowds before; I grew up outside a large northeastern city. But this was a crowd unlike any other. The State Fair is truly a melting pot which reflects the extreme diversity in our state.

Again, twelve years later as I stood on the midway the other day I was mesmerized by the contrasts. There were families with strollers weighed down by life-size stuffed animals. There were teenaged boys wearing baggy jeans and oversized tee-shirts. There were teenaged girls wearing tight jeans and even tighter tee-shirts. There were older couples hand-in-hand who had been coming to the fair for decades, and younger couples hand-in-hand who were making what they hoped to be the first of many trips to the fair.

Somehow all of these different groups peacefully co-exist at the State Fair. Maybe it's the thrill of having your body propelled at sixty-five-miles an hour by the latest ride, the smell of deep-fried Coke, or the excitement of winning a Winnie the Pooh that takes up the entire backseat of your car. Whatever it is, wouldn't it be nice if we could achieve this harmony in our every day life?

About this Blog:

WRAL's Amanda Lamb offers a behind-the-scenes look at what TV news reporters do, the people they meet and how their jobs affect them.