Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Tilt-a-Whirl Tradition

We used to sit inside the tilt-a-whirl. It was my cousins and I, packed together, four or five of us. I usually ended up in the middle, and for once. I actually liked it that way. In the middle I could see the lights go by. I could breathe. I was on the ground, so I wasn’t afraid. I knew I could fly. The middle was the driver's seat on a tilt a whirl. It was the place to be when you took a ride.

The big chair would start swaying, moving slowly, across the hilly wood floor. The sound inside the hood of the chair was muffled and eerie, part of the fun and part of the ride.

We’d look at each other, because that’s how we did such things. We had our ways. We had them about everything, even things as specific as this carnival ride.

Just as the car-chair came around that high point, the very first time, right near the carny guy, we’d all lean forward and turn our head outward to him to yell, “Faster, faster,” as we went by. He was our friend. He always the one who strapped us in the chair. He always smiled and had a tattoo.

Every time we went by we said it again, again, “Faster, faster.” Just like that. Only two times.

The carny guy would laugh. Sometimes he would say, “Okay then,” and give a push of power as we went by.

I never heard any other kids say that. I don’t recall anyone telling me they did. "Faster faster," seems a thing that was only our way.

I don’t know how we came to say it ourselves.

It was tradition.

That’s how tradition is.
−me strauss Letting me be


Mama Mouse said...

Tradition is a wonderful thing. When they start you just don't know that they will become a tradition! My mil brought a green been casserole to a holiday dinner once, 40 or so years ago. Now everyone in her family has to have green been casserole at a holiday meal or it simply isn't right! AWFUL dish ... WONDERFUL tradition.

Tradition is what makes things special!

I LOVE your tradition!

ME Strauss said...

Tradition is a wonderful thing indeed. The more awful or silly the tradition is the move I love and take joy from it. The more I miss it when it's not around to share it.

I knwo that darn green been cassorole. It's not awful. Just unispired. :)