Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Making Cotton Candy

August 12, 1964

Jocie Brooke here reporting from Hollyhill. 

I am never going to eat cotton candy again. Ever! You know I'm in 4-H. Well, for a fundraiser, somebody thought it would be great to rent a concession stand and sell soft drinks and popcorn and candy and cotton candy at a ballgame. If they'd stopped at popcorn and candy, it might have been okay. But no, the leader, Mr. Reardon, had to get a stand with a cotton candy maker in it. And who was stupid enough to volunteer to work in the stand? Me, that's who. 

And who was even more stupid when we decided on jobs? "Yeah, sure," I said. "I can spin a cardboard tube and collect cotton candy on it. Sure, I can." That's one of the problems with thinking you can do anything and everything. But I'd still rather be like that than hiding over in the corner afraid to give anything a try. But this was one thing I should have hidden in a corner away from - far, far away - instead of standing there getting wrapped in a web of spun sugar. 

Have you ever tried it? It's not as easy as you think it might be. That sugar spinning out will stick to everything and anything except that paper tube. I had pink sugar in my hair. I had webs of the stuff dripping down off my eyebrows. The other kids working in the stand thought it was hilarious. Of course, Jesse did burn his arm on the popcorn machine and had butter up to his elbows. The easy job was at the window taking money and handing out candy bars. Alicia got that. She looked really cute doing it too, so maybe that sold extra stuff. Thank goodness not everybody wanted cotton candy. If you don't spin that paper tube with a light hand while the sugar is spinning up in the air, then it's more like crunchy threads of sugar instead of cotton. You don't want crunch when you're buying cotton candy. You want sugary air. Something that will melt in your mouth. Not something that might break a tooth. 

At last, I sort of figured out how to capture the sugary webs and then I wanted to go grab little kids and make them come buy the cotton candy, but I might barf if I have eat another bite of that sugar. I need a potato chip. 

Did you ever do anything like that? Work in a concession stand? I'll bet Zella never has. She's still waiting for that Mr. Whitlow to come by with a big bunch of roses to say he's sorry for heading out of town for a few days without so much as a see you later. He is back in town, but he hasn't come to make up with Zella. He's probably scared to try it.

You don't want to mess with Zella when she's mad. 

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