Remember fun festivals?
Sure you do, if you grew up in Lorain County in the 1960s. Fun festivals were miniature school-sponsored ‘carnivals.’ They were held at the school, where there were tables set up with little games where – for the cost of one ticket – you could try your luck and win a prize, such as a live goldfish (much to Mom’s dismay).
There was usually a “pick-a-pocket” lady, who wore an big, colorful apron with a lot of pockets, each containing a small prize. For one ticket, you could select (sight unseen) something out of one of her pockets.
I remember going to a fun festival at Charleston Elementary School, and coming home with several of these small ‘walker’ toys (below), mistakenly thinking it was supposed to be Mickey Mouse’s pal Pluto. (Why are the kids on the package a martian-like green?)
|Courtesy the Internet Antique Shop|
I seem to recall that the walking dog didn’t work particularly well. Instead of “walking” to the edge of the table, Rover was dragged right over.
This “jumping frog” was another typical prize at a fun festival that I remember. There was a little spring-loaded lever in the back that you set by embedding it in a small blob of sticky gel material attached to the back of the frog; eventually the lever would loosen and release, cause the frog to “jump” into the air.
|Courtesy of Bay|
Anyway, here’s an article promoting an upcoming festival at Tennyson School in Sheffield Lake. It ran in the Journal
on May 12, 1969 and highlights the creativity of Mrs. Ronald Lemke.
Sheffield Lake To See Paul Bunyan
By BETSY WATSON
SHEFFIELD LAKE – Tennyson PTO is writing a new chapter to the Paul Bunyan legend.
Dominating the scene when Tennyson opens the door on its gay Fantasy Fair Saturday will be a giant Paul, ready to tramp through the Minnesota woodlands with his powerful ax.
The 10-foor high figure is the creation of Mrs. Ronald Lemke whose talent for costume design has brightened the Halloween parade for the past two years.
Working with chicken wire and a two months’ supply of The Journal, Mrs. Lemke says she spent an average of ten hours a day for two months to make the paper mache giant.
While the Lemke family ate dinner in shifts at a card table, Paul took his ease on the dining room table. Now that he is completed he has been shifted to the Sheffield, Sheffield Lake Board of Education Office where he stretches across the corner of the room waiting to make his Saturday debut.
Paul became a family project. Elaine Lemke, a sixth grader at Sheffield Middle School, gave up her red sweater to make his hat, and Mrs. Lemke sacrificed her husband’s scarlet stocking cap to make sox for his tree-like legs. “OK woman, anything for the cause,” said Lemke as he watched his cap top Paul’s sturdy lumber jack boots.
The folk hero is complete in detail, even to a red checkered bandana that is stuffed in his back pocket. His eyes, after a long search, were made from Italian glass grapes, the hair on his chest and head is black yarn and his shoe laces were also a donation from a patient Mr. Lemke.
Another clever creation of Mrs. Lemke that will entertain children at the fair is the costume of the Pocket Lady. Tennyson’s pocket lady will be a brown tree with a realistic headdress made of green and orange leaves. Something that should especially appear to all is the next of scarlet cardinals that rests in her branches.
The mother of five daughters, Mrs. Lemke worked on her man-sized project while involved in another back-breaking task... moving from the family home on Brockley Ave., to a new residence in Knickerbocker Knolls at the east end of the city.
There will be other clever story book characters walking the halls at the fair, including a black and white skunk with inch-long eyelashes and an emerald collar made by Mrs. William Lyon.
Hours for the Fair will be from 1 to 5 p.m. with tickets available at the door. Inside will be games, refreshments, a quaint country store and movies. Ways and means chairman are Mrs. Alfred Wynek and Mrs. Kennethe Deshuk, but all members of the PTO as well as the teachers at the school worked to make the festival possible.
Sheffield Lake’s fantasy-themed fair seemed to be a notch above the Lorain version (no pun intended in view of Paul Bunyan and his axe). But I’m not sure that having the pick-a-pocket lady costumed as a tree was a good idea, with the famed lumberjack of folklore lurking nearby.