There is one corner of the Dixie Classic Fair that sells apple products. Apple fritters, apples on a stick, apples dipped in caramel and apple cider. Despite all the fair food with their pungent aromas, my preference is always the apple corner.

When the children were younger, we would stand for an hour sometimes, which is a long time for a child at the fair, and watch the old man in overalls use one of those old-fashioned apple peelers. The children were mesmerized by the process.

One day I found one of those apple peelers at a garage sale. It had never been used — that should have been my first clue. I think I paid $1 for it. Anxious to try it out, we stopped and bought a bag of apples on the way home. I assembled my new toy and pierced that first apple. I immediately learned my first lesson. It involved balance. The apple had to be exactly centered or it got off-balance and only peeled one side of the apple. With my second apple, I learned a lesson in force. The peeler had to be set at just the right angle to exert proper pressure or it just skipped over the apple. Thinking I finally had it mastered, I pierced the third apple. My confidence proved too powerful and I pierced my palm along with the apple. By now, the children were no longer interested. The atmosphere was wrong– no wafting aromas, no fair music, no dart throwing hawker in the background.

The apple peeler lived under my kitchen counter for many years. It was never used again. I still visit the apple corner at the fair.

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