The biggest thing to happen around our town all year is the county fair. Suddenly, there’s something to do on the weekends! Vendors selling foods of all kinds pack the grounds, animals from 4-H line the barns for shows, artists from everywhere set up booths to sell their works, rides arching high into the once unoccupied skies glimmer beautifully, and people… lots of people from all around come pouring in droves to empty their pockets willingly. Glad to have something to do finally.
Every year growing up I anticipated the fair with almost as much exuberance as Christmas. As I’ve matured, I came to realize that I still anticipate it with the same level of excitement…and that most people in this area do, too. Heck, even Camera Guy gets giddy when he sees them setting it up the tents and trailers. He’s only been living out here for 4 years. Clearly, if you’re in the vicinity of the Dutchess County Fair… you catch the fever.
This year was the best year I have ever gone to the fair. And we were lucky to have gone when we did. We went on the last day it was open, because they ended up closing two days earlier thanks to Hurricane Irene. Fate, I realized later, played a big part in our awesome fair day.
It pretty much went from “yay we’re going to the Fair!” to “this just made my summer” in about 2 minutes. We were parking the van, with the kids in tow who were moaning and groaning to get out, in a huge field with a bagillion other cars. We followed the parking attendants prompts and tucked ourselves in line to a spot. As we pulled in, a shiny silver Land Cruiser also pulled in to park right next to us. Only problem was, as I tossed an annoyed look out my window to the driver, that they came quite close to our car.
I popped my door open slowly and squeezed out, still looking at the driver. He looked familiar. I wasn’t sure though, with his baseball hat on where I had seen him before. Clearly, he noticed the situation and as I observed his teenage sons sleeping in his backseat he rolled down his window to excuse the parking job.
“Don’t worry honey, I left ya enough room to get out”
And that was it. His voice. I popped open our side door to release Princess, and my heart started pounding, and I started trembling because he got out of his car too.
I couldn’t stop staring at him now. My body was visibly shaking as we stood facing each other, oh so awkwardly wedged between two cars.
Liam Neeson just called me honey.
My brain did the most fast and ridiculous amount of thinking I think its ever done in my whole life. It was like I was filing through a cabinet of information in my brain that confirmed all of my suspicions.
“That face. That VOICE. Two sons. I knew he lived locally, but parking next to us? Out of all the thousands of other cars to park next to?”
Then I started to have an internal debate that almost gave me a headache,
“Ask to shake his hand! No don’t do that, he’ll be so annoyed. Just say, excuse me are you Liam Neeson. No idiot, he IS Liam Neeson. Say I love your movies. No, no, no, just ignore him he wants to be unknown. But shouldn’t I say something? Fine, just say SOMETHING!”
Shaking as I lifted out Princess and place her in front of him, I looked up… really up, and suddenly became quite aware of how tall he is, how perfectly gorgeous his voice was and how starstruck I had become.
“I’m so sorry” I stammered sheepishly as I pulled the van door closed so he could move, “I should not have opened that door.” I ended my statement gravely and hung my head down as if I was guilty of committing the most horrible sin in the world.
He nodded and continued on his way. Happy to get away from the freak show.
Once he was out of earshot, I ran over to Camera Guy who was unloading the trunk and burst out,
“That was Liam Neeson! Liam Neeson just parked next to us!! He called me honey!”
Camera Guy shot his head up to catch a look,
“I knew that voice sounded familiar!”
“Duh it sounds familiar!!!!” I was skipping around the van, “It’s Aslan, Qui Gon Jinn, Hannibal, Schindler…..ahhhhhh! That voice!!!”
I couldn’t stop replaying the scene in my head all day. As we continued to unpack the car and tote the kids off to the entrance gate, we saw him walking ahead of us to get into the fair. Camera Guy was acting just as ridiculous as I was. He had his camera ready around his neck, he was walking quickly to catch up. He was glad to just be able to really claim that finally, he too, had seen a movie star.
“And not just any movie star, it’s Liam Neeson. This is like, huge. He is like.. like… it!”
I gushed more and more about his voice, until we got close enough to him again that talking would have just pointed us out even more as crazed fans. We had these huge idiot grins on our faces, and once we met up with the rest of our clan and bragged our news to them, they too, had big gaffy grins and we all stared shamelessly at the star. Part of me was getting self-conscious for making such a big deal, but the other part of me didn’t care. This was so cool! When would something like that ever happen again?
Camera Guy really being obvious, took a picture of the kids when Liam was standing in the background. Just for memories sake, I guess. Either way, it was a great day at the fair. You better believe Liam Neeson is all we talked about the whole day, and when we got home we looked him up online and rented movies and even found a whole Facebook page for fans of his voice. (I’m telling you… that voice!)
Yup, that pretty much took the cake this year for any event we could have seen at the fair. Fried dough, ferris wheels, wine tasting, bull riding…all paled this year.
They all paled and you better believe I’m going to use one blog post to brag. Liam Neeson had called me honey. And no matter how many times I hear that word ever again in my life, it will never sound as sweet as it did in those 2 minutes.