NYS Fairgrounds, Syracuse, New York.
When I was a kid, the 4H horse barns were simple pole buildings open to the elements. The course, gray sand footing that lined the arenas were always in need of water. Its dust filtrating through the open walkways, clinging to show clothes and freshly oiled tack. Chain-link aligned the tops of each stall; an addition I wasn’t sure I liked. The counties each had their assigned location every year. Cattaraugus County right across from the horse show office; the walk/trot ring attached; the gate never securely latched.
There was one August afternoon that a storm pulled up from the east. The sky dark, lightning in the distance, no thunder. The Ferris Wheel’s steel bright against the backdrop, the colors of its lights sending Morse-code like warnings that we should get back to the dorms or risk being caught. I remember telling my sister to go stand against the railing of the ring; instructing her to face me as I lifted my 35mm in an attempt to capture the sky, the Ferris Wheel, the ring.
I remember nothing else from that moment, but when I come across that picture I feel the eerie presence of that memory as if it’s trying to tell me there is something more that I am missing, that if I think hard enough; look closer at the details, I will remember something hidden.