…the year that the fair was almost rained out -- sometime in the late 1990’s. It had been raining off and on all the night before and was still raining when the parade started. To ease the tension and put the best face on what was beginning to look like an absolute disaster, the fair cochairs, Lola Austin and Lynn Dickey, went home and put on their swim suits and rode in the fair parade on top of open convertibles, hamming it up like bathing beauties. About eleven o’clock when the parade was almost over, the rain stopped and the sun came out. Although attendance was down that year, many of the fairgoers who persevered said it was the best fair in years because it wasn’t so crowded.
…when Christine Carvajal was the Grand Marshall of the 2001 King William Fair Parade. She was absolutely thrilled with the honor and went right out a bought a new dress and a pair of red shoes for the occasion.
…when Rayford Dobie talked me into chairing the first King William Fair back in 1967. The first fair was from 1 to 5 on a Saturday afternoon and was really just a home-made event. Neighborhood volunteers nailed together craft stands and set them up in yards along King William Street.
Back then, the fair was just arts and crafts – no food or beverages. The neighborhood association received 10% of sales and we netted $35.55 that first year. The next year, the proceeds were up to $47.15. I think Julian Trevino’s father had a tamale booth that year and we made about $10 off that.
…when I moved here in 1979, neighborhood volunteers were still making all the food booths for the fair. For weeks preceding the fair, the booths were banged together with 2 x 4’s and plywood on the lot which is now the garden for the King William Lofts on Madison Street. Very early on the day of the fair, they were trucked, one by one, out to the street. After the fair was over, it took us a month to disassemble the booths and we always stored them in the Masaro’s barn. I think we were constructing about fifteen booths at the height of this madness before we finally had the good sense to have the job contracted out. The Masaro’s old rustic barn, by the way, has since been beautifully restored into a guest cottage on the river behind 221 E. Guenther.
…I think it was 1973, the second spring that Ernest and I were back in the neighborhood when Carolene Zehner and I were doing publicity for the King William Fair. We had hand-drawn fliers and we begged newspapers and TV stations for publicity. That was the year that Patsy LeBlanc sold chalupas from Sonora Hartley’s front porch. You should have heard the flak we got from the neighborhood old guard – selling food at the fair for heaven’s sake! What’s this neighborhood coming to!
…at one of the early King William Fair planning sessions, everyone agreed that we really must have rest room facilities for the fairgoers. The association didn’t have the money to rent port-a-potties so Hazel and I volunteered our house as a rest stop. ‘How bad could it be?’ we said to each other. Well….on fair day, we quickly found out just how bad it could be! It was absolutely awful! We spent days cleaning up that mess.
…one of my fondest memories of “Batt” Batterson was chauffeuring him in the Red Beetle when he was Parade Grand Marshall in the 1983 King William Fair.