This is my favorite time of the year when the sweltering heat of summer begins to subside, dove hunting has filled our early morning hours, and football comes back to the gridiron starting with high schools on Friday night, colleges on Saturdays and Cowboy football on Sundays and occasionally on a Monday or Thursday. However, my favorite part of fall is the smell of corn dogs, Belgian waffles, smoked sausage at Hans Mueller...yes, I’m talking The State Fair of Texas. Even with the changes from old, I still love the Fair. Some of my fondest memories as a kid were going to the Fair. We would go very early in the morning to get great parking and start breakfast at the Owens Sausage Shack right next to the Animal Barns. My father showed cattle, turkey, chickens and pigs back in the 30’ and 40’s, when they would actually stay in the dorms above the barns and it was a two week extravaganza for a country kid. Needless to say, my father’s fondest memories still echo through those Sale Barns. After spending quite a bit of time walking through the Barns, looking at the stock and the judging of stock, we’d head off to the Automobile Building. However, between the Barns and the Automobile Building, we had to make time for our second smorgasbord stop of the fair, the Fletcher’s Corn Dog stand, which got its start here at the SFOT. Who doesn’t love a corn dog? You can tell by the lines! In the Auto Building we perused over the new cars while ogling over the models whom demonstrated the features on the circling stages, my thoughts would shift to the next snack, generally something fried, like twinkies or as of late, the chicken and waffle on a stick. Nowadays I like to walk around the outdoor truck displays, looking at what my next truck model will offer me in convenience and comfort, thus sucking my wallet dry, while smacking away, yes I said smacking, not snacking! Remember, this is a full frontal assault on a State Fair smorgasbord! As the depression sets in over the price of these trucks, costing more than my first house, it’s off to the Food and Fiber Building, formerly the TAP (Texas Agriculture Products) Building, to view all of the homemade jams, jellies, pickles, quilts, art, etc. produced by us very proud Native Texans. Of course, while viewing these foods and fancies here it comes...hunger pangs. So to ease these pangs it’s off to the Hans Mueller tent for sausage or turkey legs, just sausage for me really, the turkey legs are too much work and take up to much space. Oh, since this is a German beer garden you have to wash it down with a tasty adult beverage, so let the fun begin! Our next adventure takes us to the Creative Arts Building which is next to the Embarcadero, in Spanglish meaning “one helluva food court”! TaDah! The Mecca of Food, where every taste bud’s desire awaits my expandable pants and a pocket full of coupons. Man, I’m happier than a kid at Christmas! I’ve arrived for the “pièce de résistance”, let’s get it on like Donkey Kong! This is where small bites and a group of friends are very important! This is the smorgasbord finale, you’ve got Mexican, Cajun, Italian, Chinese, Vietnamese, BBQ and I want it all! After this extended time of munching, drinking, thinking it’s time to hit the Midway. No, not half time, it’s game time and rides. This is a fine skill of negotiating Carnies and wayward kids, while trying not to lose the bellyful of State Fair chow, cuz nothing can ruin a trip to the Fair like, well let’s say, a rapid loss of not quite so digested food, catch what I’m laying down? After the final expulsion of tickets spent on “rigged” games and nervous rides it’s time to head back to the parking lot and call it another great annual visit, but it’s not over! Oh hell no, we got 21 days of fair smorgasbord left! See you tomorrow Big Tex, sweet dreams big fella! You all get yourselves to the great State Fair of Texas, and have a corn dog for me, or better yet, come see me in the Celebrity Chef Kitchen in the Creative Arts Building Friday, October 5th at 11 A.M.!