South Dade News Leader: Doris D Meneses

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Doris D Meneses

Friday 06/15/2018
What the world needs now

There are so many bad things happening in our world. Drive by shootings, muggings, hit and runs, murders and suicides just to mention a few. People shake their heads and ask one question. Why? Our world has certainly changed and not necessarily for the good.

As a child born in the 50’s, I too wonder what has changed.

Remember the old days? Days when children could walk to the neighborhood school or park by themselves and doors were never locked. We used to walk or ride our bikes all over the town we lived in and as long as we were home at dark, our parents had no reason to worry. We walked to the town pool by ourselves and swam as long as we could. In the evenings, our parents and neighbors sat out on the front porches chatting while the children in the neighborhood caught lightning bugs and played chase tag.

Of course, these were the days when children had respect for their elders. All adults were treated with respect. If in a room with a crowd and an elder was standing, children stood so that the elder could sit. If an adult told you not to do something, you immediately stopped the behavior and apologized.

In the summer, block parties were held with rides and games and the local playgrounds held different events for families. Families went to parks on picnics with aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents. My dad and brothers used to go to the local park at 6 a.m. and place a cooler on two picnic tables to “reserve them” for our family. We would then go later around 10 a.m. and the coolers were still there untouched.

Could you imagine this today? Ha!

Oh, those were the days.

I was speaking with a co-worker this week and we were reminiscing about how things used to be in Homestead and Florida City. We talked about the need to bring back the old times. Yes, let’s bring back the olden days. Remember them?

Families taking rides to Dairy Queen in Florida City for ice cream. The entire town attending the local fair. No, not the overcrowded Youth Fair! It was the South Dade Country Fair!

Do you remember the South Dade Country Fair? It was held in a field across from the Capri in Florida City and it featured all the wonderful aspects of homemaking and farming in our area. Canned goods, fruits, vegetables, poultry, baking and sewing were featured. Local residents entered items into competitions and they were judged and ribbons awarded.

Out of curiosity, I had my feelers out to find out the history of the fair as I could not remember when the fair closed for good, who ran it or much else and I have received a few responses thanks to Jeff Blakley of the Homestead's Historic Town Hall Museum and Bob Jensen. Bob said that the fair started at Harris Field and then moved to the Krome Avenue site.

Two instrumental people on the fair committee were Jack Levy and Ruth Campbell and it probably ended in the mid 80’s. Wilfrid Whitney remembers someone in his family winning a prize for her Rhode Island Red rooster. Ronnie Hunter remembers the fair being by the electric plant and Jeff Blakely remembers it also being held there, near the old National Guard Armory, so maybe it moved around a lot.

I do have reminders of the fair at my home. It was probably in the 70’s when, as a young mother, I took part in the fair by entering several items in the sewing category at the fair, and I have the ribbons that I won.

Unfortunately, the tags on the ribbons do not have dates. I have a ribbon for the “First Award, Second Place and two Third Place ribbons. I remember the thrill of just seeing creations being displayed with ribbons attached.

Yes…thinking of that pop song from years ago, I’d like to sing...,” What the world needs now”.

Yes it needs love, sweet love but more than anything, we need to bring back the good old days! I know not many people can or sew anymore but there is certainly enough fruits and vegetables and roosters hanging around our area and who knows, maybe we could bring back those lost arts of canning and sewing! Maybe bringing back the old-fashioned things would help to change today’s society.

OK so who is going to bring back the South Dade Country Fair? I can dream, can’t I?

Do you remember the fair? Drop me a line and tell me about your memories at

Posted in Opinion, Columnists, Doris d meneses on Friday, June 15, 2018 3:30 pm. Comments (0)


Doris has been inviting readers to, "Walk in My Shoes," for several years. She shares with us her unique, "local" opinion, while raising a few eyebrows along the way. Walk with Doris and enjoy her love of the neighborhoods, events, community groups, and most of all, the people of South Dade.

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