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Recalling the Woodstock fair  and Horseback Riding in Southbridge - Doreen Boulanger
Sept  8, 2010

I didn't get to the Woodstock Fair this year, 2010, and it was the 150th!  Ouch....

But I did as a kid-When I lived on Charlton Street back in the 60's my friend Nancy prepared me to actually ride her horse in the Woodstock Fair...If our lives were a western, I was the sidekick! Back then,there was no big yellow Vincent Oil Company on the rocks hovering over Charlton Street near Columbia St, it was still just an open hay field.

Before the Beatles, and all that jazz, my biggest thrill was to go up and practice,day- after- summers day to have my first chance "showing" Nancy's horse Champ at the Woodstock Fair.  What excitement! Not too keen on whether I could pull this off or not being somewhat of a novice rider then, my friend Nancy assured me that I could if I practiced enough.
She took me through all the figure eights, and walking over bridges and backing up sweet Champ and cantering and trotting him around until I was dizzy with exhaustion.
Now all I would need to do was to try to convince the judges in Woodstock that I could actually ride well enough to even be in the class!

Then, on show day, Nancy's Dad whom I remember she called "Pa" loaded Champ into their horse trailer and we headed off for Connecticut! Nancy "placed" as usual- taking home several ribbons and I made it through my one class without falling off or getting laughed at, but it was great fun, and the point was that I did it!

Other times in Southbridge we'd ride Champ double with me hanging on to the back of the big western saddle even going downtown (just to show off )- but mainly we stayed riding in "the field" or in the woods and on the trails or, on some summer days just take long lazy rides up Guelphwood Road before everyone drove their cars around like Mario Andretti.
Things were so much slower in the old days with no computers, or cell phones or wacky little mini-motorcycles and huge noisy Harleys(sorry bikers.)

One of the things I will forever love about Southbridge is how quiet it still can be here at night. When I moved back to Southbridge from the Boston area about 10 years ago and spent the first night here again I couldn't believe how incredibly quiet the nights were!

Regrettably, I'll be leaving Southbridge for good soon, and as much as I will miss it's peace and quiet what I think I will miss the most are the many wonderful people ,who have made my memories come alive again since moving back.

It is a very special thing to be able to go into the cleaners, or the mechanics or the "little store" as we always called them and have people say hello and take the time to ask you what's up or how are things with your family. You rarely get that in any city. Its going to be hard to say goodbye but I will always treasure my very fond memories of the town I will always call home.

Sincerely,
Doreen Boulanger 

Doreen Fondly remembers Southbridge
 
Another Recollection of Doreens

Recollection of Southbridge

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Dick Whitney email: dickwhitney@charter.net
Last update Sept 8, 2010