A Free Ride: Carnival operator keeps 93 year old’s favorite ride open just for her

 

HINTON, OKLAHOMA -- The Hinton District Fair is over for this year. You can tell because it's so quiet.

There are plenty of spare seats on the park benches, and all but one of the rides is put away.

On a pretty Tuesday morning Hinton Fair Board President Jim McCain is giving extra rides on the ferris wheel.

His VIP is 93-year-old Christeen Price, with her daughter Karla Sandoval.

Christeen makes it a point to go around as many times as she can every single year.

"Some people think, 'oh no. I don't want to do that, or I don't want to be that silly or that childish," laughs Price.

Jim's been involved with the Hinton Fair for more than 30 years.

He knew the Price family when he worked for the local phone company, but it was only this year he learned of Christeen's fondness for the 'Big Eli' wheel.

Price started riding it fifty years ago when it was still a new arrival in Hinton.

She didn't like the rides that made her dizzy.

"I can't go around this way," she says spinning her hands in a horizontal circle. "I have to go around this way or it makes me sick."

Price liked this one because it gave her such a nice view of the town and its surroundings.

McCain says, "Somebody just told me she'd been riding a long time. I got to visiting with her and found out she's been riding it every year for better than forty years."

The privileges of age often get a pat on the back, maybe a seat on a crowded bus or a good senior discount.

Every once in a while they get you a free pass on your favorite ride.

The circle of life is a grand thing.

No one knows how many trips around you might get. Christeen Price is going to take every one she can.

The Hinton District Fair makes a three or four day run every year the weekend before Labor Day.

Jim McCain says Christeen has a fast pass and a free ride from now on.