Monday, August 06, 2007

Chip Peavey RIP

Electrocuted man long-time fair vendor
Amos Bridges © 2007, Springfield News-Leader

Police have identified Christopher Peavey as the man who died this morning at the Missouri Entertainment and Event Center.

Peavey, a long-time concessions vendor at the fair, was electrocuted while tearing down his stand, police said.

The 48-year-old self-employed vendor was disconnecting a trailer when he came in contact with a live wire, said Grant Story, Springfield police spokesman.

A native of New York City and former ice skater, Peavey was a fixture at the fair for more than a quarter century, selling cotton candy, cinnamon rolls and other baked goods.

Peavey was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. The incident was reported around 9: 30 a.m.

Story said there were no indications of foul play and the department’s investigation is complete. “Everything appears to be an accident.”

This guy had the cinnamon roll trailer at the east end of the road leading from the eplex. He also sold bread in flower pots. He also sold corn dogs at Firefall.

This is a blog entry that someone wrote back on 2004. Chip's cinammon rolls tasted wonderful. After you splurged and ate the first one, they were what brought you back to the fair each year.

Cinnamon Roll Day
Every year, the fair comes to town for a week and every year the whole Tri-Metro area is thrown into bedlam and confusion as people from all over the state descend upon our heads, tie up our roads and make life a good bit more stressful. Many local citizens choose this week to leave the area on vacation just to avoid it. Those of us who have to stay quickly learn the back roads to get around the glut of traffic between us and work. Even the "liberry" reduces hours of operation to close at 5 p.m. all week just to compensate for the lower patronage. This royally horks off the internet crowd, though, so it's not all bad.

I was out of town last year during the fair so I didn't get to participate in what has become one of my life's great culinary experiences, the Fair Cinnamon Roll. It's really the only reason I go to the fair at all these days, cause I'm certainly not there for the rides or the hot dog-food on a bun booth.

I first encountered the Fair Cinnamon Roll two years ago while visiting the Fair with my in-laws. We'd already eaten our share of Fair Food and were feeling kind of bloated from it, but spied the Cinnamon Roll stand on our way out. Ash and I bought a roll to share, but didn't actually eat until we'd been home for an hour or two. Upon having our first bite, we knew we'd made a grave error in judgment. Not because it was cold, mind, but because if we had known how amazing these giant sugar-coated balls of heaven truly were we would have bought several more. To get more, we would have to pay upwards of $7 just to get into the fair, then another $5 a pop for each roll. It was quite an expensive endeavor, but dammit we were addicted now and had to have them! Still, my wallet won the argument, so I finally wound up bribing Mrs. A to buy three cinnamon rolls when she went to the Fair to work the Literacy Booth. Ash and I each had one and we generously gave the third to our neighbor Annie-Bea.

Like I said, I missed out on the rolls last year because I was visiting my sister in Austin, but I more than made up for it by eating my weight in Tex Mex while there.

This year I was determined to get my hands on at least one cinnamon roll and I knew exactly when I was going to do it.

See today was Free Day at the Fair. This doesn't mean you can get into the Fair free all day, but you can get in free between the hours of 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Just in time for breakfast! So I left all guilt and the chain-rattling ghost of Dr. Atkins at the house and headed out at 8:15 to secure my cinnamon roll.

After negotiating my way through the free-parking lot, running over a bottle in the process thanks to the kindly direction of the parking staff, and maneuvering through the mass crowd of families who were headed in for free day with no intentions of leaving until they ran out of money, I was finally there.

To the right is a picture of my view as I approached the hallowed cinnamon roll booth itself. I felt very lucky that only a handful of people were waiting in line to make off with some of the earliest rolls fresh from the oven. The lines for this booth usually rival those of It's A Small World at Disneyland.

The truly great thing about the cinnamon roll booth is the high quality construction of each of the rolls. The cinnamon roll guys roll out the dough right there in front of the big window. They lovingly put around 16 pats of real butter all over the surface of the dough, not skimping, before sprinkling the whole thing with a quarter inch of sugar and cinnamon. Then they roll that sucker up, slice it into huge chunks, put the chunks on a baking sheet, bake it for a while, then slather the whole piping hot tray in a gooey sugar/cinnamon icing. Eating one is like becoming David Bowman at the end of 2001. "My God, it's full of stars!"

"I'll have a coffee and two cinnamon rolls, please," I told the man at the window. He took a spatula and gathered up my rolls into little plastic containers, slid them into a white paper bag and poured my coffee. My total price was $11 and I knew already it would be worth every last penny of it.

I took my bag of cinnamony sugary carb-laden goodness to find a spot to sit and eat. The picnic tables were infested with teenagers waiting for the rides to open, so I decided to use the mostly uncrowded concrete front step of one of the exhibit buildings as my dining table.

Take a good close look at the full-size picture of my cinnamon roll to the right. A beauty isn't it? My stomach's been living for this moment for months now. This is to be the pinnacle moment of low carb-cheating for my entire year. All other cheats--including eating half a box of Golden Grahams, by myself, in one sitting, a month back--pale by comparison.

I take the first bite. It is every bit as good as I've been hoping it would be. I can taste the salt from the butter as it has a menage a trois with the sugar and cinnamon across my tongue. It's like the best sex you've ever had condensed into a single bite. Only by eating one of these can you understand just how on the money all those scientific studies showing how men equate smells of warm cinnamon buns with sex truly are. I take another bite. It's just as good as the first. I then proceed, bite by bite, through the entire roll over the course of six or so minutes.

While eating, I try to analyze the experience as best I can, cause it turns out there are highs and lows to it.

I've come to the conclusion that, for me at least, the first seven or eight bites were probably the best. Eight put me about half-way through the cinnamon roll. After that, the pleasure of the experience decreased exponentially with each new bite. I'm really not a sweet-tooth at heart and I can only stand so much sugary richness before the flow of endorphins begins to trickle off. At around 4 bites from the end, I could really see the logic in merely sharing one of these rolls with someone else. That way, you get the best parts of the experience and not so much of the whole long haul to the finish line praying for merciful death thing. The penultimate bite was painful, cause I could see the last one coming, and it was a big one. I didn't get sick or anything, but my poor sugar deprived stomach was definitely feeling confused as to what to do with the mass influx of sucrose.

After that, I walked around the fair for a while, looking at all the other food booths that are just opening up. I knew that while I was in for free I really should indulge in some of the better edible attractions, but my gut is full of roll and I just can't imagine eating anything else, particularly something sweet. After twenty minutes or so, I went home with my other cinnamon roll.

I planned to offer my other roll to my sweet baby upon her impending return from KENTSburg. I even mentioned it to her on the phone tonight, secretly hoping she would turn it down.

"Noooo, I don't need any more sugar," she said. "You should eat it. Don't let it sit around in the congealed butter grease and get nasty."

I didn't need to be told twice. I popped that sucker in a bowl, nuked it for a couple of minutes and feasted on warm cinnamon roll that was almost exactly as good as the one this morning. I even ate some of it on the phone to Ashley so she could live vicariously through me.

Frankly, I think she's a bit jealous of my near adulterous relationship with the rolls

1 comment:

Juice S. Aaron said...

It's getting to be about that time of year again. I can smell the cinnamon even now.