At one level, my first and last visit to the Indiana State Fair in mid-August 2017 was an unmitigated disaster, yielding only as many sightings during an all-day state fair event as a good evening at my local county fair would with a fraction of the attendance. On the other hand, I hit well above my weight with the three dozen or so sightings I did score and pulled off a few worthy of my hall of fame. One sighting that managed to represent the best and the worst of the environment came in the mid-afternoon and even though I didn’t realize it at the time, represented a tea leaf where I should have figured out what the problem was regarding the sightings slim pickings….
I saw from afar this adorable 22ish light brunette in a red tanktop and denim cutoffs standing at the policemen’s booth next to her boyfriend clutching a pack of Camel Light Menthols. Hers was the most wholesome face of the day and she was just walking away from the police booth as I approached, following her as she seemed to be searching for someplace specific, continuing to clutch that white and green pack in her hand. She and the boyfriend hid in the corner behind this tree…where she and only she lit up. It’s so spectacular to see a girl of this pedigree being the only smoking member of a relationship, with her boyfriend standing by while she filled her body with toxic carcinogens. As remote of a spot as they were standing, I was still able to sit down against this tree and snap some awesome pics…easily my best pics of the day. Looking at the photos again now as I write this, it’s still incredible that this girl is a smoker as she has this classically wholesome Midwestern summer girl profile. She sucked the cigarette down rather quickly with no real stylistic bells and whistles other than the general surprise that a girl this wholesome-looking was smoking in front of a nonsmoking boyfriend, snuffing the cigarette out and tossing it in a dumpster a few yards away.
Unfortunately, the context this sighting took on a little later in the day would take some of its power away for me, as I recognized hours later that she approached the police officers with cigarette pack in hand requesting directions to a designated smoking area…and I didn’t even realize there were designated smoking areas on the grounds until hours later. She took directions wrong as the place where she lit up wasn’t one…and the designated smoking areas that did exist were almost all hidden in obscure locations. Still, the fact that she followed through on the wholesome vibe I picked up on by asking police officers directions to the smoking area and then accidentally going to the wrong spot was kind of sweet, particularly when taking account the additional optics of the sightings that gave me no choice but to put this girl on the 2017 top sightings list.