The smoking area just outside The Garden building seemed to play a key role in nearly every great sighting I’d get on Day 1 of the 2018 Minnesota State Fair. And in the late afternoon, I’d hit the ball out of the park there again with this amazingly wholesome long-haired light brunette decked out in a light flower-print top and black leggings who I figure was probably 22, sitting next to her presumed boyfriend and smoking a cigarette. She was a petite cutie who looked way too girl-next-door to smoke this day and age but it didn’t take long watching her to realize she was very much a smoker and a skilled one at that. Her drags were very nicely paced and seemed to draw in a considerable amount of smoke, the latter verified by the impressive volume she got on those exhales.
I got to see most of the cigarette and was impressed with the quick work she was making of it, originally wondering if maybe she was just a social smoker out there having one with the boyfriend, but she ended up putting away her cigarette far more quickly that he put away his, dropping it to the ground and crushing it out with her shoe. I was snapping some pics but only got holding shots (and one where you can see her exhaling some residual smoke) because a crowded sidewalk was between us and my dragging shots got ruined by pedestrians getting in my way. She did have one notable downside though and it was something I’d be hard-pressed to look past for most girls…a tattoo on her upper arm which for whatever reason is the spot I have the most visceral negative response to. If this girl was capable of a smoking performance that helped me overlook this tattoo, then she was definitely doing something right! Even though I got to see most of the cigarette, I still walked away from this one wanting more since she finished it so quickly. Luckily for me, I would get more from her later in the day!
It was about 6:45 when I headed up to the grandstand area, knowing that I’d have to meet the folks at the information booth area at 7:00 and hoping I wouldn’t get entangled in the sighting of the day at the time I had to meet them, which has come close to happening a few times. Sure enough, the biggest sensory overload moment of the day was playing out in the moments before 7:00 on the east side of the grandstand. On my first pass by the smoking area, I saw an adorable familiar face standing by herself with a cigarette. It was that petite light brunette who I saw smoking with her boyfriend outside The Garden a couple of hours earlier, only now she was smoking alone. She had been seated for the previous sighting but this time she was standing, giving me greater appreciation for her tight little package of a body and how nicely those leggings wrapped up her curves. And the smoking was just as great as before, with a very timely litany of drags that were fierce enough to leave trails of airborne smoke rising from the cigarette even before she exhaled. She briefly turned to a middle-aged brunette gal to her left to look at and complement (what else) her tattoos. While that was an unfortunate distraction, it wouldn’t be long until a much more interesting player emerged. This older white-haired guy in a wheelchair was parked in front of her and smoking a cigarette of his own, and the two of them were bantering in a friendly way. I was trying to get close enough to snap a frontal or even side photo but it was almost 7:00 with the sun behind the grandstand and walk-by photos were gonna end up blurry. The one I got was indeed blurry, and after I realized that wasn’t gonna work out, I just enjoyed the smoking show as she put the cigarette to bed. She stepped over to the nearby community ashtray to deposit her cork filter cigarette and said “nice to meet you” to the old guy in the wheelchair before wandering off. It was a nice second act and I figured that would be the end of it. We’ll see about that….
As I said there was a sensory overload going on at or near that smoking area pulling me in multiple directions in the next few minutes, but ultimately I settled upon a returning favorite. The petite light brunette in the leggings, still by herself, was returning only about three minutes after she walked away and was firing up another cigarette! Curiously, she was resuming her conversation with the guy in the wheelchair. I presumed this girl got separated from her boyfriend and was just filling her lungs with smoke and tar while waiting for him to come back, but judging by how friendly she was getting with this guy in the wheelchair, I wondered if maybe she was gonna dump her current guy for this charming “older man” who probably was thrilled just to be talking to this addicted young cutie. I was certainly jealous of him being able to watch from upclose as she took those timely drags where the satisfaction on her face was tangible every time she removed the cigarette and sucked down another ball of smoke into her black lungs and then polluted his airspace repeatedly with her streamy and dreamy exhales. It was getting very close to 7:00 but I stuck around as long as I could to watch her continue smoking before heading off and got to see most of what was her second cigarette in the last 10 minutes and at least her third in the last two hours, although regrettably I never did determine what her brand was. Given the interesting storyline and the frequency of my sightings of her, I ended up rating her as my second-best sighting of the day….
And while I wouldn’t see her smoking again, I’d see her about an hour later near the midway and she apparently made her choice to stick with the original boyfriend rather than the older guy in the wheelchair as she was playfully taking the lead and holding his hand as they busted their way through the dense huddle of teenagers at the edge of the midway. She appeared to be in a hurry and was very possibly en route to one of her favorite smoking areas to indulge yet another cigarette. I wasn’t well-positioned to follow but I sure wanted to seeing her wholesome and adorable body language that one last time before she drifted out of sight.