On August 4, 1989 (19 years ago today), my sister and I tried to see New Kids on the Block at the Ohio State Fair. My mother and stepfather dropped us of at the gates. When we got to the line at the grand stand it was huge. The line was waiting to get in after the rodeo was over. After a while waiting in that line, we found out that the stands were full of fans saving their spot for New Kids on the Block. They were not prepared for this.
We heard from some fans that were waiting in line that they were going to be setting up chairs directly in front of the stage after the rodeo stuff was cleaned up. My sister and I followed them. All of us scaled one of those metal fences surrounding the pit for the rodeo and waited at the gates to the open area where they were setting up chairs on the dirt for New Kids. Let me explain more about this area we waited in. It was a very narrow long fenced area on both sides where the animals would wait and run out onto the dirt for the rodeo. So basically we were all squeezed into the area where the animals would stampede out into the dirt area. We still had a bit to wait. It was very hot. It was so hot that the venders started throwing us ice cream for free of course to help us cool off. It was very tight and people were offering fans money to let them climb over and wait with us to get a closer spot. It were already packed in too tight so most of the fans refused. I think some people ending up scaling the fence and squeezing in that area with us. We were relived it when it started to rain. It was so hot.
What happened next was awful. It was time to open the gates when they did the fans started running and pushing. I was being crushed and trampled on. My sister was freaking out trying to pull me up. She finally succeeded and pulled me up. We ran to find a chair in that open dirt area. We only found one chair between us to stand on. A girl next to us offered part of her chair.
My sister was so overwhelmed by what had just happened she didn’t want to stay. I asked her if we could at least find some tee shirts before we left. She told me to stay put and she would go look for them. She was gone for a bit when I saw across the way where the merchandise table was. I went to go find it. I went there and my sister wasn’t there. We ended up being separated from each other for a while. My sister called my mom and told her she couldn’t find me. She told my sister to hang up and not call back until she found me. Right after my sister hung up with mom, mom saw a news report from the fair about how a flag pole fell on some people. Mom became nervous. My sister asked an Ohio State patrol but he was no help.
We found each other eventually. We went back to the table where they were selling shirts before calling mom to tell her to pick us up. We walked to the gates where we were dropped off before and waited for mom and my stepfather to pick us up. While we were waiting for mom and my stepfather to pick us up, a limo pulled up to the gates and waited to be let into the fair. We were wearing our new New Kids shirts already. Jon gave us thumbs up when he saw we had NKOTB tee shirts on.
We didn’t realize how badly I was injured until later. I was in pain for a while. At least a couple of days. I don’t remember exactly. Dad was about to take me to see a doctor when I got finally got better.