The online student news source of Lovejoy High School

The Red Ledger

The online student news source of Lovejoy High School

The Red Ledger

The online student news source of Lovejoy High School

The Red Ledger

Faces of the Fair: Victor Ramirez

Vendor fights monotony of 17-hour days, job stigma to make up for past mistakes
Grace Nguyen
Victor Ramirez travels the country working at fairs and concerts. He is a Florida local, but he needs the job.

Victor Ramirez is not thinking about the hours.

He is slouched on a concrete ledge near his stuffed animal stand, earbuds in, cap pulled over his eyes, waiting for customers. With every echo of Big Tex’s greetings and every disinterested visitor that passes, he finds ways to drown out the 17 hours he’ll work each of the 24 days the State Fair of Texas is open.

“I always hope it’s busy,” he says, “because the time passes faster.”

He is here because last year in West Palm Beach, Florida, he went to a party and drank like the world was ending. He attempted to drive home, crashed his brand-new BMW into another car and ran.

A DUI is one way to lose $12,000 and a license. Or a job, if you drive an appliance delivery truck like Victor.

“Do I regret it?” he says. “Oh, 100 percent.”

Now, Victor travels the country working at concerts and fairs with a group of people from across the nation, including his long-time work partner, and their boss. He leaves his girlfriend, siblings, and middle-class “loving parents,” who took the news of his new job with disappointment. “You’re a carnie now,” they say, assuming stereotypically that his new job makes him a drug addict too. But that’s not Victor.

“I’m not a drug addict,” he says defensively. “I’m not one of those people. I’m hustlin’. I’m just trying to make money.”

His schedule, working every day, two-to-three months at a time, and his “hard-working” but “crazy-lady” boss are less than ideal, but so is leaving his family and friends in Florida.

“I miss a lot of things back home…” he says, pausing as bubbles from the small machine in front of his stand blow by. “But it’s good money.”

That’s why Victor works the stand for 17-hour shifts, day-in, day-out.

“The sight-seeing and meeting new people is cool and all, but I’m here for the money,” Victor says.

The DUI restrictions end in June, but if his boss continues to give bonuses, quadrupling his old pay, he might not be returning home after all.

“This could be like a blessing in disguise,” Victor says. “I am making more money, I am meeting new people, I am seeing new places. I do want to get out of Florida, so maybe I end up moving to here or Ohio or all the places I’ve been to.”

Since the end to his long, fair-working days is unclear, he keeps reminding himself of paychecks, his few days off, and the sights yet to be seen.

“When I get back home, and I know that I bust my a**, and I can finally relax,” Victor says. “It’s a really tough job. It’s not just blowing bubbles and stuff like that, you know what I mean? It’s a lot. I gotta tell you, at the end of it, it’s all worth it.”

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About the Contributors
Lily Hager
Lily Hager, Editor-In-Chief
With the coming of her fourth and final year of high school, Lily Hager eagerly awaits the senior perks that accompany all who suffer from “senioritis”–including off periods, senior overalls and dual credit. Her freshman, sophomore and junior years were occupied by marching band, newspaper, several AP classes and leadership positions (including being drum major of the band and editor in chief of The Red Ledger junior year). Hager thrives any day that involves journaling, bible studies, time spent with friends or family, and ice cream. Her time at home is largely spent in her room, which she so carefully designed for the past several years into a safe haven. She fills her (rare) free time by cleaning, writing, reading, planning or talking (whether that be to her parents, her friends or her pet bunny, Boots). Despite her burning excitement for college at A&M, she is committed to enjoying her last year as an editor, conducting her last show, and living her last year in her childhood home. Last, but not least, she is certain to take advantage of one last year of writing, editing, and loving TRL.
Grace Nguyen
Grace Nguyen, Section Editor
Fueled daily by three iced vanilla coffees, standing at 5’2”, Grace Nguyen will walk into the E103 door with no problem. Grace is entering senior year, and the only reason she is believed to have survived high school is because of the napping couch in the photography studio. During her time on staff, Grace has been to almost every football game, win or loss, and wouldn’t have changed a thing. Yes, Grace has been tackled by football players, run over by coaches, and body slammed by referees. Nonetheless, Grace will confidently walk on the field this year, bruises and all, alongside her sideline media team. Stepping outside the newsroom, which is rare, Grace enjoys playing softball, hanging out with family and friends, and finding excuses to go to every $3 Pazookie Tuesdays at BJ’s. After high school, Grace hopes to pursue a career in sports photojournalism, so watch out for her still getting run over by athletes on ESPN in the years to come. Although it’s bittersweet to leave newspaper upon graduation, Grace is thankful for all the opportunities that she’s had on staff. Through The Red Ledger, Grace created long-lasting friendships and won a lot of awards that she never imagined was possible. Grace hopes that current and future staffers will think of this national-award-winning publication the same way as she did–a second family and their home away from home.

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    Lori OglesbeeOct 18, 2018 at 10:36 pm

    You made a nameless person memorable with specific details and a story-telling interview. I thoroughly enjoyed it.