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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
April 13, 2016     Hays Free Press
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April 13, 2016

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+ April 13, 2016 Page 1D | | | Carnival work offers employees different way to the world BY MOSES LEOS III Over the course of 20 years, Oklahoma City native and Somerset resident Ray-Ray Duffy has helped the Merriam Midway Shows set up at different spots. Last week, Duffy was one of many who helped prepare gaming booths and carnival rides for the Hays County Fair. Music and Crawfish Festival at Central Texas Speedway. While the touring life can be a challenge, for Duffy getting a chance to interact and help people is what he enjoys best. "I love this," Duffy said. "I wouldn't be here if! didn't love it." Duffy's path of working in the midway began in high school- he wanted to travel and see the world. At the age of 19, Duffy set out and began helping set up carnival rides in Corpus Christi. "I wanted to travel the country and see what it was like," he said. "When I graduated, I got out and enjoyed it." It was at that time when Duffy realized how strenu- ous the job could be. One of the primary functions of his job is setting up and tear- ing down carnival equipment. The process, Duffy said, takes any- where from a total of six to 12 hours. Rides such as a merry-go-round can take up to six hours to install. The challenge, Duffy PHOTOS BY DAVID WHITE Ray Ray Duffy of Merriam Midway Shows guides a nervous carnival rider onto one of the rides at last weekend's Crawfish Boil and carnival at Central Texas Speedway. said, was figuring out "what piece goes where" when assembling and disassem- bling the "1 wanted rides. Carni- val operators to travel the must place equip- country and ment into 18-wheel see what trailers, which ferry it was like thegames When I andrides to ,,, their next graduated, stPt's a little I got bit of hard work, like out and most jobs, but you get enjoyed it." paid to do it. You get -Ray-Ray Duffy, paid every employee at Merriam two weeks," Duffy said. Midway Shows "It's likea regular job, you get a tax return and all of that." Traveling with the company is a necessary component for Duffy and other workers. He said the Merriam's group began in Pleasanton, TX, made its way to Kyle, and will travel to Kerrville and Corpus Christi before heading to Iowa. Carnival worker and Minnesota native Shags Anderson, who has worked in the industry for eight years, said workers travel with the company and stay in bunkhouses. Each house has three to six rooms in a trailer. "It can be a little lonely at times, but we make do of it," Anderson said. Those who tour with carnival companies can advance to different rides and games, Anderson said. He said beginning workers start with games involving tossing rings into goblets, or whiffle balls into colored cups. Workers can then ad- vance to working up to more advanced games. Advancing up the ladder is also evident for those i" Above, Merriam Midway Shows employee Shags Anderson takes a break between customers at work to talk about life traveling with the carnival. who operate the rides on the midway. Duffy said showing the company a desire to "work hard" is key for ad- vancement. But it doesn't stop the group from providing assistance to co-workers when setting up and tear- ing down rides. "For the most part, we help if anyone asks," Anderson said. "We make sure the show runs smoothly, and if someone needs help, I'll help out." Interacting with cus- tomers is a priority for the workers. Often times, they interact with regu- lars who attend festivals in specific cities. Talking with the variety Quail, originally from British Columbia, says she's been traveling with the carnival "all her life." of clientele is an enjoy- north, too," Anderson able part of the job for said. "They're decent peo- Anderson. pie to deal with. If they're "There are nice people a little rough on me, down here in Texas. You sometimes I'll have to be have nice people up a little rough on them." in J SITE DEVELOPMENT IN REVIEW 1. Goodwill Store, 901 Seton Parkway, Kyle 2. Prosperity Business Park, 300 block of Lehman Road, Kyle 3. Comal Towing Service, 1108 Porter Street, Kyle 4. Fairway Landings at Plum Creek Apartments, 510 Kohler's Crossing, Kyle BUILDING PERMITS ISSUED 5. Taco Cabana, 20445 IH35, Kyle 6. Dacy Ln Medical Office Bldg 2, 1300 Dacy Lane, Kyle 7. Pizza Hut (Finish-Out), 4650 S. FM 1626, Kyle CERTIFICATES OF OCCUPANCY ISSUED 8. Kyle Care Pharmacy, 575 E RR 150 Suite L, Kyle 9. Kyle ER, 5615 Kyle Center Drive, Kyle 10. Capital Excavation, 2967 Business Park Drive #101, Buda 11. A-Line Auto, 149 S. Park 35 Cove, Buda 12. Mattress Firm, 710 Old San Antonio Road, Buda 13. Zaxby's, 281 Old San Antonio Road, Buda 14. Main Street Commons, 835 Main Street, Suites 100-120, Buda (Temporary) COMMERCIAL PERMITS ISSUED 15. Faith Builders Worship Center, 13090 Robert S. Light Blvd., Buda \ / Buda / Tax Freedom Day, which typically occurs in late April, according to the Tax Foundation, is the day when the nation as a whole has earned enough money to pay off its total tax bill for the year. So you may want to use this op- portunity to determine if you can liberate yourself from some investment-related taxes in the future. Actually, Tax Free- dom Day is something of a fiction, in practical terms, because most people pay their taxes throughout the year via payroll deductions. Also, you may not/hind paying your share of taxes, because your tax dollars are used in many ways - such as law enforcement, food safety, road mainte- nance, public educa- tion, and so on - that, taken together, have a big impact on the Rnandal Focus by Janet Ross quality of life in this country. Still, you may want to look for ways to reduce those taxes as- sociated with your in- vestments, leaving you more money available to meet your important goals, such as a com- fortable retirement. So, what moves can you make to become more of a "tax-smart" investor? Consider the following: Know when to hold 'em. If you sell an investment that you've held for less than one year, any profit you earn is considered a short-term capital gain, and it will be taxed at the same rate as your ordinary income. (For FINANCIAL FOCUS, 4D +