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his is from the lemonade lady,” said a lemonade-toting woman, who was all smiles.

She handed the ice cold, fresh-squeezed drink to Rose Ann Allen, who remained in her box-fan-cooled seat and thanked her.

Allen, 70, doesn’t leave her post much as a ladies’ room attendant at the Prince William County Fair.

“How else are you going to know what’s going on here?” she asks, incredulously.

Her job is to “keep everybody happy and keep everybody going.”

She does that by watching the stalls, refilling amenities and maintaining her smile.

People ask her all the time if she gets bored.

“No, I talk and laugh with the people,” she said.

And she would know how to handle questions like this.

She’s been working as a bathroom attendant at the county fair for 17 years.

Her 78-year-old husband, Edward Allen, does the same for the men’s bathroom, although not for as many years.

She works from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. or even midnight through the week of the fair and insists that she’s never bored.

“Go ‘head, this one’s open,” she’ll say if a woman flashes her the “I’m-waiting-for-a-stall”-glance or if a little girl looks at her with those “are-you-in-line?”-eyes.

She keeps an eye on the place, the ladies’ room across from the cattle barn.

She’s made friends at food stands and soda fountains across the fairgrounds.

Allen’s friend, Rhonda Moore, fellow ladies’ room attendant closer to the front gate, said people stop by to give Allen drinks and food — sometimes more than she can eat.

“That’s what you enjoy. You like people, they like you and that’s why you’re here,” she said with certainty.

Hot meals and cold drinks aren’t the only things they give the kind, reliable woman.

“Last year a lady came in and brought me the prettiest teddy bear,” Allen said. “It was red, white and blue.”

It’s the people that make the time on the job just fly by, she said.

“I talk and laugh all day,” she said, beaming. “Most everybody come in here talks and laughs with you.”

On Wednesday a mother asked Allen, a mother of four, to watch her young daughter while she used the restroom.

Allen wrapped her arm around the girl, who stood next to her and gently placed her hand on Allen’s knee.

“She stayed right with me ’til her momma came,” said Allen.

She and her husband worked together in Fairfax Public Schools on the custodial staff.

She remembered what she calls “spring cleaning,” or the summer time, the best time to clean the entire school when the kids aren’t there.

“Everything would be pretty clean when the teachers and children come back ’cause we cleaned ’em,” she said.

Edward Allen built the home they live in now and the house they owned in Dulles, before the airport came.

And at 78 years old, he still keeps the grass mowed, his wife said proudly.

Perhaps that determination is the name of the game.

“She’s determined to come back here every year,” said Moore, with a giggle. “She’s a real nice lady. Real nice. She’s friendly to everyone.”

Staff writer Lillian Kafka can be reached at (703) 878-8091.

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