Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Hawaiian Waiter Goblin Snowman

Perhaps it was the ukele rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody that I heard last night.

Jake Shimabukuro: 'Bohemian Rhapsody' On The Ukulele : NPR

Perhaps it was the first full snow day of the year.

Whatever the subliminal inspiration, here is our snowman.

I promised my daughter that I would build a snowman with her if schools were closed.

The snow was wet and heavy. Good packing snow.

We started trying to make a Totoro snowman, but we could not make the base wide enough. Totoro morphed into a nude pregnant woman. Daughter told me the boobs looked more like moobs (man-boobs).

We then tried to make it into a laughing buddha. The only thing that was working for our snow creation was the ginormous belly Undaunted we improvised. Delaney went looking for our neighbor's coal, but it was buried underneath snow and wood.

We dismantled our giant ornamental grass and experimented with "hair". We weren't quite sure what style we wanted.

Delaney began assembling a grass skirt and told me he needed a bigger nose and ears. (She is going to Hawaii with her school band next year).

"We need to find him a lei!" I exclaimed. Delaney could not find a lei, but found her old junior symphony bow tie. "That works!"

We could not find anything sufficient for eyes. I ran into the garage and found some ultramarine blue tempera paint.

We like the way the blue paint melted into the indentations.

He shall be Hawaiian Waiter Goblin/Troll.

Moral: When it snows, make odd looking snow creations. They will momentarily make you forget about the cold.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Carousel Magic!

Last week I posted on the impending demise of the Brookside Park Carousel House in Dover, PA.

I am sad to report that the beautiful structure has already been demolished.

There was no ceremony. No formal goodbye.

A few lines in the paper with a photo, showing not the building, but the destruction of the wood by the powder post beetles.

I only knew that it was scheduled for demolition in January. I drove by one night last week and saw an empty space in the park, covered with snow.

I have pictures. I am so glad that I took them.

When I put my Christmas decorations away, I found this photo of my mother and self. I'm on the horse and this may very well be my first carousel ride.

I am not sure where the photo was taken, but there is a very good chance it was on one of the amusement piers in Atlantic City, New Jersey. We moved to the Atlantic City area when I was about one.

I'm guessing by the chubby cheeks that I was close to two in this photo! The carousel was always magical for me. Of course the Mary Poppins movie confirmed my belief that the horses were magical! I always waited for the time when the horses galloped off into some fantasy land where we were transformed into cartoon characters!

If you are interested in other stories and photos of Times Gone "Bye", you must check out Sepia Saturday posts for the many other wonderful stories told by the wonderful and interesting folk who still post regularly in Blogville! There are posts every week ! So dig out your old photos - sepia, black and white, hand-colored or technicolored. Tell a story and join the fun.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Brookside Park Carousel House Before the Wrecking Ball

The Brookside Park Carousel House, framed by dumpsters and orange caution fencing.

I could not believe that this building was going to be destroyed! I decided to take my daughters to the park on a cold January day to take some farewell photos.

This beautiful old carousel building in my adopted town will meet the wrecking ball sometime this month. The building is not a victim of suburban sprawl. It is a victim of powderpost beetles. These nasty little insects have been destroying the structure of the building. The building must be destroyed because of structural and liability issues.

The building used to house a classic wooden carousel back in its heyday during the late ninteenth century up until about 1939. The carousel was built by Gustav Dentzel, a German immigrant who started his business in Philadelphia. At the time a trolley ran from York to this popular little picnic grove. Bob Hoffman, founder of York Barbell Company and a member of the Weightlifters hall of fame purchased the park around 1940. From what I have read, the carousel was in operation until Hurricane Agnes caused severe damage to the structure and carousel in 1972. Mr. Hoffman donated the land and the park to the township and/or the YMCA adjacent to the park which bears his name.
I was told by members of the Greater Dover Historical Society that the carousel was sold to a large amusement park in California. I tried to do some internet research, but I could not find any evidence of the transfer of the Brookside Dentzel carousel. Some reports suggest that the carousel was dismantled. This horse was advertised on an antique vendor's site as a Brookside Park Dentzel original. The asking price is approximately $1500.
My children have fond memories of this park. It has been home to the old fashioned penny carnival, haunts in the park, pony rides and Girl Scout camp. We used the empty carousel building for craftmaking, cakewalks and halloween parties.

I have spent many hours of my free time researching this story. I have found more conflicting information than historical fact. I was thinking of painting a mural to honor the legacy of the carousel and the once glorious carousel house. When I tried to do some background research, I became a bit discouraged. Carousels are magical rides for small children. I have a picture of myself and my mom together on a carousel when I was very young! I tried to scan these in, but they need more editing.