The carousel that made people happy

Once upon a time there was an amusement park on the edge of a beautiful lake where people came to be happy. They arrived from far and wide to ride the roller coaster and fly in the space rockets. They loved getting scared in the Laff in the Dark, laughing with Laffing Beulah and having their fortune read by the gypsy Esmeralda.

At the very centre of the park the best of all the rides was a carousel of beautiful horses that rode round and round to the sound of the Wurlitzer organ. The horses wore flowers and feathers and armour, their manes flew and their nostrils flared as they pranced and jumped.

The man who owned the park had a daughter. This little girl loved being at the park and going on the rides that made people happy. Most of all she loved the carousel. Every day she visited her favourite horse, the one with the golden rosette and flowers on her blue harness, and rode her to the sound of the organ music.

After many years the park closed its gates and the rides that made people happy were shut down. All except the carousel, which was placed in a city park where it continued to be ridden and to make people happy.

Many, many years later, when the little girl had become an old woman, her daughter took her to see the carousel and ride on her favourite horse. The carousel did its job once more and made them both very happy.

My mother’s family owned Meyers Lake Park in Canton, Ohio, for over 50 years. When the park closed in 1974, the historic Stein and Goldstein carousel was moved to Bushnell Park in Hartford, Connecticut, where it continues to be ridden by generations of children and adults. My mother had not seen the carousel for 40 years when we went to visit it last week. You can see more photos of this beautiful carousel here and find more information about Bushnell Park here.

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