Forest Park is not far from where we live, maybe a mile or so. When my girls were little, there was a carousel in the park that was restored in 1989 and open to the public. We took the girls there many times, on the weekends, for a ride or two. They loved it and it was so convenient. We also liked to do things to support the neighborhood whenever we could.
This 109 year old carousel, from Massachusetts, was purchased for $30,000 in 1972, to replace one that had long been standing in the park, but burned down. The horses on this carousel were hand carved by Daniel C. Muller and only two of his carousels remain in the United States, the one at Forest Park and one in Ohio. During the years from 1989 to 2008, we had taken our girls there to enjoy this historic treasure. Who doesn’t love a carousel? Unfortunately, due to lack of maintenance, the carousel fell into disrepair and was closed in 2008.
Now, I have just learned that the carousel has been repaired and reopened to the public this past weekend. It will be just in time for summer, when kids are out of school. It brings back wonderful memories for me of special times shared with my family. I like thinking that many other parents will now be able to visit and ride the carousel with their own children. It reminds me of simpler times, the feeling of a country fair, almost like taking a step back in time. The carousel is one of the few great things that make our neighborhood unique.
I had almost forgotten about the carousel and the times we went there. It’s so easy to misplace memories. They get buried under all the “to do” lists and never ending errands we have to remember to get to every day. There is little time for reflection and reminiscing. It often takes something special to make us stop and think about the good old days. I’ll have to ask my girls at dinner tonight if they remember the carousel and if they want to go back and take a ride, one day in the near future, for old times sake.