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Beach Scene "1"
Old Train Station "2"



Tom (

Going to the Carnival, going to ride the Carousel,
Going to ride a big horse, going to grab the brass ring.
Going to joust with the black knight, going to win,
Going to ride my horse and see the world,
Now where is Mary Poppins, I say?
Entertainment of the ages, the old still does prevail,
Just ask any child and they will choose the Carousel.

Hadn't been to the county fair in many a year, but this year I conned the wife into entering three of her quilts. My wife has been making quilts for years; makes them and gives them away or puts them away on the shelf and saves them for a gift to a special someone.

Got tired of sitting and working crosswords, so I just took a little walk around the Midway to see what a Carnival had these days; boy I remember as a boy going every time one came to the nearest town. First off I splurged and bought me a cup of coffee and then I just wandered around. It was not busy yet; heck most things had not opened because it was only nine in the morning. I looked at all of these wild rides and remembered the time Fred and I went to the Carnival, and it was early so we were talking to the guy who ran the swings. Anyway we bought a ticket and he let us ride until more customers came. Man I got off that thing and was so sick, I crawled under a platform and took a nap.

I heard that music, the Carousel music and I turned left toward the source of the sound. I stopped, I could not believe it for there in the middle of this carnival, all of the dirt and squalor was this magnificent Carousel, going around, and with the music playing. I walked closer and just stood there slack-jawed, as it was clean, shiny, polished and looked like it had just come from a picture.

I was smiling and grinning as this older man was checking each horse, slowly wiping it with a soft cotton rag, running his hands over it to make sure there were no splinters or rough spots. After about a half dozen rounds he stopped the machine and came toward me.

"Hey, you seem to be in dreamland, a beauty isn't she," he asked in a German accent.

"This is beautiful, is it new? It looks like you just set it up for the first time," I replied, glad to have someone to chat with.

He laughed and hollered something in German to the other side. "Oh no, my dad set this up when I was just a young shaver, too young to go to school," he replied. Then he grinned. "Back when we wore short breeches and went barefoot," he said with a laugh.

"I haven't been to a Carnival in years, only reason I am up here now is my wife entered some quilts in the fair." I walked over and looked at one horse. "These things always fascinated me, first because all ages like them and secondly, as to why they do?"

"Lars, your coffee is ready," a woman's voice yelled from behind the ride. "Want a cup for your friend?" she asked.

"Ya, ya, yes please, Mother," he yelled back.

I had just finished this large cup and he was going to offer me another? Boy would I be in trouble for the closest facility was back over behind the rides.

Soon, this older lady came walking around with two large mugs of steaming coffee. "Hi, hope you like it black; isn't she a beauty, this old girl is three years older than I," she said as she handed me the mug.

The two conversed in German for a couple minutes then the man looked at me. "When was the last time you rode the Carousel?"

I laughed, “Long time, but it was May of 1953, in Bedford. I was with a city girl and she wanted to ride so we rode it four times, and I got the brass ring three times. Fell off the fourth,” I said. I could see that night as if it were yesterday.

“Come on, lets sit and ride, come on,” the man said. We walked over and climbed aboard.

The lady turned it on and the man and I sat in the buggy and listened to the music as it went round and round, lights flashing, music playing. I was taken back over a half-century to my youth. It seemed like we rode for a long time when it slowed down and stopped. We got off and I gave the man the mug.

“Thank you, I won’t forget this day and this magnificent Carousel for many years,” I said. A large fat man with a clip board approached and the operator had to go to work. I waved thanks to his wife and slowly wandered back toward the contest area with nostalgia swimming around in my head. When I got back, the judging was over and my wife had won two third-place ribbons. The first and second winning quilts were old, dirty and not half as nice as my wife’s.

My wife was let down, but as she started to fold them up to put in the plastic bags, two ladies walked up. “Did you do these?” one lady asked.

“Yes, I did these three last winter. Planned to give them to my grandsons, but he,” she nodded toward me, “Conned me into entering them.”

“May I see them again?” the lady asked. She looked them over carefully. “I will give you four hundred dollars each for these two,” she said.

The taller woman who had said nothing turned to the wife said, “I will give you fifteen hundred for the three."

My jaw dropped and my wife shrugged. “This lady asked first,” she said to the second lady.

The taller woman shook her head. “I will give you seventeen-hundred-fifty dollars for the three and she and I will work a deal for one of them.” She opened a large ornate leather purse.

The first lady looked at my wife. “That is fine Honey. Ethel has more money than she has brains anyhow.” She looked at the taller lady. “Heck that will give us something to argue about on our way back to Texas.”

My wife put the three quilts in large plastic garbage bags and tied the tops. “You sure you want to do this?” she asked.

“Yes,” the tall woman replied, and she pulled out a wad of bills from which she counted out seventeen one-hundreds. She found her wallet and handed the wife a fifty. “Honey, would you write your name and address on this paper so I can stay in contact? Maybe I will want you to make me a couple custom ones; I like your work.”

The two women took their wares and left. As we walked back to the car my wife just shook her head. “Guess third place wasn’t so bad afterall.” Then she stopped. “What did you do? Go for a ride on the merry go round?” She laughed and we headed home.


City Park

Norma (

Daddy, Daddy, can I ride?
I guess it will be all right
I was only five
He stood by my side.

I held the shiny "real" horse reigns,
Yippe Cayay I yelled, unfeigned.
Clown music playing, lights so bright.
That August magical starlit night.

I loved that old merry-go-round,
Year after year it came to town.
When Sister was five,
I stood by her side.

Years galloped, I was sweet sixteen.
You take the red one, I'll take the green.
On the merry-go-round we fell,
That glitzy, glimmering - seductive carousel.


My Carousel

Brier (

That summer, my first marriage had fallen to pieces and I was so lonely. I was at loose ends. I had never been alone, there was always someone watching for me to mess up. Well I did, big time. When I was young I seldom was permitted to go places.

This weekend I decided to take a few days and have a fling, dessed well, perhaps too well for a carnie. I knew there was a little carnival just over the state line, so I went. There's nothing like the setting up of the tents and rides and games. It's like a dance, everyone knows his job. They 'll be here all week.

The carousel was my favorite ride. Side-saddle, laughing, having a better time than most kids. I ate carnie food and waited for my fella to get off work. They would stay in this town for a week so we had agreed after this week no commitments. As I was separated and he was living with his girl friend, I said I owed him nothing.

I lived like there was no tomorrow. My children were in good hands with their grandmother, or so I thought. I danced, drank and laughed. I lived the life I thought I had missed. Well, my old car broke and it had be towed. I wasn't too worried.

My life was full of people I thought were my friends. None of it went any where, it was, after all, a summer fling. But I often heard the music from the carousel. Unusual.

My daughters love the carousel and we all look at the horse going up and down. Sweet sweet memories

Well, it was a wonderful summer. First time in my life I was free, and I wasn't good at it. Soon summer was over and I gathered my children and went back home to raise this brood of mine, with Gods help.

Oh the smells of a carnie, or a fair. Let your inner child enjoy.


Lasting Memories

By Marietta (

Probably the last pleasant memory I have of my mom is when we rode a carousel together. The look of joy on her face, the pleasure of the time spent with her and the memory of that day will last a lifetime.



By susi (

'Round and 'round goes the carousel
With the brightly painted racing steeds
Trying to outbest the other
But none seems to succeed

'Round and 'round without an end
Eyes wild while nostrils flare
They paw the air, they rise and fall
To the calliope music's blare

The children sitting on their backs
Scream in delight and fear
Mothers watch and wave to them
As they hang on for lives so dear

'Round and 'round goes the carousel
The music slows and ends
The horses patiently wait for it to start
To begin their race again.


Camden Park

By Marilyn (

While growing up, the highlight of my summers were our family trips to the amusement park. Camden Park was six miles on the other side of town, which meant a sixteen mile drive for us. Now a sixteen mile drive back then, when the top speed was maybe 45 mph, was long and tiring for a child who was anxious to get there. We usually went in August and we usually went for our family reunions.

A few miles from the park, my brother and I would peer out the windows for a first sighting of the ferris wheel. Then we would look for the roller-coaster, which was partly hidden by trees. Dad always arrived early so he could get a good parking spot; my brother and I were out of the car as soon as he pulled in.

Music from the merry-go-round would have us asking for a coins so we could ride. We would buy tickets from a woman in a booth and then go stand in a line. I liked the outside horse but didn't always get one. My brother wanted a horse that went up and down. We would wave at our parents when we rode past, and of course we would always try for the ring.

Cousins, grandparents, uncles and aunts were there, and at lunchtime everyone would gather for our big family picnic. There was a pavillion, tables, benches, and shade trees. One time it rained and the rain came down hard. Moms and dads huddled under a roof, but the children didn't mind the rain and wound up getting drenched.

The roller-coaster was the biggest thrill for most. I was afraid I would fall out on a curve. It was a slow climb to the top of the first 'mountain', and then the car would drop so fast and so low that your stomach would come up in your mouth. Round and round it would go, taking the curves with such speed that you could hardly get your breath. The ride was swift and scary and when I got off, my knees would be wobbly and weak.

Hugs, kisses, and sad good-byes. The end came too soon. But the potato salad bowl was empty and the platters of fried chicken were long gone. The sun was sinking and the strings of park lights had come on. Tired children trouped to the parking lot and piled into cars. Our dad would start the engine and we would set out for home.


Magical Ride

By Mary (

The midway abuzz
with loud "barkers" & such,
"Come see the show,
heh, you'll love it so much" ~

The booth filled
with lil' ducks all in a row,
"Three shots for a quarter,
come ~ give it a go" ~

Ferris wheel spinning
kids squeal with delight,
tilt~a~whirl filled up
from morn to midnight ~

There in the center
a magical surprise,
the huge carousel
spoke joy to my eyes ~

"Oh, let's take a ride"
I heard myself say,
"You mount the black one
and, I'll ride the bay" ~

What fabulous fun
for each one of us,
to pretend we were
riding mystical Pegasus ~

I picture me now
with wind in my hair,
astride painted pony
oh, yes, I am there!


Little Island Is Enchantment

© By Evelyn (

The gate is finally open, you rush to the platform and claim your steed! You have arrived at your Little Island of Enchantment. For a few brief moments you are in Camelot The calliope begins its high whine, then a tune becomes recognizable. You are a knight of the Round Table getting ready for a jousting match as you thrust your lancer through a small brass ring that represents the head of an opponent Your heart beats faster and faster and you hope the music will never end. You put your lancer away and stretching, reach for the brass ring–the ever elusive brass ring, always just out of your reach. Your steed loses speed, the music dies down and you come to a halt.. The gate opens, you exit with your dreams of enchantment still a fresh memory as you are absorbed back into everyday life.

I have wonderful childhood memories of exquisite carousel horses. The enchanting rides will remain vivid memories of forever. Childhood yes, absolutely, but those memories extend far beyond. When I was a little girl in a small farming town in Northern Alabama, the carnival came to town each spring for a week. On Saturday afternoon my parents treated me and my siblings to a ride on the merry-go-round. If the strawberry season had been good we could ride it twice. The cost of a ride was a nickel I remember the sad day when the price went up to a dime and there was not enough money for us to ride. We just watched as the horses went round and round. It would be years before I could ride a merry-go-round without a feeling of guilt tugging my heart strings when I remembered the sadness in my mother’s eyes when she didn't have the fare for us to ride the merry-go-round one April long ago..

The years went by and the family moved to the city where there were amusement parks with stationary carousels. My delight and fascination for them has never faltered. Lines from Elizabeth Akers Allen’s poem resonate in my mind even yet when I pass by carousels that have sprung up in food courts in shopping malls:

Backward, turn backward, oh time in thy flight

make me a child again, just for tonight

There is a lack of sophistication, even innocence, about a carousel that will always fill me with joy. Carousels have a way of gladdening the hearts of all ages. Just watch a toddler being helped onto a steed for a first ride and hanging onto the hand of a parent Observe lovers holding hands as they cross space and time in their minds of their life to come. Last, but not least, there are the “seniors” who simply wish to recapture the vigor, energy and the sparkle of times past, qualities that they still hold in their hearts.

Ah yes, “Backward, turn backward, oh time in thy flight, make me a child again, just for tonight!"

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High Wire Act

Fresh Hay Memories

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Graphics by Marilyn

I took the photograph at last year's Maryland State Fair. I went
early and got there before the crowd arrived.