Saturday, June 9, 2012

Not-So-Random Things From My Childhood

Some sad news came my way the other day... the Jantzen Beach Merry-Go-Round had gone into indefinite storage. They say they're "refurbishing" it, but really? They just refurbished it in the 90's, and besides, official plans (blueprints?) for a renovated mall do not include space for that lovely circle of ponies. I'm on to you, renovators. I see you for what you really are!

And so it has happened again. Like those giant metal playground slides, the Chuck E. Cheese ball pit, Imaginarium, and (I still tear up when thinking about it) Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor, pieces from my childhood are being taken away, one by one.

Coping with loss and change has never been my strong suit.

And it's funny, because Jantzen Beach has gone through many changes in the last 90 years, changes I wasn't even aware of. It began as an amusement park in the 20s. That's how my parents' and grandparents' generation remember it.  That's when the merry-go-round first made its appearance. When the amusement park closed in 1970, a shopping mall was put in its place. So by the time I came along, "Jantzen Beach" was "The shopping mall with the horsies." In the 80s, there was also an indoor waterslide and an arcade there, I remember, but after the mall's renovation in the 90's, the carousel was moved to the center of the food court, where it remained until this year.

In the mall, the merry-go-round required tokens. I can only find pictures of goldish coins on google, but I swear I remember they used to have wooden nickels. I may be crazy. Each time we went to the mall -- and we used to live in the area, so as a wee tyke, this happened fairly often -- I would get to pick a horse and go for a ride. I would wave to my dad or mom every time the ride made a rotation. I would pretend to feed my horse sugar cubes when the ride was over. I freaking loved that ride.

And so, a tribute video, with footage taken the last time I was at Jantzen Beach in 2009.

Rest In Peace, Beloved Merry-Go-Round...


Amy O. said...

I'm still quite sad about the Organ Grinder myself.

molly said...

Waahhhh! Sometimes I'll be somewhere, not even necessarily at a pizza restaurant, and I'll think "This smells just like Organ Grinder." It was a good smell.