Copyright 2010, CABS for Reflections From the Fence
My grandmother Florence Ruth (nee Dews) Bowen lived and worked around Nags Head, Dare County, North Carolina when I was a youngster. My parents would take a few weeks each year and travel from Michigan to see both sides of my extended family. It seems we always stopped in Rockingham County Virginia to see my mother's family and then we would drive down to the "beach" to see my father's family.
Nags Head, as I remember it from a child's point of view, was the unspoiled beach, traffic, bingo and THE carousel. I adored that carousel, the magnificently painted horses, so tall off the ground I just know my parents must have lifted me up.
Slowly the carousel would start, the music, the horses starting to pump up and down. I was even taken with the mechanical aspects of a carousel, all those poles and the gears in the drive assembly, it was all magical. We always went to the carousel at night, so there were lights glittering as well, all the more enchantment for a little one.
Moving slow at first, the carousel would start to speed up, round and round we would go, the horses being pulled up and down by the poles. I would hold on for dear life, I mean, it was going faster and faster and the ponies went high!
And, then, much too soon, you could see the attendant walk over and pull the mechanical arm, and the carousel would slow down, the ponies would go up and down slower and slower, would you stop at the top, or would your pony stop down low?
I never outgrew that awe and fascination and love of the carousel. All my life, each and every carousel I see sends those spikes of excitement throughout me, reminding me of Nags Head, the beach, the lights, the sounds, the carousel.
*These beautifully painted carousel horses are from the Davis Mercantile in Shipshewana, Indiana where they have a fully restored 1906 Carousel.
**I know that some parts of my memories are probably a bit wrong, as time passes, so do the particulars, and these memories are from my extreme youth. However, they are warm and fuzzy memories and even if they are a tad wrong, I'll keep them thank you very much! I never want to loose that fascination with the carousel.
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