Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Racing Derby

March has started fast right out of the gates. It is Symphony Week (concert this Sunday). It is United Way Reading Week, with agency visits starting next Monday at 9:00 a.m. I have read 30 of the 39 proposals at this point. (And, no, Katrina, I am NOT whining. I am pumped for United Way March Madness to begin!)

The pace is brisk around here. I can hear the thunder of hooves.

I love carousels. (Weren't expecting that jump, were you?) I have always loved them. As a little girl, my ride tickets at the county fair would go only to the merry-go-round and the Ferris wheel. Nothing else came close.

While I have always loved the beauty of a horse, there is something Big and Large and Uncontrollable about a real one. My lifelong friend Cindy has spent most of her life on the back of a horse and I admire her comfort and ease around them. Me? I like to stand on the other side of the fence and watch. I'll gladly pat their flanks, but don't expect me to sit easily on top of one.

On a carousel, though, the horses are brilliantly colored and easy to mount and you can ride like the wind (accompanied, if you are really lucky, by an authentic band organ playing traditional music).

Cedar Point Amusement Park, in Sandusky, Ohio, contains one of two "racing derby" style carousels left in the country. On that type of carousel, the horses go back and forth, rather than up and down. The horses are four abreast; the rider "races" the other riders in the lane. After you have ridden it a time or two, you learn how to sit to make your horse stay in the lead.

Racing derby carousels have a distinctive rumbling sound to them. This is largely due to the power needed for the turntable to reach its top speed of 15 mph (which is pretty fast for a carousel). The rumble sounds like thoroughbreds pounding down the home stretch, which adds to the fun of the ride.

And brings me back to March starting off fast right out of the gates.

March is supposed to come in like a lion and go out like a lamb.

Mine came in with the thunder of hooves.


Alise Marie said...

We have a very nice carousel here in Helena. When you come up to visit, we will take you there!

April said...

I know all about your Helena carousel and can't wait to see it! I want to ride the trout! The guy who was the moving force behind the Missoula carousel (which I also want to see) was involved as a consultant on the Helena one. And--cool 6 degrees of separation this one--the mechanical guts of the Helena carousel were all built in Marion, Ohio (20 minutes away from Delaware), wherein one of the foremost carousel companies (new or restored)operates!

I am the working poor. said...

And here I thought there was only one type of carousel. I need to get out more. :)

Jackie said...

Hi April,
I had no idea there was a carousel like neat. Sounds like you are so busy right now. Thanks so much for your encouraging comments on my blog recently...I really appreciate it.