We figured Saturday, as usual, to go in the afternoon to the Merry-Go-Round Museum in downtown Sandusky and then Cedar Point later. Besides this being our normal Halloweekends pattern, it was a pretty nice, relatively warm day and we expected the park to be busy. It would be frightfully busy. We passed up the Hotel Breakers Perkins for breakfast/lunch, since now we have our secret special eatery in town. That would be the Berardi's Family Restaurant. We'd gone to them for the first time on Roller Coaster Appreciation Rainstorm. The family used to have the french fry concession, and other concessions, at Cedar Point but left or was kicked out in 1978. They're still going on in Sandusky, though, and while they haven't got many vegetarian options what they do have are rather good. What they have, mainly, are grilled cheese sandwiches, including ones where a bit of cheese is applied to the outside of the bread, so you have a grilled cheese sandwich in a sleeve of lightly caramelized cheese, so you can see why we'd like to eat that and nothing else for the rest of our lives and that's before they even start making stuff with stilton.
There was a slightly bigger than usual crowd at the Merry-Go-Round Museum, I thought. There was also some rearrangement of the displays in the front, with some better explanatory signs by the horses they had up there. There wasn't, as far as I noticed, any specially themed exhibition this time. But the woman taking entry tickets warned us that there was going to be a major new exhibit coming next year. I had thought she'd just meant the ordinary rotation of special exhibitions, like a year or two ago when they highlighted brass ring dispensers or the like. No: what she meant was the museum has gotten a huge donation or loan (I forget which) from the Charlotte Dinger collection. Charlotte Dinger was the vanguard of appreciating carousel animals as art, and was a fonder of the American Carousel Society. Her collection's awesome and it was easy to feel the excitement they had at new exhibits to display.
Last year the museum had gotten this impressive miniature carousel, something about four feet across, with tiny replicas of classic figures on it. It was a recent donation, not working, but slated for renovations so that it might someday run. We admired it while chatting with one of the woodworkers, an elderly guy, father of one of the guys who does wood carving at Cedar Point's Frontier Trail. The guy was taking a break and having lunch from Burger King. The miniature carousel was there again, although with many of the inner-row figures taken off for repairs. The guy was there too, midway through lunch from Burger King and talking with some of the other attendees about --- well, when I joined the group near him he was talking about his basement and how his house was sinking and he needed to shore it up. The other people smiled and moved on and I was left listening to him. Now, he was pleasant, mind you, and interesting enough, but he also was going on without any clear chance for me to thank him and step back. He got back around to his basement sinking when bunny_hugger came over and tugged me over to look at this big distracting thing on the other side of the museum. He's a sweet-seeming fellow, just, I can't imagine talking that easily with strangers.
He was working on carving an animal, and mentioned that the museum now has all the figures it needs for its carousel. The museum has the mechanism from an antique ride, but the mounts are mostly ones they've carved themselves over the years. They'd had a bunch depleted when one collection donor asked them to either buy the figures outright for more than they could pay or return them, and so they had to return them. This also revealed to us that the innermost ring of carousel figures, the smallest ones and also the cheapest ones, tend to be the slowest-moving market as well. For the most part, people who have them don't sell them. The bigger and pricier figures are easier to sell, and easier to get put up on sale. This seems like it should shed light on how Conneaut Lake Park's carousel has sold all the middle and outer row figures, and just has a couple of the innermost row figures not yet turned to operating capital.
So the museum was its typical fine self. We're curious what it's going to look like with the major new donations, naturally.
Afterwards we were a bit tired and thought to go to the local hipster coffee shop we'd found a few blocks away in downtown Sandusky. We had forgot that everything in downtown Sandusky closes early on Saturdays, like, about 1:15 Friday afternoon. There was a diner two storefronts from it that was still open, though, and we got coffee and tea there and thought hard about the pies they had on offer. We didn't eat, though we were tempted.
So then we went back to Cedar Point, and my admission of something nearly unthinkable for me. Trivia: In 1843, Massachusetts determined that of the 13,994 muskets at the Cambridge Armory, some 6,649 (47.5 percent) were nonfunctional. Over the next three years the state sold them off for less than $3 each. Source: Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture, Michael A Bellesiles.
Currently Reading: Marvel Comics: The Untold Story, Sean Howe.