August 25th, 2008

krazy koati

Now we take our ride together

The carousel's signage, to return to Seaside Heights, boasts of its Dentzel/Looff origins from around 1910, which bunny_hugger explained was literally speaking untrue: Dentzel and Looff were quite different carousel builders, one emanating styles from Coney Island and the other from Philadelphia, and if both types of animals are on the same ride it's because the ride was assembled from multiple rides merging. Well, that's New Jersey. This particular ride's origins are a bit obscure, according to the National Carousel Association database: it was known to be at Casino Pier from 1932 to the present, and it was at Island Beach Park in Burlington, New Jersey, into the 1920s, but its original location and construction date are unknown. There seems also to be a gap between the 1920s and 1932.

But to come to this ride, at the end of the night, to see the four rows of animals and learn all sorts of interesting details (such as the outsides of the horses being better-decorated than the insides), and sitting next to her on this ride ... well, to hope for anything more wonderful would be greedy.

Though we noticed something. The signs on the carousel mention it's one of the few to have an actual organ for music rather than prerecorded stuff, but the ride was silent. We guessed briefly about why that might be; mine was, perhaps they'd turned it off because it was so late and they didn't expect anyone else. As the carousel was coming to its conclusion, though, the music suddenly popped on, and we had the last few loops in the glistening night with full light and music. As we dismounted -- no easy feat, by the way, since the antique figures did not have the subtly over-engineered stirrups which guide feet as securely as I'd like -- the operator told us that if we'd like just stay where we were and he'd give us another ride.

And so we hopped back on, to different horses, and closed the night of rides with another ride together on the antique, with lights and music and the tranquil night developing all around us.

Trivia: London withdrew its bid to host the 1940 Olympics in order to secure the 1944 Games. After the Second World War, while London was assumed to be the site for the 1948 Olympics, they were not confirmed as such until the British Olympic Committee formally invited the nations of the world in February 1946. Source: Encyclopedia of the Modern Olympic Movement, Editors John E Findling, Kimberly D Pelle.

Currently Reading: Monitor: The Story of the Legendary Civil War Ironclad and the Man Whose Invention Changed the Course of History, James Tertius deKay. OK, here's my problem with the subtitle: the Monitor did not change the course of history, as even the book makes clear. There were very good technological and tactical imperatives driving towards ironclad, steam-driven battleships. The Monitor confirmed the course of history. This is a flaw to many things which are alleged to have changed the course of history.