Saturday, June 28, 2008

Small miracles -history detectives style

Do you know that tv show History Detectives? I love it. Its about trying to find the history of an antique or sentimental object. This isn't my story, but it was just so amazing and fun, I'd like to share it. Today is my favorite cousin Jenny's birthday. Happy birthday Jenny! To celebrate, several of our family members met at Griffith Park to spend the day together. Our meeting place was the merry-go-round which has been in the park since the 1930s. My dear cousin is a sentimental woman. She cherishes memories and tokens of family history and truly values the importance of memories. She was able to spend more time with our grandparents than I did, so I enjoy learning about them from her. She brought with her to the park today a framed picture of herself as a 3-year-old riding the very same merry-go-round with her mother and sister. Lets just say the photo was taken sometime in the 1960s so I don't reveal her exact age to the world. Wouldn't it be fun, she thought, if the same carousel horse were still on the merry-go-round today? Jenny might snap a photo of her own daughter on the same horse. So I studied the picture, the carved leaves and armor, and walked over to find out. As my kids were riding the merry-go-round, I scrutinized every single horse that flashed by. I do mean flashed because that thing goes fast! I found out later, it was set at its slowest speed of 14 mph. While the organ pounded classic Disney musical songs into my head, (I AM sixTEEN going ON sevenTEEN...) I checked for familiar manes and tack. No match. The horse wasn't there. Boy was I dizzy. Then somehow, Jenny starting talking to a woman who was working at the merry-go-round. She just happened to be the owner! Jenny excitedly ran to get her photo. No, the woman confirmed, that horse was not on her merry-go-round, but many years ago they used to swap horses occasionally with other merry-go-rounds in the area such as the Lincoln Park merry-go-round that burned down in the 1970s. Oh, well. But Rosemary, the owner, was very nice and full of interesting merry-go-round history and facts. We went back to our picnic. Then I noticed Rosemary searching through the park with a book in her hand. We waved her over. Rosemary hadn't given up. She had gone through her office, or storage area or something, looking for documentation of Jenny's horse. And all of a sudden, there it was! The very same horse in a book. On the cover no less!

That is Jenny's merry-go-round horse from when she was three years old. She told us she remembers choosing it becaue of its "blonde" tail that was like her hair and the pretty jewels on its armor. Evidently, someone else thought it was very special too.

This particular edition of the book is now out of print. It would have been very difficult for Jenny to find it on her own. I had a hard enough time finding a pic of the book for this post! But now Jenny owns a copy of this book and I know she will display it proudly next to her childhood photo. Jenny's next task is to locate the actual horse, which is probably in someone's private collection since it obviously did not burn down with the other horses, and ask if she can come over for a little reunion.

I think the horse will be happy to see her again.


Anonymous said...

I feel so honored to be a part of your blog...almost like a celebrity or something! Thanks for being a part of this fun day I love the way it just unfolded into a beautiful memory. You are inspiring me to be bold and try to track down the owners of my very special 1911 hand carved pony. Hey, that date makes me feel very young! Hopefully there will be more story to tell! Thanks, Jenny

Tamlynn said...

Yay Jenny, you figured it out! Can't wait to hear more of the story as it unfolds.