Friday, July 15, 2011

Life's a Carousel

A few year's back Greenport launched an ambitious waterfront restoration project centering around Mitchell Park - a great stretch of land right in the center of the village and, in honesty, something of an abandoned space.  Long ago it hosted the Mitchell Marina and Restaurant that fell upon fire and hard times.  The then Mayor, David Kapell had a splendid vision for the area - to make it a park and to extend and repair the wharfs on the waterfront into a village marina. Well the transformation  took a bit but now - well its maturing and pretty darn neat.

In the center of it rests a carousel and not just any carousel.  Grumman - the aircraft/aerospace company (now Northrup) - owned it. It dates back, we have heard, to the 30s and Grumman acquired it in the 50s for use at events.  When they (Grumman) pretty much packed up and moved west, the Carousel was left to sit in a shed and Mr. Kapell noticed it. Long story short, it found its way to Mitchell Park through Mr. Kapell's efforts and now,  here in the center of our little village, commands the spot of a jewel in the crown. A lookout; horses in place to ride off in all directions and riders at the ready.

It sounds like a carousel should sound and the horses clip along at a good pace. There is even a brass ring to catch and seats for the grownups who aren't into mixing it up on horseback.  We can walk by, on this walkway in the picture and hear the music and the whoops of kids at full gallop. On a bright evening, it nearly drowns out the moonlight.

We  wonder about the horses in all this. They have seen a lot things over the years - mostly carnivals and picnics during their early years followed by some neglect and we imagine loneliness without a 3 year old in the saddle hanging on for dear life. In their resurrection, they fly around in their circles and look out of windows at a great view of a very old harbor made new and shinning, are cared for and adored by a great many kids and an equal number of adults, and pretty much are having the times of their lives.

We think so anyway.  It is a very pleasant thought.

1 comment:

  1. I remember when I was a kid, it wasn't just sitting in an old shed, but it was running and fully functional, and there was painted horseshoes on the sidewalk leading to it. There was also an old boat ride piled into the corner. Now that shed is gone, It must have been condemned or something, the carousel is in a better place, but I have no clue what happened to the boat ride...