Monday, August 27, 2012

THE CAROUSEL OF HAPPINESS...Nederland, Colorado (It's not just about "Frozen Dead Guys"!)

I've been very fortunate to do a LOT of travelling this summer, thanks to a generous and understanding family back here in Vegas, who have held down the fort while I was away.  A week in Hawaii, with my husband, was sandwiched in between two sojourns back home, to Colorado...the HI pictures will come along at some point, but for now, there's this...billed as "the happiest place in Colorado"...The Carousel of Happiness.  And it is, just that!
We happened upon it quite by chance...a "turn-around/how do we get out of here" moment in the parking lot of a brand-new strip mall - smack-dab in the center of the tiny mountain town of Nederland, CO.  Renowned for their "Frozen Dead Guy" (Grandpa Bredo, who has been kept on ice in a shed above town for 20 years now, waiting for a cryogenic thaw.  I'm dead serious - no pun intended!  Read about it here - - yes, there is a festival every year, in case you're interested!), who knew there was more to this eclectic little community than a beloved 110 year old stiff?!
Envisioned by a young marine serving in the Vietnam war, THE CAROUSEL OF HAPPINESS (click on link) features 58 beautiful, hand-carved animals on a restored 1910 Looff carousel, all turning to the enchantingly happy music of a 1913 Wurlitzer band organ.
A non-profit organization, all proceeds go to charities that benefit children and people with special needs.
My folks on their mounts; a golden antlered moose, and a seemingly, flying pig; the parrot actually went up and down on his ring, and; a sly fox looks down on all.
It will cost you a dollar to ride - the happiest dollar you will ever spend, guaranteed.
Maybe I was trying to overcome my aversion to monkeys - I don't know, but I chose the prancing donkey above, with the basket of monkeys on the saddle.  They were kinda' cute.
I have to admit that during the middle of the ride, I broke down in tears - I mean, I really cried.  Happy tears, but tears, nonetheless.  When we were driving down the road, leaving the carousel behind, my Mom relayed (without me having told, yet, what I had experienced) that during the ride she was overcome with emotion, and cried a bit...she also said that she looked over and noticed a tear or two in my Dad's eyes, though I'm sure he didn't, and won't, cop to it.
Today I found this...a short news clip from 9 News, in Denver (2010), about the wonderful man who brought this vision to life; the transformation and regeneration of this delightful piece of Americana, and; a crying phenomenon that seems to hit adults upon riding on the carousel - 9NEWS.COM (click here, OR go directly below this post and click on the video box there...don't know how I got it there, but I can't get it up here...either way, please click on one or the other to watch).  Suddenly I don't feel so silly for shedding those happy tears.
I only wish I could have taken ALL my loved ones with me - these are not tears, but giggles.  Happy, happy, joy, joy!