Childhood revisited. We went to Ocean City several times each summer when I was a kid. Many memories stand out in my mind, all of them good. One was a carousel, which I rode every time we went there. It was just fun….I didn’t know it was also famous.
This is the oldest continuously operated carousel in the US. It is called a menagerie carousel since it has all kinds of animals, and some only have horses. The animals were all hand carved in Germany and they are all beautiful.
So you’re never to old for a carousel. Eliza rode a frog and I rode a chicken, while Dylan stood by to take our pictures.
Another old memory is even more meaningful to me. I would get so excited to go to OC when I was a kid that after a while they had to stop telling me ahead of time that we were going. But I was always getting ready anyway …………
Thru the year my dad would take change from his pocket and give it to me to put in my bank, to have when we went to the beach. It was mostly pennies, cos that was a long time ago, back when a penny was still worth something. I had a special bank, and when I knew it was getting close to time to (maybe) be going, I’d sit on my bed and empty my bank to see how much change I had. I still have the bank, and it’s one of my treasures from childhood, cos it means Ocean City to me. It’s still out in my house and has some coins in it, as a sign to myself to tell me I’m going to go back there, again.
There was lots of fun when we went to the beach: seashells, sand flea crabs at the edge of the water, watching my dad catch fish, special boardwalk food. But the best thing for me was what the pennies were for: claw machines with special treasures in them! For a penny, you could manipulate the claw and get nice little toys from the machines. Life was simple for a little kid then and getting marbles, little puzzles, pens or pencils, sometimes little plastic trinkets from the machines was the most amazing thing! I had my change in a little cloth pouch that I took care not to lose. And I could spend hours at those machines.
Now, claw machines have music and fancy lights and you can get electronics and big stuffed animals from them if you’re good at it. Fancy, shiny, sparkling and they cost a dollar or so to play. But one arcade still has the old, wooden claw machines that I remember spending so many hours at, getting little treasures to come out. They cost a quarter now, and they’re stashed away in a back corner of the arcade, but they are exactly as I remember them. It brought tears to my eyes to see them, remembering them and other memories from so long ago, and a lifetime in between.
The wood is chipped and some paint is gone, but an employee went past while I was looking at them and I said to him: they’ve been here for 60 years. He said, oh, you remember? Yes, I do remember, so well……….