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December 10, 2006


Martin Langeland

Indeed, dreams require gentle treatment. I believe the horses fly higher if one accepts "the faded paint and tarnished past" and sweeps any pretensions out of the way.
I wanted Fellini to capture us as we were *and* as we were pursuing our dreams.


ml, I can almost see them swirling around the falls like bubbles rising in their fluted glasses. Thanks!

I have learned to be gentle with other people's dreams. When I first heard this story, it was at a TPL retirement celebration of the incredible accomplishments of the person who marshalled the internal support and grant funding to by the carousel at auction. It was such a powerfully moving story of childhood regained and the triumph of the spirit that I set to work researching it for this post. Along the way I found shades of gray -racial tension and the rescued merry-go-round still in storage nearly a decade later. Rather than shatter the illusion of a beautiful story, I chose to incorporate these uncomfortable parts into a tale that still offers redemption and retains its hopeful spirit. As Mario Cuomo was fond of saying; "Any jackass can kick down a barn." I prefer to see the horses flying despite their faded paint and tarnished past.


Just in time for Expo '74, in Spokane Washington, a fine carver named Ernie Jenner completed the restoration of a vintage carousel. It was included in the Expo grounds in its own building. In April of '74, before the fair opened the carousel was rented to local community groups for fund raising parties. At the time my wife was the director of a local art school, which jumped at the chance. It was glorious whirling about at 15 miles per hour with the calliope playing. There were even brass rings to reach for.
But as the champagne flowed and the patrons whirled a giddy wish invaded my heart to have Fellini there to film the local 'rich and well born' riding their high horses up and down and all around on the edge of the Spokane River falls.

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