My Gramps Knows All The Carousel Songs
The last time we were back home, my Gramps told me a lovely fact about him and my Grandmother that I hadn’t heard before. Whenever they would travel together to a new city they would without fail ride the local train and find a carousel. As of yet, I have not found a neat L.A. train, but there is a stunning carousel on Santa Monica Pier, so when Gramps and my Uncle Playa came to visit for That Red Head Girl’s graduation and birthday, I claimed a day for the carousel.
That Red Head Girl has lived in L.A. for almost six years and her sister, Lemon for four, but neither had ever been inside the building with the carousel, so it was awesome to see their reactions. Gramps was absolutely delighted, and we got him into one of the “chariots” which I used to think was for snuggly couples, but Gramps assures me that it’s for Grandparents and their doting grandchildren. Uncle Playa rode with Gramps in the chariot, Gibby took a horse behind them and the cousins and I took the front.
The carousel was much zippier than I expected, and I found myself giggling like a little kid. I wasn’t alone. The cousins were just as giggly and silly, something I’ve always loved about my family. We’re always little kids just under the surface.
I have also decided that from now on I am only riding carousels side-saddle. It worked for Mary Poppins!
After the first go, Uncle Playa told us to all stay on and ran to the ticket ladies to buy us another round (pun intended). We swapped steeds, That Red Head Girl taking the chariot with Gramps, Lemon taking a goat, Gibby another horse and me happily claiming a bunny. It always bothered me as a kid that the non horse animals were always on the outside track of the carousel, never moving up and down. But this carousel happily has its non horse animals on the center track.
After our second go, we decided to walk the pier with the plan to end the day with a few more carousel rides. It was a beautiful sunny day on the pier and we all made a stop a hat vendor. Lemon found a great rollable wicker visor, That Red Head Girl a perfect “adventure hat” and Uncle Playa found the biggest, most Texas styled wicker hat I have ever seen. Gibby found himself a Panama style fedora, and a week later he still hasn’t left the house without it. More on that in a later post.
We found a great fish and chips shop with open windows and Jamaican music. Everyone enjoyed a cold beer, fries and onion rings. Having to be at work that evening, I opted for a non alcoholic carbonated beverage.
We ended the day on the carousel once more, Uncle Playa using his new hat to try to get his horse to go faster, some more death defying camera work from Lemon, That Red Head Girl clearly ignoring the “Do not move on carousel while in motion” signs for her own pictures and some not so sneaky leaning over the horses kisses for me and Gibby. For our last ride, I sat in the chariot with Gramps.
The carousel has a wonderful organ that plays bouncy old vaudeville tunes. My Gramps knows the words to all of them, and he sang the lyrics to me as we rode. I pitched in some harmony on the songs I knew, and it was pure magic.
Since their visit, I’ve heard that Gramps wants to make some more regular trips down to L.A. There’s even talk of a muscle beach photo shoot. I can’t wait.