Sunday, December 12, 2010

"So shines a good deed in a weary world..."

What would you do if you found the base of an old carousel (dating back to the early 1900s) and someone told you it was ready for the junk heap, to be sold for parts and materials? Would you simply say, 'Oh well, that's too bad." and move on? Or would you buy it, refurbish it, and then spend the next 25 years fashioning a new carousel around it, complete with a menagerie of wooden animals you carved from scratch? Oh, and I'll also add that you've never carved a thing before in your life?

There's a folksy, hand-hewn miracle up in Nederland, CO and it's called "The Carousel of Happiness". It's the kind of alchemical event that can happen when an enterprising person with a a simple desire to make people happy is in the right place at the right time and gets the right kind of angelic nudge to make something amazing.

The quote in my title line, which is found on a plaque inside the carousel building, is from "The Merchant of Venice". But most people might be more familiar with it from the climax of "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" when Wonka realizes that Charlie Bucket it pure of heart and worthy of all the riches and happiness he can bequeath him.

The Carousel of Happiness is one man's gift to Nederland, to those who visit the small mountain town, and everyone who has that shining pure light of soul.

And that means you.

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