Necessitated by my desire for a Caribou coffee (made even more inviting by the fact that they're doing a "Buy 7, Get 1 Free" promotion), I made the trip to visit my dad in Oak Park today by way of North Avenue, through Stone Park and Melrose Park, and finally through the intersection of North and First Avenues, the former site of Kiddieland, the "little park that could" for over 80 years, until greed took over and moved one half of a family to sell the land to Costco so the Greater Chicagoland area could have one more place to stock up on 50 rolls of toilet paper for cheap.
I'm usually not a swearing person; I've recently returned from a soul-edifying trip to South Dakota and the Black Hills, a place that charges up my spiritual battery, big time, so I'm feeling very peaceful and most irritating things are rolling off my back like water off a duck. But when the side of the Costco came into view where once a cheerful little locomotive took generations of families on a journey into imagination, here's what came out of my mouth:
(As this is a family blog, I'll use a bouquet of euphemisms)
"What a fruggin' mistake. Flip you, you money-grubbing monkeyfloggers. Hope you're happy with your funkin' money, you greedy fonkers. Pluck moo!" (I had Ivy in the car with me and I do believe I made the beagle blush)
And, by the way, it was 10 A.M. on a Monday and there were only about a dozen cars in the parking lot: the area where the German carousel once stood.
So, if anyone is still wondering why I'm putting up mostly all my own money to go across the country and visit 40 vintage parks in order to keep their stories and spirit alive, I hope my mission has been made crystal-clear.