Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Keansburg Amusement Park WILL Rebuild, God Bless 'Em!!

Hurricane Sandy destruction in Keansburg, Atlantic Highlands and more.zipThe rides were rocked by torturous winds and salt water, the antique arcade games left to float down the street, the park covered with mounds of sand and debris,  yet the Gehlhaus family vows to rebuild the historic amusement park by Easter

 Easter!  Of 2013!

I'm barely able to wrap my head around the huge effort that lies ahead of them.  We're talking about rebuilding a vintage amusement park, many rides and games which many be very difficult to replace or repair due to the fragile quality of the housing, the rarity of spare parts.  Many a park has closed down for less of a blow, yet this park vows to carry on.  What drives someone to tackle such an Herculean task?  Dogged determination?  Pluckiness?  Desperation?  Out and out lunacy?

No, I believe, from reading the article and from learning what keeps folks like the Gehlhauses in this business, that it's a combination of courage and heart and wisdom (Huh.. In a way, like Dorothy's friends in "The Wizard of Oz", don'tcha know...).  It's a courageous thing to take on, against so many odds (according to the article, this isn't covered by insurance).  It takes enormous heart: they see that as Keansburg is an amusement park, it provides that elusive, etheric thing: amusement.  It creates memories and thrills and laughter; this is one of the main premises of my book, how much this matters in our fast-paced, digital world. And it takes wisdom, something I'm sure has been learned (and earned) over the years: that a place like this matters on so many levels.  The owners know that not only they but the locals depend on their park for income, and to bring visitors into the small seaside town of Keansburg.

An enormous Powerball lottery jackpot is in play tomorrow night.  I'll be playing it, and when I win, I'll donate a chunk of funds to this precious park, to help it thrive again, to allow it to continue to make the Jersey shore a special place to play at, to create wonderful memories at, for families to keep those traditions of "the first carousel ride", "the first cotton candy consumed" alive.

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