Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Conneaut Lake Park - a vintage amusement park on tenterhooks ...

Unease is permeating my world right now ...

Here in the Greater Chicagoland area, we're experiencing a thaw of the mounds of snow that blanket the sidewalks, streets and green spaces.  We were hoping for a nice, slow, languid thaw, but instead, it appears that there will be thunderstorms and lightning tomorrow, dumping about an inch of rain throughout the morning which, added to the feet of accumulated snow, are setting the stage for Thawpocalypse: flooded rivers, streets, homes and basements.  In the 10 years we've lived here, we've dealt with four floods, lost thousands of dollars worth of personal property, and have become more and more wary of the area - and have talked of moving with increased frequency.  Not that we want to, but we just may have to, to preserve our collective sanity.

And now the troubling news out of Western Pennsylvania: Conneaut Lake Park (which I visited three times during the writing of my book, and slowly fell in lvoe with) will be sold in September in a tax sale.  Many factors (summed up very nicely in this wonderful article by Susan Glaser of Cleveland's Plain Dealer: ) have led to this, none simple to comprehend or easy to remedy.

The park's future is truly in a state of suspended animation.  Should we fans of CLP prepare ourselves for the worst, taking our emotional easily-damaged properties off the floor, steeling ourselves for the flood?  Or will the tax sale be a huge blessing in disguise?  Will a caring party, wishing to keep the park and its history alive, purchase it and restore it to its former glory?

I'm still working on that Powerball win.  And I know exactly what I'll be doing with a portion of it.

Until then, I've got photo albums to move to higher, safer spaces.  And I've also got a park to visit this season, to pay it its due, no matter how the outcome of the sale unfolds.

Friday, February 14, 2014

I knew I renewed my D23 membership for a reason!

At first I thought it was because of the D23 Winter 2013 magazine and its exhaustive and wonderful edition that's all about "Saving Mr. Banks" and the making of the film, "Mary Poppins".  What I was shocked and amazed and giddy like a little girl over were the additional treats of the 23-month calendar and the beautiful facsimile invitation to the premiere of the film.  I got all trembly and weepy about this.  Imagine: you are invited to the Grauman's Chinese Theatre back in 1964 and Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke and Walt Disney are all in attendance.  YOU are in the audience to witness Disney history!  I'd seen copies of the invite at Walt Disney World, in the window of the building that houses the Great Movie ride.  Even though it's a copy, it's close enough for jazz to me.

But imagine my pixilated delight over the news of what the D23 Spring Issue will hold:

Anyone who knows me klnows that it's ALL about the Blair.  Mary Blair, that is.  Her playfulness, use of dark and light, bold color choices made her Walt's favorite artist.  In an age when female artists were not as thoughtfully recognized for their talent, Mary was the exception.  So it is with great, ridiculously effervescent excitement that I await this issue.

Blair is what it's all about.  Might I say, it's Mary Blairiffic?