Wednesday, July 11, 2007

A comment from The Archivist

First thing first. Thank you, one and all for all of the positive comments left behind while I was away. With a new found yearn to continue with the site, the remaining information stored in boxes and just piled next to my bed should carry me over for another few updates. I certainly hope they're enjoyed.

This joy comes with sadness and a glimmer of hope.

Recently, I had been left comments by two people who indicate they have (to lessen their impact) toured the park within the last few days. I'd be stupid not to say "I really wish I was there" because it has been a long time (relative to the parks closing & me last being there, etc) since I had a chance to experience the park in its [lack] lustre, and I have purchased a better resolution camera than the first excursion. I have this image in my mind of what the park looks like; quiet, serene, jackrabbits the size of beagles racing through the park watching me and my two companions in silence as we made our photo-tour & taking in the stark beauty the images of a park that once was a hot-spot for fun.

Then, I get word that the pictures I took, the pictures forever engraved into my mind of that hot June day are now no longer how the park looks.

Not only are ALL the windows broken, but arson has been attempted in the building right next to the doll house. All the light posts have been thrown down
and through windows. Graffiti and beer bottles have been scattered all through the park. Stuffed animals inside old Galveston midway have been thrown through out the park. I think if people are going to visit the park at least have the common courtesy to leave the place as it was. Its just trashed.

This is my curse.

I have to say that jokingly, but in true context. I had wanted to explore the park for a really long time, and my thoughts had been shared by many people I have encountered within the past 2 years. Like myself, several have emailed me and left correspondences describing their "encounter" at the park, their silent awe, their moments of nirvana at a culmination of their deepest desires for the park & finally getting the chance to do what they've always wanted to do; get closure.

That's what it is for me, closure.

I was told by several friends that my journals of the park are my mind's attempt at closure, getting the last bits of that one traumatic part of my life (the viewing of the accident on the roller coaster ), making sense of it, then making something positive out of it. I laugh at myself for reading what I just wrote, but for me, I haven't reached closure just yet. For me, the story of Magic Landing is only half told. In time, more will be revealed about the subject at hand, but for now, I am thankful that one person said this in a comment left behind:
We EXPLORED not vandalized, like the archivist said, there is a big difference. we were surprised to find things inside the magic shop but it was too late. Everything thrown around and such like raccoons on steroids (most likely drunk teenagers)invaded the place. If you kids decide to go in act as if you were in a strip club, just look DO NOT TOUCH.

Sadly, we cannot teach younger generations (unless they are our own children) the value of something historical, no matter how inane & innocent it might be. We grew up in an era where we had arcades, played Pac Man til we lost an entire weeks salary or allowance in one sitting, had to save up weeks to buy a VCR (over $200!) and wait anxiously for the weekends to come so we could head out and enjoy our free time & money with friends.

Now sadly, the era of saving & learning the value of things has changed into generations expecting things from their parents, often times with the notion that because they aren't paying for it, the money is disposable, which means their precious iPods, laptops & vehicles are disposable & mean nothing more than objects of ownership to them. It has to be taught at a young age that everything has a value to someone, especially our memories.

With that said, I have ran into a number of people of the younger generation who do value such things as the park because they never had an opportunity to visit. The ones who were born years after the park closed are the ones who are genuinely the ones most interested in knowing what happened to the park & understanding what it meant to the rest of us who experienced it. These individuals are few and far between, but they understand history, they understand the impact the past has on our future & want to understand why we love things that don't exist but as a continually fading memory.

My closest friends are people who have moved to El Paso within the last 10 years who never knew this park existed, but completely understand the relevance of this park to me & several hundred El Pasoans . They themselves have objects & events in their past they wish they could relive, revisit or remember but cannot. They are slightly envious, but understand the importance of conveying what an object, place or person meant to a community. It is for these readers of the site, these individuals that I do this for. The people who understand the importance of looking but not touching. Those who want a glimpse at a slightly simpler time, with fewer worries & great memories of friends, family & times of our lives we wish we could go back for just one hour and relive again.

Everyone has thanked me for my contributions to the site and to our history, but for once, I do have to say a heart felt thank you every once in a while.

Thank you for understanding me.