Monday, April 14, 2008

Poor little insignificant and forgotten things - A Eulogy

It was mid Sunday afternoon in May of 2005 when I entered Magic Landing for the first time in nearly twenty years. My childlike curiosity fueled my passions to the point of bursting as I slowly made my way down Texas Street, I found myself closing my eyes and remembering the sights and sounds of my youth with vivid, yet fading detail. Little wooden barrels of ice filled with juice, the crushed red gravel crunching underfoot as we made our way to the back areas of the park. The Rainbow still sings its haunting melody in my mind. Those hydraulic pumps belt a choir-like chant that fill my mind and make me smile as I stare in bewildered amazement of the lights against the dark summer nights of yesteryear.

As I walked the main drag and snapped pictures, I couldn't help but remember the PA system pumping out the light and airy music to keep the mood upbeat and light. By that time the park had already been mired with the death of one of its employees, but as I walked I kept turning around hearing a crowd of people make their way into the park for another day of merriment, to hear my brother and sister run like banshees towards the rides and trinket shops. I kept looking back believing I was hearing all of it. Expecting to see it. Deep down inside I wanted to believe it was going to happen. Then when it didn't, I walked the park nearly silent coming to grips with my expectations and emotions.

Gone was that 6 year old child who looked at the park with such doughy eyes and saw wonder and amazement.

Gone was that park that stood for a mere four years, straining to remain dignified through all of its trials and shortcomings.

I found myself standing in a park that tried to remain who it once was, coming to grasp with what it became, and resolving itself to its future.

Then I shared that same epiphany as I finished my tour, exited the park and went home.

I don't know what urged me to turn on my computer and flip through the thumb drive of pictures I had amassed from the 2005 trek as well as reader submitted photos and just browsed them for almost an hour. Memories of the park came flooding back and how relieved I was to have finally set my demons straight and start the process of moving on with what I learned about myself by looking at those pictures again. Then after the first news bulletins about the fire, I had the opportunity to talk to some friends of mine whom all had said pretty much the same thing in passing "poor little insignificant and forgotten things."

That's really what the park is.

Long forgotten objects and events of a time long gone.

It's funny how things happen in your life that form you into the person you are meant to become. I had planned on getting the last bits of the parks photos I have and make two or three final collages and call it quits. Leave the site with a positive look at something that was therapeutic to me, informative to others, and to one heckler of the site, fodder for its demise. With the events that happened yesterday, my tenure as Archivist for the park will continue until the park decides to not exist any more.

Will it be bulldozed? Will it stay standing as a pitiful reminder of failure?

I don't know.

There are ghosts of the past who refuse to pass quietly. Magic Landing, it seems, is one of them.


Blogger marc30 said...

That's beautiful. We moved to El Paso from California (due to a Fort Bliss transfer). Back home, I grew up with Disneyland as a child. Magic Landing being built at the same time I was growing old enough to get a job was magical. I was so nervous in the interview. Back in the day, there was more magical than walking through the employee entrance an hour before opening and turning on the music, opening the doors to the shop, getting your sweatband ready for the rabbit costume or after transferring to the Food Department, charging up the air compressor for the characters to sing Crocodile Rock about a 80 times that day at Piney Woods!

5/05/2009 12:40 AM  

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