The Big Move 1958

Tiny Town’s moving day in 1958 was one of the most exciting days of my life. We kids were allowed to skip school that day, and the whole family came out to observe and assist. Enormous cranes showed up to lift the rides, one by one, and move them to their new locations. Everything was so large; I was stunned by the scale of the operation.  Whereas Tiny Town had always been a gravel lot (boy did I get some skinned knees playing there!) the rejuvenated Tiny Town had already been blacktopped. It was all marked out so the crane drivers would know where to deposit the rides. I had just been given a new Brownie box camera, and on that day I took my very first photographs.

Moving Day September 1958

Moving Day September 1958

Everyone’s starkest memory of that day was what happened when the carousel was raised by the crane.  Goodness, what creaking and grinding! NaNa was terrified it would fall apart, but indeed it left the ground in one piece. What a sight! And then, out of nowhere, a huge wind came up and the merry-go-round began swinging back and forth. I recall hearing the adults gasping and screaming, and the crane operator decided to make an emergency landing of the carousel. Unfortunately it was set down precisely atop the priceless Wurlitzer organ. (There’s a picture of this.) Though damaged, it survived and went on to play thousands more hours, though some notes became non-functional and this resulted in countless tiny pauses occurring in every song. It was never fixed. I can still sing the complete Strauss waltzes with the tiny pauses.

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