Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Lost in Space

Danger, Will Robinson. But first....

I was looking for inspiration so I went to the CBTL. That is not always a solution to my writers block but they do have a great Ice Blended Mocha. That part of the trip was sure to be a success. 
However,  I did find something that peaked my memory.  It was a beautiful morning so I sat outside.  There is a carrousel in the middle of Encino Place and although I see it all the time, today it called out to me. I wrote my blog while deferring to the merry go round for support.
Right out of High School I was hired at a Theme Park. It was brand new, we were the first employees. I was there for the last few weeks of prep rehearsing before it opened. It is the closest I will come to being there for the set up of the carny. The name shall go un-mentioned since it is not necessary to the story.
A theme park is an awkward dance between architects and artists. It is not like any other retail space, it requires the eye of an artist as well as the engineer to create this "magic environment".  Sometimes the dancers step on each other's toes and this is a case in point.
One of the attractions at this Theme park was a beautiful Puppet theatre. It was proportioned to the size of the puppets which were probably half scale of humans, or about 3 feet high.  It was all set to go until they loaded in the show, that's when the roof collapsed. It seems the architects had figured the weigh bearing load on the roof at half the weight of a regular theatre based on the size of the puppets. Of course there is no such thing as puppet lights, or puppet speakers so the grid collapsed under the weight of actual lights and speakers. Strike one for the architects.
The park wanted a center piece carrousel..(finally we get to the spark for this blog... the Encino Place carrousel.)  The artists decided they should be the ones to design this attraction.  After all a carrousel is just a glitzy bunch of sculpted horses moving up and down on a large turn table. In this case the puppeteers conceived a "double decker" carrousel with all manner of sculpted beasts to ride on. And they were beautiful to look at.  On the top were fantasy creatures that any comic book geek would love, while the lower level was more kid friendly featuring more traditional mounts. From an artistic point of view, I don't know if there has ever been a carrousel that was so stunningly beautiful. There was only one problem to this artistic accomplishment.... it was too heavy to turn.  The artists had not considered the extra weight of their over conceived characters.  They were too heavy for the motor. This greatly hampered the enjoyment of the experience. It was ultimately reduced to a single story carrousel. Swing and a miss for the artists. 
This entire memory came back to me as I watched the Encino Place carrousel. It was a good blog to start the week. I even took a picture of the carrousel with my iPad and added it to the article. As I saved my finished assignment the wifi at CBTL decided to glitch. Gone... the picture the story and everything I had written for an hour...gone... did not save or upload... it was...
Lost in Space.  Of course I can never hear that phrase in my mind without also hearing...Danger Will Robinson. 

I think my original missive was better, more relevant to the moment and written more concisely, but that's what happens when there's no paper trail.

I had to come back  to my office at home to attempt to recreate the moment without the photo. You should have read the first draft...
As you were,

1 comment:

DeWeese said...

1967 that would be. southeastern USA
hot outdoors in the summer. though a good place to work at the time...