Live (Almost) from Coney Island—PART SIX (final part): ALL THE PRETTY LITTLE PONIES

Painting I did inspired by one of the chariots. Find it below.

Painting I did inspired by one of the chariots. Find it below.

 

Marilyn, Jim, and I arrived at the B&B Carrousell (their spelling)—which was Marilyn and my childhood carousel, then on Surf Avenue. It is now restored and reassembled in a prettier setting on the boardwalk. See my blog post of October 1, A Circle of Horses Reborn. The hundred year old carved horses and other figures were beautifully stripped and repainted to their original colors. The only thing missing was the brass ring.

 

A rendering of the site. Photo: Rockwell Group and 10 Media

A rendering of the site. Photo: Rockwell Group and 10 Media

 

Photo: Jim Blythe

Photo: Jim Blythe

 

Photo; Jim Blythe

Photo; Jim Blythe

 

If you look at the top, you'll see the name W.F. Mangels. He was a famous ride maker. I patterned a character after him.Photo: Jim Blythe

Front horse by Marcus Illions, pioneer in the Coney Island school of carousel carving. If you look at the top, you’ll see the name W.F. Mangels painted on one of the beams. He was a famous ride maker. I patterned a character after him in my novel. Photo: Jim Blythe

 

An excerpt from my novel narrated by my young heroine:

 

I knew it was a long shot, but when I got to West Eighth I turned and headed for Neptune Avenue. I passed the open firehouse and came to a stop in front of Dad’s workshop. It was a warehouse building with huge wooden doors lettered Mandel Industries. His old black pickup truck wasn’t parked out front—Dad was probably out there somewhere fixing motors, gearboxes, and chain lifts.

 

 

Photo: Jim Blythe

Photo: Jim Blythe

 

Photo: Jim Blythe

Photo: Jim Blythe

 

Marilyn and me (me in front.) Photo: Jim Blythe

Marilyn and me (me in front.) Photo: Jim Blythe

 

Me. Photo: Jim Blythe

Me. Photo: Jim Blythe

 

The sun sets. Photo: Jim Blythe

The sun sets. Photo: Jim Blythe

 

Photo: Jim Blythe

Photo: Jim Blythe

 

Marilyn calls her husband Steve to meet us for dinner. Steve is not a Coney Islandphile like the three of us. Photo: cell selfie by Sheila

Marilyn calls her husband Steve to meet us for dinner. Steve is not a Coney Islandphile like the three of us. Photo: selfie by Sheila

 

Photo: Jim Blythe

Photo: Jim Blythe

 

One of Marilyn and Steve’s two sons, Michael came along with Steve. He and I stood in front of the Thunderbolt as riders screamed past. We tried to figure out how you would write down the sound, but it was so multilayered we couldn’t.

 

Marilyn driving us down Brighton Beach Avenue. Photo: Jim Blythe

Marilyn driving us down Brighton Beach Avenue. Photo: Jim Blythe

 

Marilyn, Steve, Michael, Jim and I set out on our next quest. It was to find a good Russian restaurant that we could get into on a Saturday evening without reservations.

In this we failed.

 

Opening of the new carousel:

The old B&B:

 

Watch them put together the carousel in a little over a minute:

http://www.nytimes.com/video/nyregion/100000002242744/the-making-of-a-carousel.html?pagewanted=all

Posted in: Blog & Stories

5 comments

  1. John Sosh says:

    Have enjoyed these post so much but understand the need for a break. Hope you can return to this blog soon. Have really enjoyed you paintings and Jims photos also.

  2. Sheila, I especially like the rotating selection of your paintings on the sidebar. Jim’s photos also really give the feeling of being on that ride. Thanks for sharing these memories with everyone.

  3. Elise says:

    The photos are fabulous;so colorful & detailed. I also enjoyed your short novel excerpt. Thank you for doing this. I left Brighton Beach 38 years ago & haven’t seen Coney Island since. The memories you brought back are priceless.

  4. Jane says:

    I’ve never seen carousel horses with “real” tails like that — beautiful.

    The blog has been wonderful, Sheila, but I understand how time-consuming it must be, and you’ve got novels to write and paintings to paint!

    Thanks for the great stories, photos, and excerpts.

  5. Marilyn Jones says:

    Just looked at this. It is wonderful! I love the pictures and I loved the author’s page about you. Everything is looking terrific. I can’t wait for your book!

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