Current stressful political events in the USA made me think about a person who utilized their personal stress and sadness to do good, and to add happiness to the world in a small but valuable way.
Scott Harrison's Carousel of Happiness, located at 20 Lakeview Drive, in the Caribou Village Shopping Center, Nederland, Colorado was one such place of happiness for me. This autumn, my husband and I took our three year old granddaughter for a ride along the very scenic Peak to Peak Highway (Hwy 119), to enjoy viewing the beautiful fall foliage. We also wanted to treat our granddaughter to a few rides on the Carousel of Happiness, a place I had read about in the Denver Post.
(All photos and photo collages will enlarge for easier viewing when clicked on)
Scott had an idea on what he wanted to do with the carousel base he acquired, and spent the next 26 years carving very original carousel animals in his wood shop, after his children went to sleep at night.
Although Scott never carved wood before, he started out by carving the rabbit that is now on the sign in front of the carousel (see photo above), and went on to create more than 50 one of a kind whimsical animals. He has stated that it was therapy for him. When he was a 19 year old Marine serving in Vietnam, the music from a small music box, that he was given as a gift, evoked in him a peaceful image of a carousel in a mountain meadow. That image calmed him during stressful war time, and during his post Marine job with Amnesty International, where he often heard stories about the horrible torture of people. He wanted to bring the sense of calm and happiness that his war time carousel vision had brought to him to his community.
My granddaughter loved her rides on the carousel! The carousel is accompanied by musical tunes from a 1913 Wurlitzer band organ music, that add to the joy.
My husband and I took turns standing next to our little granddaughter, as she took multiple rides on different animals. It put a smile on all our faces!
Upstairs there is an observation window, a small party room, and a do-it-yourself puppet theater. There is also a small store that sells toys and gifts, a book about the making of the carousel, as well as an online store.
The Carousel of Happiness was one man's vision and response to the horrors of war, and his job afterward dealing with tragic torture and abuse stories. Its mission was to replace such sadness with joy, and it has done just that for the benefit of many!
May we all try to bring more joy into the world and make the world a better place, with peace, love, tolerance for all.
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