This blog post is part of a series on the Carrousel Courier called Remember When. These posts are written by our staff, volunteers, and fans on memories of carousels and amusement. See how these memories have influenced us to this day. Interested in sharing a fond memory of your own? Leave a comment or email Ian K. Seppala at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By: Ian K. Seppala
Looking through photographs for these blogs, I began to realize something new about myself. I grew up with amusement parks, carousels and museums. I sat in my parents living room sorting through photos with mum saying "oh yeah that's insert amusement park here". I realized that these forms of entertainment were more important in my early development than I thought. And my first memory of a carousel ride was definitely not my first go around. As a family we did the big parks that most do. When we visited my aunt in Florida, the whole extended family went to Disney. Most of my memories from that trip are through photographs. This includes riding roller coasters with my dad and venturing through the hundred acre woods. However Seth (my youngest brother) wasn't born yet. Our second trip to Orlando is more memorable. As a family of three boys we are always quite competitive. Screaming and shoving matches are common, mostly over called strikes or foul shots. The second trip to Orlando there were fewer arguments. Yes we got tired of the limitless photos (you were right mum, they would be handy in the future). We laugh about how you can see the order we viewed the park based on how angry our faces are in photos. There are other great memories too. Especially Jurassic Park and Hogsmead. We didn't just go to the large parks though. My parents took us to amusement parks and museums no matter the size or location. When visiting family in Indiana we would go to the Indianapolis Children's Museum and even visited the Chicago Aquarium. There are countless photos of us at amusement parks that none of us can remember. So as I said before my first carousel ride I remember was on the Elaine Wilson Carousel at Strong National Museum of Play. However here is photographic evidence this is incorrect. There are multiple photos of me riding carousels (with dad or dad and Alec) in unknown parks before this. Even though I don't remember these moments they all do have one thing in common, smiles. The happiness shown in the photos reminds me about the most important things about amusement parks is joy. I don't remember all the places we've been. I don't remember all of the rides I've been on. I do remember all the fun I had and those I've had it with. Amusement parks have given me and my love ones joy in the past. I am honored with my current position I'm able to help create those happy memories for others. Now how did I get to the Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum? That's a story of next time.
Ian K. Seppala is the Education Director of the Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum. He enjoys educating the public in local history and how history and science combine. He is also an avid sports fan and outdoorsman.
The Author and his father riding a carousel in an unknown location, mid 90's. From the author's collection.
The Seppala Family from their second trip to Orlando. From author's collection.
Momma Seppala and her boys during their second trip in Orlando. From author's collection.