Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Although I didn't know him then...this reminds me of my grandfather. He was a carnie before he met my grandmother in Texas and settled down. He told me stories about climbing the Ferris Wheel to set it up and take it down. As a matter of fact, my grandmother got on the ride and my grandfather wouldn't let her off - he was smitten. With that began a new chapter and the carnie life was left behind.
It all started when my grandfather ran away from home at the age of 9 and again at 13. The second time he ran away from home, he worked in a bowling alley on 42nd Street in New York City setting up the bowling pins; it was 1939. From there he joined a traveling carnival and ended up manning the Ferris Wheel.
The story I was told over and over again goes like this... Nanny (that's my grandmother) was at the carnival with her brother (my Uncle Dink...hey it was Texas in the 40's) and they got on the Ferris Wheel. My grandfather saw her and was immediately smitten. He had no idea Uncle Dink was her brother. Round and round they went, with my grandfather refusing to let them off the ride until she agreed to a date with him. Which, from I what was told, was a pretty long time.
When it came time for the carnival to move on, the sheriff made sure my grandfather went with them. You see, his son was also smitten with my grandmother. From what I understand, not a week went by that my grandfather was back and they were married. That was 1945.