The Guardian Angel
I like to do "paint by numbers". There's no great talent involved with such a hobby but one does end up with items that can be nicely framed and used in home décor. Such paintings also make nice gifts. It's a way to be productive while watching the boob-tube as I see it.
So I have a granddaughter who's by now only two. But she loves to paint with her aqua-doodle and she's often noticed mine own paint-by-numbers in progress. Thus I endeavor to paint some pictures for this fine baby girl with such a passion for art.
As I peruse the offerings across the Internet, I come across the picture below and it stopped me cold.
While I was in the first and second grade I was assigned to the same classroom. It was a Catholic school, I must add. All of the students in that school were seated in alphabetical order by last name. Thus for two years I was in the same seat in the same classroom.
That picture of the guardian angel watching over two children crossing over a rickety bridge was hung on the wall right next to my desk.
I remember for those two years constantly regarding and studying that picture. I was but a child, only 6 or 7 years of age. That picture stayed with in my mind all my life.
Now such a thing would be subject to politically correct scrutiny. What parent would leave such young children to go wandering across rickety and dangerous bridges the pundits would shout.
In the more naïve time of my youth, we'd eagerly believe the guardian angel would protect the children.
I recall how I figured that I too had a guardian angel watching over me. Not that the guardian angel saved my life or anything in my young life. Yet somehow I found a childish comfort that we all had a guardian angel.
I will paint this picture for my granddaughter. I will sign it at the bottom right hand corner. On the back I will write Kaitlyn Mae a note.
The guardian angel will be grandmother, or so I shall explain. When grandmother is gone, I will always, somehow, be watching over her.
Maybe it'll make sense to granddaughter, maybe not. But if there is any way at all I will protect her in death as much as I would in life.
It is a beautiful picture and I truly believe that the day will come when Kaitlyn will cherish it.
Speaking of Enchantment
Received this email about my story on Maryland's Gwynn Oak Park.
The emailer is writing about another Maryland attraction known as "The Enchanted Forest". I mentioned The Enchanted Forest in the above Gwynn Oak missive.
A lot of information is provided in the email about the efforts to get the many elements that made The Enchanted Forest magical. I've linked all the links in the email for reader interest. As stated in the text of the email, there is an attempt to preserve these magical items, including an appeal to TY of "Extreme Home Makeover" and Oprah Winfrey. They wanted to use my missive as part of the appeal to these celebrated persons.
I, of course, agree readily. Perhaps some of yon Maryland readers who remember The Enchanted Forest would like to check out some of the sites linked in the email.
I'm a member of the EFPS, Enchanted Forest Preservation Society of Maryland.
All of my pictures are in the main gallery on page three.
I'm known by email as firstname.lastname@example.org
I went to the Enchanted Forest when I lived in Maryland in 1967.
I live in Maine now and have most of my life.
I am 43 now, but I never forgot the Enchanted Forest.
I, along with others are trying our best to save what ever remains of this closed down park.
Our group tried to save this closed historic theme park on it's orignal soil, but the people who own it now, Kimco, do not have any plans in ever reopening it.
So they have offered what remains to CLARK'S ELIOAK FARM which is a few miles from the original Enchanted Forest.
Through donations and sponsoring we have been able to move several items.
But it has been a slow process and these 50 year old pieces are really falling apart quickly from neglect.
We are now trying to get t.v. personalities Oprah and Ty from "Extreme Home Makeover" show to help our cause.
Oprah has always been a huge lover of books and the importance of children learning to read.
Which the Enchanted Forest in Maryland was so well known for.
And Ty is someone we hope may be interested in relocating everything else that is possible, so that future generations may enjoy what this storybook park encouraged over the years.
And help us reinforce the entrance castle, so it will hold up for many years to come.
The Enchanted Forest was a special place where memories were made.
People taking the time to spend it with their families and/or friends.
A place that taught the joys of reading, and in cases like yours, a first introduction to what the difference was between a segregated and non-segregated park really meant.
The shopping mall is pretty much the reason why the land was bought from the original owners from the second group of people to own it.
The Harrison's that created the EF had been promised that the park would remain open if they sold it.
Their father's health failing, they sold it in good faith.
That promise was broken, and much of the park was destroyed when the mall went up.
To date Kimco, the 3rd and present owners, have stated that they would like to keep the Old King Cole that welcomes people into the shopping mall.
Also the white castle entrance and the dragon that peaks over the top.
Rapunzel was either sold, destroyed, or given years ago, like many of the fairy tale nursery rhyme figures and other things.
But these are starting to show their signs of age.
We would like to see at least the castle structure, dragon, and King Cole, mark the spot where this forest was created, and be kept up for the part it's played in Maryland's past.
I came across your wonderful and powerful story about your growing up as a child and being told that three of your classmates would not be able to join you on your class trip to Gwynn Oak Park, but they would be going to the Enchanted Forest.
This made you wonder why they could not go, and ask your father, and even question why your school would allow this kind of thing to even happen.
You wrote your story so well, that I was wondering if you would mind if we copied it and put it in our package to Oprah and Ty.
This orignal entrance to me should be honored for the statement it made in 1955 when it first opened.
It was created with open minds and open hearts, along with all the people who ever entered those enchanted doors for all those years ago.
I put the link to your story on our site, but for our package we would like permission from you to copy your story and send it along with everything else we are sending.
Please let me know if this would be alright with you.
And if not, thank you for sharing your story!
I'm so glad that I found it!
It was so touching to see this written through your memory as a child.
And if you are interested in checking it out, this is Nan Sherman's site ,who has helped in the relocation efforts and has even obtained for the Clark's farm, some of the original pieces of the EF's figures, that people had in private collections.
This is the link to her attraction museum, which shows vintage and recent pictures of the park, along with information on these pieces now.
And here is a link to the farm
that is trying to save and relocate these pieces to the farm.
Thank you for your time.
Take care~ Sue
About Those Thanksgiving Leftovers
Came across this guideline for storing leftovers in a cooking email group and thought it a fine time to post it for the benefit of yon readers.
LEFTOVERS STORAGE TIME IN THE REFRIGERATOR
Cooked Food Item Refrigerator Storage Time
Roast turkey 3 to 4 days
Stuffing 1 to 2 days
Giblet Gravy 1 to 2 days
Canned Cranberry Sauce 5 to 7 days
Homemade Cranberry Relish 5 to 7 days
Roast Pork 2 to 4 days
Roast Beef/Veal/lamb 3 to 4 days
Baked ham 3 to 5 days
Meat w/ sauce or gravy 1 to 2 days
Cooked vegetables 3 to 5 days
Pumpkin pie 2 to 3 days
Fruit desserts/pie 3 to 5 days
Seafood 1 to 2 days
Gumbo 1 to 2 days
Soups 2 to 3 days
More Miscellany posts HERE
It's one of my fondest memories, and it makes one of my best stories.
The time: midafternoon on a nice day.
The setting: inside the fairgrounds, when the fair isn't running.
The players: me, Tanya, the entire newest class of police rookies, and my dad (the lieutenant in charge).
The props: several cop cars, one unmarked vehicle (the one I'm driving), and various guns, none of which work.
Just like you and me, cops have to learn. Unlike you and me, they have to learn things that might kill them if they don't learn them right. On this day, I was there to help some cop newbies learn.
They'd had the book learning; they'd had the "first steps" stuff outside, too. But now, it was time to learn the things that books couldn't teach them; the things that fellow novice policemen don't think about.
First scenario: The police have a call about someone brandishing a weapon. Assume that they're armed (no duh) and dangerous. Tanya and I are driving around, minding our own business, inside the fairgrounds -- the cop wanna-bes have to stop us, decide if we're the ones, decide if we really have a gun, and act appropriately. Hehehehe.
So we're driving, and a police voice, wishing to sound firm and forceful but not quite making it, calls out for us to stop. We do. We're behaving, like good little citizens, but just between you and me, yeah, we have a gun, all right.
Everything is by the book. Engine off, hands in sight, drop the keys out, etc, etc. Then two young (very young) policemen come up to our car and inform us a) of what we're accused of and b) of our rights, as they're searching our automobile.
One officer finds a BB gun of a revolver type in the glove box. Triumphant, elated, he holds it up for his partner to see. Relieved that they found the problem, they tell us we can put our hands down.
Oops. They didn't find the "Derringer" I had hidden. I pull it out and yell "Bang" and both officers look at me in a state of shock. I win.
Didn't occur to either of them that there might have been a second gun.
Second scenario: The police have a call about an armed robbery, they have us in their sights, they have to stop us without endangering bystanders, and bring us to justice. Hehehehe.
We start when we're already running. They've told us to stop and we didn't. There are two cars chasing us. They catch up to us and make us stop... and we go through the etc etc again. Shut off your engine. Hands in plain sight. Keys out the window. Except, they don't know I have one of those keychains that comes apart and I drop the house keys out the window.
All four officers are in perfect TV pose, kneeling against open car doors, guns (that don't work, remember) drawn. All four officers have a not-so-perfect amazed expression as I drive away, leaving my "keys" on the pavement.
I come around a corner, gain some ground, turn another corner, stop and get out of the car. Tanya slides into the driver's seat and pretends to be pulling out, as the cop cars come into view.
I'm standing on the sidelines, an innocent bystander just watching the show.
The officers do the TV thing again, kneeling against open car doors as they make Tanya go through the etc etc dance. This time it's the car keys that hit the ground... followed shortly by Tanya as they make her exit the car and lay face down.
While she is doing that, I'm walking around behind the scenes. I come up behind one of the police cars, pick the closest newbie cop, tap him on the shoulder, and ask, "What's happening?"
Watching that man melt against the car door was one of my life's greatest experiences.
But you know, if they'd have learned it on the street, they might not have had time to learn it at all.
"It took him over an hour to negotiate the twisting
roads leading to the north bank of the river, a delay
increased by the construction that was blocking off
many of the major roads."
-- Steven Brust, "Sethra Lavode"
More Guest Writer HERE