Later that morning, Carolyn, Theo and I went to Albany - about a half hour from Corvallis - to drop off Mz Mac to get her backup camera fixed. We drove separately and then Carolyn took me out on the town. Since we had Theo with us, we thought we would get take-out Thai food and eat in the park. I stayed outside with Theo while Carolyn went in to order… Next thing I know she and the waitress are coming outside with a table and chairs! When Carolyn explained the situation the waitress offered to set up a table for us. Sweet! We had a terrific lunch. I had my favorite soup and Carolyn had a huge plate of drunken noodles. We cleared our plates. Yum.
Then we took a shady stroll along the river over to the Albany Historic Carousel & Museum. We were pleased to find that it was open. Carolyn took Theo over to a shady spot and told me to take my time and look around. I went in… what a magical place. You could see the carvers and painters working to bring the magical creatures of the carousel to life. I asked one of the carvers if it would be ok to bring in my well-behaved dog. He said "Sure" and pointed to one of the carver's little dog in another corner of the room. So I went back out and got T and Carolyn and we all enjoyed poking around and admiring the artists at work. Well, Carolyn and I did, T got bored with it after a bit…but he was glad to be with us.
To pay for the project, each creature has a sponsor. That person/family gets to personalize the animal. For example, the people that sponsored the poodle below did so after a beloved pet. The names of their grandchildren will be painted on the saddle, and part of the saddle is the form of their lazy cat, who doesn't hunt, so there is also a little mouse resting nearby - unconcerned about the cat. The link I included to the museum tells the stories behind them. So interesting!
Illustration of "Lady Sophia" poodle
Poodle in Progress
Here are some more shots of the works in progress. You can see the illustrations at this link to the Albany Historic Carousel & Museum.
And here is one of the jesters that has been finished:
We had a nice chat with the "head painter" - she said that means that she has to buy the paint! We told her about our grandfather who made wooden hobby horses at his Whitney Reed factory in Massachusetts. Turns out she was originally from Mass and knew about it! Small world… I'll throw in a shot of a Whitney Reed horse here:
I got a call that the van was ready, so we went through the gift shop and bought cards, then reluctantly left. It was a fun day… This guy was in the gift shop/museum (not for sale). Way cool.