I gotta confess: this past week has not been a great one. I'm in the middle of a job hunt, AND my laptop no longer lets me install anything. And trying to fix it just makes it worse! Plus my car that I just got fixed feels like the transmission is trying to change gears itself. Geez, when it rains it pours...
So I was feeling pretty down on myself last week after I drove out to Ellicott City to drop off a CV and application. On the way back I drove by a farm that had a curiously pasty, white castle entrance set a ways back from the road. Further inspection revealed what I had suspected all along: this is the famous Clark's Elioak Farm that is salvaging and painstakingly restoring the ancient relics of the Enchanted Forest.
Almost any born and bred Baltimorean 30 years old and above will remember The Enchanted Forest, that kitschy local amusement park that fell on hard times around the late 80's and finally closed down for good, after some transformations, in 1997. Many of the attractions that people remember, however, were left neglected from 1990 on, and have been sitting, decaying, ever since.
The folks at nearby Clarks Elioak Farm have taken to carting many of these rotting amusement park relics back to their farm with the intention of restoring them and letting the public come back to see them - and for just $4.50 you can get in to see it! (It's less for children, I think.) I had planned to stop in for a short visit, just to see, and wound up staying for an hour or two. If you remember the Enchanted Forest, see how many of these things you remember:
The super-colorful Goldilocks and the Three Bears house, restored to its former glory. I could never figure out what the hell that pouchy thing was on top of the green roof, but it was supposed to symbolize "Mama Bear". A few other photos from the house...
Papa Bear and trophy
You can run, Blondie, but you can't hide...
Jack and Jill go tumbling down the hill, humiliated as ever. As a child, I would've mentioned that Jill's bloomers were showin'.
No, that was an accident. But, like, since they're all mushrooms, man, it's trippy and far out...
The crooked house, crooked cat and crooked man.
I don't recall whose house this was. Must be their next big repair project.
Anyone remember this boat? The big face with no eyes always freaked me out, but not enough that I showed it. Only enough to silently disturb me. The whale was fun though. One of my favorite parts of Enchanted Forest was that whole area outside of the main "fairy tale" section, with the mammoth white mountain slide, the "fishin' hole" and the safari ride. I especially loved the slide - it was THE best thing about an amusement park filled with great stuff. For a kid of 10, that is.
Damn, that is colorful!
I have no idea what to say here. This is probably another restoration section. Wasn't that sombrero painted in fancier colors than, er, off-white?
Super big-ass mega-cupcake
Who could forget the Old Woman's Shoe? Apparently one woman who came that day with her sister. The woman could not remember much of anything about the Enchanted Forest, but her younger sister could for some reason. More photos of that shoe...
Doesn't every shoe have a slide? Seriously...
My day at Clark's was the first time I ever realized that the Old Woman had a hippie son sitting on top of her shoe house.
Uh, guys, a little help here...
This had to have been part of a ride of some sort, but I don't recall if was just to truck people around the amusement park or what.
Is it just me, or did the Enchanted Forest kind sorta engage in a little harmless copyright infringement? I mean watch the movie. Not EVERY telling of the "Snow White" story had a dwarf named "Dopey"...
"Could you get out of my room, please?"
Props from Cinderella's Castle, sitting in the pumpkin coach that trucked people to the castle. Of course, you could always walk to the castle, but who wanted to do that?
Another link in the train. All of the mouse cars are now picnic table seating (a good idea)
One of the Three Little Pigs. Most retellings always make the piggies male. I had never remembered that the Enchanted Forest made little girl pigs. Here's straw house pig getting blown over.
And here's Gladys, the most successful pig builder, coming out of her well-constructed chimney.
And we finish with a displaced stepsister from Cinderella 's Castle. The dress has actually held up well. So has her hair. She's standing on top of an old but well-preserved carriage that was not part of the Enchanted Forest.
In all, I had much more fun than that goat. The Enchanted Forest was a nice distraction from the problems I have been having lately, as was the Good Humor ice cream sandwich I bought afterwards in the store for $1.50. That was one big ice cream sandwich. I'll need to go back again soon!