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Lost in Light is a videoblog about small gauge filmmaking featuring weekly posts of home movies, work by artists, articles by preservationists and film scholars, video tutorials and other film gems.




The kiddie rides

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This week’s post comes with a particularly moving story, from contributor Joshua K of Forth Worth, Texas, USA. These carnival rides bring back so many memories – the days of wanting to go on the really scary rides but still being too small. At least the motorcycles did wheelies and the boats floated on real water. Joshua gives us some backstory:

This footage is from the Fort Worth Zoo back in 1979. There used to be ‘rides’ at the zoo, and some of my earliest memories are of spending time out there… I know I must have been taken there quite often….

… my mom had that camera and took lots of pictures back then.. she must have been about 21 years old during this video… the guy in the clip was her boyfriend of the time, “Ronnie.” That’s us at his house in the end… his sister and mom and little dog are there too… I remember them being really nice, and loving that little white dog a lot… they took me to the Shrine Circus too once, Ronnie’s whole family did…

… the sad thing about that video was my understanding of Ronnie. My mom and him split and went their separate ways not long after this video was taken. I remember always thinking that Ronnie was my biological father, and I had these vague memories from before and around age three… Even though I was so young, I remember feeling he was great to me, taking me to the duckpond with loaves of bread, buying me the Snoopy Snow-Cone Machine, letting me sit on the back of his motorcycle with his blue helmet on… I just remember being happy around him. Only when I was maybe 11 or 12 after he’d been gone for 8 years did someone tell me that Ronnie wasn’t my real dad after all…

This film and more from Joshua’s films are available as high-resolution download at the Internet Archive. See our File Directory for links from this entry and others.


Comment from cheryl colan
Time: October 20, 2007, -5

Oh, so sad and sweet, and perfect musical accompaniment. I swear we had the same exact rides at “Legend City” – a family fun park in Phoenix. I remember those boats for sure, and the space ships/rocket ships with “guns” in the front. I used to get a little scared when those went up higher and I would scream out “whoa, big Mike, whoa, big Mike.” I didn’t know anyone named big Mike, but it seemed like the thing to say.

Comment from Robert Croma
Time: October 20, 2007, -5

Deeply moving back-story making the footage all the more poignant. A really beautiful piece.

And love the 70s clothes and décor. I remember it well!

Comment from Chuck Olsen
Time: October 22, 2007, -5

what a lovely sad story+film.