EndNotes

A Nat Park memory returns 50 years later

The Looff Carrousel, pictured here in the 1930s, was built by German woodcarver Charles I.D. Looff in the early 1900s. The Carrousel began operating in Spokane’s Natatorium Park in 1909. When the park closed in 1968 the city of Spokane purchased the Carrousel and put it in storage. It was moved to Riverfront Park in 1975. The Spokesman-Review archive (File photos  archive / The Spokesman-Review)
The Looff Carrousel, pictured here in the 1930s, was built by German woodcarver Charles I.D. Looff in the early 1900s. The Carrousel began operating in Spokane’s Natatorium Park in 1909. When the park closed in 1968 the city of Spokane purchased the Carrousel and put it in storage. It was moved to Riverfront Park in 1975. The Spokesman-Review archive (File photos archive / The Spokesman-Review)

During my three-month sabbatical in Chicago, the "L" train I commute on each day goes over some very old urban tracks as it rounds a corner. I can see the track coming and every time, I have an instant memory of childhood, of Natatorium Park which had the Jack Rabbit roller coaster. It would start out slow and easy and then whoosh!

I sometimes think the "L" train will do the same. Turn the corner and magically transform into the roller coaster from my childhood, transporting me back 50 years.

Many people know that the The Looff CarrouselI, now in Riverfront Park, made its debut at Nat Park, but it's the Jack Rabbit that comes up most in conversations with my Spokane peers who remember Nat.

The roller coaster is a strange but comforting image and memory, as I commute each morning to Rush University Medical Center in an adventure far from home.

(S-R archives photo of The Looff Carrousel)




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Spokesman-Review features writer Rebecca Nappi, along with writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., discuss here issues facing aging boomers, seniors and those experiencing serious illness, dying, death and other forms of loss.




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