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With love from Sherman’s

There has been a lot happening in the last few years and a lot of people have raised their voices and I have sat back quietly. I have listened and I have tried to understand, but now I feel it is time for me to have a voice and I would like to use it to express my gratitude.

There was a time years ago when I was much loved and appreciated. I was lovingly cared for and, may I humbly say, a real thing of beauty. I was so very proud and I stood tall in the town of Caroga. I was a host to so much joy and happiness and it seemed to effortlessly carry on for generations. Over the years, I was a witness to young love, laughing children and so many family moments. All of these glorious memories were set to the background of music on the beautiful shores of Caroga Lake. These were happy and prosperous times for all.

Then it stopped. Everything stopped. Times had changed, people were struggling and it took a lot more effort to keep me going. It was time for a transition. I waited patiently. I trusted that it would only be temporary because I just knew this amazing community I have always known would surely come together and come back with a plan for my future. No one came. Here I sat abandoned, run down, sad and feeling very unloved. As people passed by I would hear voices murmuring “oh what a waste”. I started to lose hope, how could this have happened? Where are my people, my community?

Then they came. One day, almost as if by gallant horses off the carousel, my people came back for me. Inspired by a young man with a dream to revitalize me through music and arts, they were on a mission. They arrived one by one calling themselves the Caroga Arts Collective. They brought rakes, shovels, mowers, garbage bags, paint, hammers, nails, beautiful flowers and a lot of enthusiasm. Soon they were followed by more and more supporting community members. Imagine what if felt like to realize I was not forgotten. I think you could tell how happy I was as when you passed by, you could almost see me smile. They were preparing me for something, but for what? They were preparing me for a concert.

Much to my delight, that young man and his musicians came to fight for me and fight my future. When they arrived, they were armed alright, but with their instruments, talent and inspiration. How magnificent were their cellos, violins, harps, guitars, fiddles, pianos, drums, saxophones, horns, flutes and their sweet voices. Soon there was a stage, the music played and the people came. They came by foot, by car, by bikes and by boat. I was filled to the brim with excited and appreciative audiences. In between the music and the thunderous applause, I could hear people talking. They were talking like a community once again. They were talking about their loving memories of the past and their dreams for the future. I could feel myself returning to my former glory, but in a different way this time. Yes, there are still families, still laughing children and even young love, but so much more. Now there is hope. I feel loved, I feel beautiful, I feel appreciated and I feel proud of this town. My town, the town of Caroga.

On behalf of all that was and all that will be, thank you, thank you, thank you.

With love, Sherman’s Amusement Park.

KIM HART

Caroga Lake