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September 6, 2008 / Bo Mackison

The Enlightened Man

Carving on Carousel at Ellas Deli in Madison, Wisconsin

Carving on Carousel at Ella's Deli in Madison, Wisconsin

He looks rather like a minor god of the carousel, but I can’t find any information about this guy.

The carving, lit to full effect, graces the Parker Carousel at Ella’s Deli on the east side of Madison. It is one of fewer than 75 operational, original carousels in the country. The carousel was built in 1927 in Leavenworth, Kansas, and operated in a park in North Tonawonda, New York for 20 years. When the park closed the carousel was dismantled and stored for years, and when brought to Madison, it required intensive restoration.

The carousel became operational in 1976 and has been a favorite of kids and adults alike for more than 30 years. I’ve taken quite a few spins of the ride myself, entertainment for my three kids. Okay, I admit it. Entertainment for me too. I love the slow spin, and the up and down horses (and camel) and keeping my eyes closed, listening to the pipe organ music.

You can almost imagine a scene out of the 1930s.


  1. Amelia / Sep 6 2008 11:53 am

    Cool capture.

  2. Marcie / Sep 6 2008 12:46 pm

    Perfect title! Nice to read about the context of this enlightened saint!!!

  3. ceanothe / Sep 7 2008 2:53 am

    Bravo ! un détail qui rappelle le théâtre !
    Bravo! a detail that recalls the theater!

  4. Anna Surface / Sep 7 2008 8:43 am

    Well, he looks like a gypsy looking out to the far horizons ahead. Neat carving. Interesting about that carousel. Carousel animals used to be an art unto itself. I haven’t riden on a carousel for many, many moons. 🙂

  5. Amelia / Sep 7 2008 4:40 pm

    Wonder who the guy is supposed to be. Weird.

  6. Gandalf / Sep 8 2008 9:32 pm

    He looks like someone out of a Shakespeare play – probably a villian.

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