Sunday, February 28, 2010

Going For The Brass Ring

I think one of my all time favorite memories of Paris will be one gray evening when it wasn't too cold so we took the boys to the park at the Champ de Mars. While they were playing at the playground we noticed the carousel was open. We decided to check it out, and found it was an old school, man powered crank carousel where the kids try to catch brass rings on sticks each time they go around. My favorite part was the guy running the carousel, who really seemed to love being there as much as the kids, so much so that every time one of the kids missed getting a ring he would enthusiastically say "Presque!" (almost). And it was another time I saw the Parisians drop their cold exteriors for just a moment and get caught up in the game, smiling as they watched in the twilight. For some reason it was one of those magic Paris moments you expect to happen all the time, but rarely encounter.

And, of course, I didn't have my camera.

But the boys have gone back several times, and yesterday we finally got photos:

Mr. Presque. I love this guy. Seriously, when I am about to give up on Parisians altogether, I run into someone like this that makes me think maybe my judgments have been a little too harsh.

Max, poised and ready. He takes this carousel very, very seriously.

And his dedication pays off. His all time record is nine rings. Not too shabby for an American kid.

And Jack's getting better and better with practice.
Here he is gearing up.

Getting closer (with the help of Mr. Presque, pointing where he should aim).