GRIFFITH PARK (CBSLA.com) — The historic merry-go-round at Griffith Park has fallen into disrepair but is now set to receive a facelift from a major admirer.
The carousel was considered the vitality of the community in the 1940s, as recalled by a number of residents who remember it from its glory days.
The site was even credited as an inspiration for Walt Disney, who used to take his children to the carousel, to build Disneyland.
“This was a place to congregate, to visit, to catch up on old times, to see old friends,” 65-year-old resident Jeff Brown remembered.
Brown says that when he lost his teaching job several years ago, he returned to the one place that had brought him a great deal of happiness. However, when he returned, the state of the beloved carousel brought him to tears.
Sun damage, wind damage, rain and insect damage had all built up, over time, to reduce the once-vibrant carousel to decay.
At that moment, Brown took it upon himself to right what he considered to be a major wrong.
Single-handedly taking on the renovation task, Brown got to work, sanding and painting the carousel, hoping to bring it back to life.
As the payoff of the work began to show and life was steadily breathed back into the historic gem, Brown noticed something else start to change, too.
“I feel alive, I feel needed, wanted,” Brown said. “I didn’t ask for anything. I’m not asking for thanks. I’m not asking for praise. I’m not asking for anything other than people come back and enjoy the carousel.”