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Spaceship Park (1995)
Taken with Canon AE-1

See image #2

This is another set of images from 1995 but these were taken in St. Catharines. This park was my absolute favourite from childhood. Its unofficial name was "The Spaceship Park" commonly used in the sentence, "Please, can we go to The Spaceship Park?" The park's official name was Lester B. Pearson Park. When I was a kid I thought it said Leslie B. Pearson and that this person was a woman. However, Lester B. Pearson is a former politician, and a male.

As a kid I seemed to be big on routine. I had a very specific routine for The Spaceship Park. First the swings, then over to the merry-go-round, followed by the slide, the bouncy rockets and the rocket swings. I would go on the Enterprise last but always the slides first and the cockpit second. Then I would slide down the pole and done. Although around grade 4 I discovered a goldmine of four-leaf clovers on the grounds of the park and that threw my whole routine out the window. Trips to the park became trips to locate four and five leaf clovers in the grass. Then I'd go home and laminate them between pieces of scotch tape. BIG GEEK.

Anyways The Spaceship Park ruled my world so in university I went back and took a few rolls of photos: one colour (they're kicking around somewhere), and one black & white (grainy, pushed again) for my non-silver class. This close-up photo was the one I printed most.

A few years ago I had a dream about the park. I dreamt that the park was still there and they had added other rides that were similar but painted different colours. The park had become a museum of discarded metal park rides. The rocket slide had been removed and put back upside down. There was also a giant airplane that swung like a pendulum and a yellow, clear plastic train that zipped up. I didn't want to go inside because there was no air. I have never determined what the hell my subconcious was trying to tell me with that one.

My brother and I drove by this park in a cab during Hometown Tour 2004 but the rides have all been replaced by shitty new-school "safe", "soft" rides. Future generations will no longer have the opportunity to smell that rotten piss smell around and inside the Enterprise, bash their heads against hard metal or get bits of gravel stuck in open wounds. Suckers.

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