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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
March 17, 1989     The Message
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March 17, 1989

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16 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana II II I School mural March 17, 1989 I I i I Artist brings memory of Mesker Park carrousel to WCCS Primary By MARY T. ELLERT Message Staff Writer For many years, the antique carrousel at Evansville's Mesker Park was a source of amazement and wonderment for children of all ages. Everything about it appealed to the senses: colorful wooden horses, beautiful chariots, flashing lights and syncopated music. When the merry-go-round was sold in the early 70s, the new owners dismantled it and shipped it off to be restored at a new location. The carrousel may be a fading memory for many Evansville residents, but for the students at West Side Catholic Con- solidated Primary School, it is very much alive. That's because images of the Mesker Park merry-go-round are part of a new mural painted by Michelle Krack and other volunteers in the cafeteria of the old Sacred Heart school. The carrousel theme came from a book Krack found while browsing at the library entitled "The Mesker Park Carrousel Book." The book, written by Evansville resident Marion Lan- taft, "spurred a memory about riding it and being there," said Krack. "It just kind of mesmerized you when you rode the thing," she recalled. "It had a band, lots of mirrors and lights ... it was just a really uplifting type of experience. "I remember getting on it ... you never wanted to ride the horses on the inside because they didn't move. They were stationary, so everybody made a scramble for the outside horses because they moved." After getting the Lantaff's ap- proval, she traced the photographs in his book and enlarged them on the cafteria walls using an overhead projector. Besides the painting of the carrousel "barn," there are seven merry-go-round horses painted on the cafeteria walls. Originally, none of the horses were named, but "we thought it would be neat if the kids could name the horses," said Krack. "They were really excited. They'd come down each day and watch the progress." Each class at the school nam- ed a horse; the names they came up with were Black Beauty, Fast Tracks, Charlie, Emily, Sky-Flyer and Sugar. There was one horse left over, so principal Merrilee Heflin named it Starfire. "After she named it, we add- ed a star with a flame out the back of it," noted Krack. Elizabeth Taraska, who teaches music in the cafeteria at the primary school, expands on the history of the merry-go- round during her classes, and has used the theme of the car- rousel to teach the children about "canopy notes" and "syncopated-type music," according to Krack. Krack learned many facts about the merry-go-round from reading Lantaff's book and working on the project. She said the Pennsylvania-made carrousel was brought to Evansville in 1923 and for several years was located at "Pleasure Park," formally Cook's Park, along Pigeon Creek. It was moved to Mesker Park in 1936 and was operated there until it was sold in 1972. Krack is not the only member of her family who has left a mark on the 85-year-old school building. On the wall opposite of Krack's mural is a large plaque which was painted by her grandfather, Joe A. May. It was dedicated in 1942 to the young people of Sacred Heart parish who served in World War II. Helping Krack complete the merry-go-round mural "for two weeks straight, every morning for three hours," were Debbie Baumgart, Julie Schenk, Karla Davidson and Cathy Bryant. "I met people I didn't know before who have kids here," said Krack. "It was fun ... i'm anxious to do another project." ...... .... - Michelle Krack designed the merry-go-round mural for Westside Catholic Consolidated Primary School, Evansville. Here, she is pictured with two of her children, Andy, 22 months, and Carrie, kindergartener. She and her husband, Tim, have two other children, Matthew, fourth grader at WCCS Intermediate, and Amy, second grader at WCCS Primary. -- Message Photo by Mary T. Ellert t00ord with a S]3irit 00cGenerosity" Sir.35:6-7 !i::::. i!!ii!ii:iii: COIVIMITMENT WEEKEND Saturday/Sunday, April 8-9 Help your Parish... Help },our Church. ...:.,.:,. THE: BISHOPS FUND 1989 ANNUAL DIOCESAN APPEAL ::i:+