“Invisible threads are the strongest ties.” ―
My husband and I are members of Botanica, The Wichita Gardens. This is the new home for the Joyland Carousel which opened to the public fall of 2019. We visited the building site several times while it was under construction.
Then as an anniversary outing, in December 2019, we signed up for the VIP Carousel Ride. The venue, detail and restoration are stunning. At the same time, it is just plain fun!
I had never visited the Joyland Amusement Park
founded by the Ottoways in 1949. This is where the carousel resided for 50+ years. Although still active until 2004, I simply never had a reason to check it out.
Even though direct personal experience with this carousel and Joyland was late coming to me, invisible threads have woven their way into our lives.
First, as as I said, I love seeing things of value restored. Value, not just in monetary terms, but value at a deeper more visceral level. It fuels our passion for restoring our historic home, Maison Steinbuchel
Aviation, Flight and Air Traffic Control
This connection too, is more visceral than direct, yet special. You see, I knew Mary Chance Van Scyoc,
but not not through the amusement park connection but rather through air traffic control!
It was later I discovered she had been the first woman air traffic controller at Denver Airways Control Center, the predecessor to the Denver Air Route Traffic Control Center
where I began my air traffic career. She was also the first woman controller at the Wichita Airport Traffic Control Tower, where I later worked on staff and in supervision.
Mary paved the way for me. She was an inspiration not only as an air traffic controller, but as an early woman pilot, even learning to fly helicopters in her 60s! The last time I spoke with her, she was still active and overflowing with life.
Back to Joyland
Another Chance (no pun intended) connection is through the artist
who is restoring the horses for the Joyland carousel who began her career at Chance manufacturing. I have not met her but have seen her work. Magnificent. So the circle continues….
One last connection to Joyland. We own a BMW Isetta
we purchased from the Ottoway collection awaiting restoration in storage. Perhaps some of the restoration spirit going into the carousel will drift through these obscure connections and breathe life into that
The Joyland Invisible Threads
So, when I visit Botanica and see the carousel turning, I see more than the exquisite restorations. I see:
- the artist who was trained at the company
- that was begun by furnishing a train to the amusement park
- from which the carousel was rescued
- that will sit on the land homesteaded by the family
- for whom my home was named
And I see Mary Chance Van Scyoc who paved the way for me to be in Wichita, Kansas, USA and driving our BMW Isetta to Joyland to see the carousel, and watch it go round and round and round…