Saturday, April 23, 2011
Ferris Wheel - Six Flags/Fiesta Texas
Win a prize every time. That's how I feel about ferris wheels.
Where does the name come from? I looked in Wikipedia - which knows all - and I found some history. But I have to wonder - is it not a derivation of "ferrous" - i.e., an iron wheel?
There is something wonderful about the slow turn of the ferris wheel. it takes you high above the ordinary existence of mere mortals. It turns and takes you down again. Like Boethius's wheel of fortune, or perhaps Pat Sajak's.
it doesn't take much height to get above the noise of the throng. I remember that most profoundly from when I went through jump school. Before the parachute opened, there was nothing but the roar of the wind. But once the chute opened and you'd been jerked out of your fear of being smeared on the ground below, and before you had to worry about making a plf that didn't involve broken bones, there was an intense sense of serenity - of utter quiet - there above the earth, where the men and the ambulances below looked small, like toy models of real men and real ambulances. A few hundred feet of elevation is all it takes to make the common small - to bring it back to its appropriate scale.
"It asks of us a certain height,
So when at times the mob is swayed
To carry praise or blame too far,
We may choose something like a star
To stay our minds on and be staid."
- Robert Frost