This photograph was taken at some point in the early 1980s at a magical place from my childhood – Pymatuning Deer Park.
My maternal grandparents used to take us every year and I have a slew of memories from those trips. There was an old jail cell and an “abandoned” town you could play in. A kiddie train that would take you around the park. Pony rides. An old fort to climb around on. And the petting zoo was the best! You could bottle feed goats for Pete’s sakes. It was amazing! I also fed crackers to a parrot once and it bit off my thumb nail. Polly did NOT want a cracker. But man, those were good times.
And after deer park we’d hit the Linesville Hatchery to check out the baby fish and the super sweet indoor fish tank. And after that – the crown jewel of childhood excursions – feeding stale bread to the carp at the Pymatuning spillway.
Early 1990s – mom, my youngest brother Nick and Gma Iris feeding the carp
Have you ever been there? It is insane. It was such a place of awe when I was a kid. And I have been back as an adult and it is still totally awesome. Weird and gross and smelly but totally awesome. Check out this video. Click here.
Anyways, all this to say that I still enjoy petting zoos and feeding goats and throwing stale bread at carp. And I cannot wait to take my own kid on these adventures.