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MMD > Archives > December 1996 > 1996.12.05 > 03Prev  Next

Seabreeze Park Carousel and Organ
By Matthew Caulfield

As was said on yesterday's list, the Wuriltzer style 165 band organ owned by Seabreeze Park since 1926 burned down with its carousel (PTC #36, built in 1926) on March 31, 1994. The fire was started about 3 p.m. by park staff re-tarring a roof, and an hour later there was nothing left but ashes. The park had a complete collection of style 165 music on more than 100 10-tune music rolls; that too was a total loss. Dave Kaspersin's Dynamic Recording Studios had recorded 7 hours of music from the organ in addition to the three recordings so far released. Everything has been replaced now: the carousel, all rolls, and band organ -- magnificently and at HUGE expense (well over $1,000,000, I estimate).

Sadly, Merrick Price, Seabreeze's guardian of the band organ and collaborator with Kaspersin in the recording project, died at the age of 81 on November 13, 1996. There was a memorial service for Merrick at the carousel, the first service I ever attended of its kind. It ended with the carousel being operated empty and silently for one ride in Merrick's memory, then the band organ was turned on (to "Wedding of the Winds") and all the mourners were invited to ride. At the service I learned that Merrick and Dave Kaspersin had begun recording the new Verbeeck replica 165 band organ in order to continue the series of Seabreeze music CD's.

I also have my own private recordings of the old organ, but they are not of such quality that they could be released commercially. So I look forward to future CD's from Dynamic.

(Message sent Thu 5 Dec 1996, 16:53:11 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  Carousel, Organ, Park, Seabreeze

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