Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Special: Don Quixote and the Fantasy of Spring Park

I love the story of Don Quixote. It is a fictional tale about a man who became obsessed with books about chivalrous adventures. He believed every word he read to be 100% true, despite the fact that much of the events in the stories were clearly impossible. So are Times Daily readers as gullible and na├»ve as Don Quixote? This has to explain why we are subjected to the same ‘ole Times Daily public relations, fluff story about Tuscumbia’s Spring Park. The TD would have us to prefer the glory of a fantasy park over the truth of the real park.

Their latest article really captured the park manager’s condescending satire of the facts, with his quote: “The rides are in good shape.” (3/7/16 Times Daily – “Park rides open for season, fountain still down”)

In good shape, huh? Well, let’s compare his statement with the real world.

The rides at Spring Park DO NOT receive the same maintenance that was REQUIRED under the operations of Mr. Harvey Robbins and the nonprofit Tuscumbia Railway Company. For example when was the last time that you’ve seen the park’s roller coaster disassembled and reassembled for maintenance? This maintenance procedure use to begin in the late fall or early part of winter. The maintenance workers would disassembled and reassembled the coaster, while painstakingly inspecting each part; properly greasing joints, ball bearings, etc.; and replacing any worn out parts.

And let’s discuss the train. So the article says it is operating … but not with all its passenger carts. So why aren’t all the passenger carts in operation? Apparently some of the passenger carts now exist as "donor” carts. Basically that means that parts are taken off of the donor carts to keep the “working” carts patched up. This maintenance method is sometimes referred to as: “Robbing Peter to pay Paul.”

Can you remember how many carts were originally on the train? How about 6!!! Only 4 were running this past weekend. All 6 were in operation when the nonprofit Tuscumbia Railway Company handled the train maintenance. Each year they would disassemble the truck (wheels) to grease and perform proper maintenance. They also daily inspected the railroad tracks. Cold and hot weather causes the tracks to contract and expand. They must be checked often in order to avoid derailment. Is this being done?

And what about the carousel? The seahorse has been missing from the carousel after I posted pictures comparing the 2013 seahorse with the badly peeling 2016 seahorse. I hope this means that the seahorse is finally being restored. I noticed that one of the pictures in the Times Daily article was a close up of a carousel horse with a peeling face. Will it be missing next? Why is it that things have to go bad (with picture proof) before Kendrick does anything about it?

Kendrick's standard of park ride maintenance is to doctor everything up ONLY A FEW WEEKS BEFORE OPERATION. Do a little pressure washing, splash on some paint, and maybe use a bit of WD40. It is frightening to think about all the “temporary fix” experimentations that are occurring, especially when majority of the rides are for our CHILDREN.

I'm tired of half truths. I'm tired of excuses. I'm ready for change.


Tuscumbia Muskrat

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