Towards the end of a long afternoon drive around Chenango, Otsego, Schoharie, Delaware, and other regions of Central New York, looking for signs advertising Sweet Corn 4sale, or CORN, or SWEET CorN, to document for Dennis’s piece on American signage vernacular, Dennis suggested going to the amusement park on Oneida Lake, thinking it had been closed.
We arrived later afternoon and, after a while, Dennis said it seemed the park was just closed for that day, Monday, and is otherwise alive and well. I looked at him skeptically but indeed the coin arcade was open, none of the rides were obviously completely broken down, some signs suggested upcoming events....
But those facts didn’t account for the many spiderwebs, in skeins flagged across a space from one member of a ride to another, or otherwise in clumped grid-like arrangements hanging dubiously from the scaffolding gridwork of pipe of another ride, competing with the contrails in a sidelong view against the deep blue sky—the facts didn’t otherwise account for the brooding sense of neglect one feels, walking around the park. Neglect, abandon: perhaps not a fatal neglect, but an ongoing, almost joyful process of abandon.
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August 2014: Sylan Beach, NY.