I want to thank those of you who supported the effort to Save Whalom Park by buying a Whale. Your financial contribution gave much more than money to the project. It showed the spirit of the community, the belief and the desire that Whalom could capture the imaginations of children for another century.
Many of the checks I received were accompanied by notes: memories of loved ones met at the Park, or of loved ones lost who had worked at Whalom. There were nostalgic stories of other parks torn down for development in other states across the country. These letters motivated me to continue working on the larger effort to build a coalition of investors and financiers to restore and reopen the park. Thank you.
I began the Buy a Whale campaign two years ago, in January of 2002. The efforts to save the Park began even before, when Whalom closed and the property was put up for sale at the end of the 2000 summer season. Now, as 2004 approaches and the fate of the property remains in limbo, I feel it is time to return your money.
As such, letters with a check enclosed were sent out on Tuesday, December 9, 2003 to all enthusiasts who had bought Whales. I wish, with all my heart, that I could be sending you season passes to the Park, instead of your money. But for many reasons, those that have been made public, and those that never will, it has not come to pass.
If at some point in the future it does, I hope that you will remember the same sentiments that led you to contribute this time, and join us again. Until then, hold onto those pictures and those memories of Whalom, or of any bygone place that makes you nostalgic for your youth.
Now in all honesty I didn't expect Whalom Park to reopen. I knew those responsible for closing the park had messed things up royally, I knew the fucking carousel collectors had colluded to keep the carousel from being auctioned off for anywhere near what it was worth, and I knew the ballroom fire didn't help things either. But to see the Save Whalom Park campaign fall apart (and, nobly, they promised all along they'd return the contributors' money if things didn't work out) and to see the failure realized completely, well, it makes me sad. It makes me really sad. The park deserved so much better.
Now if only someone will mount a campaign to move and restore the Flyer Comet coaster...