Sometimes we come across objects that trigger the pulse of a memory. It’s very instant, like a forgotten Polaroid.
This wooden lion did that to me. He caught me off guard while walking down to Barcade.
Maybe three years ago I was upstate at the animal preserve that replaced one of my favorite childhood haunts, The Catskill Game Farm. It was a magical beaten up aging tourist attraction with weeds growing the height of an adult male in the parking lot. The petting zoo boasted feverish, dirty goats and llamas that would attack you for the food you purchased for them.
It was bliss.
After it was closed down, some of the animals were bought by the horse ranch next to it creating a miniature version of the old standard. This lion perched at the entrance like a guard dog, chipped and tattered, beware the roar of the zoo artifact. It had come along with the animals and served as a reminder of the chintzy allure of the place that I had adored in youth.
Oddly enough I ran into it on my way to a bar where adults can drink and play upright video game consoles for nostalgic reasons. Ahhhh, irony.