In Ontario her mother knew a girl named Delores Peters (she remembered the name, "sad stones" her mother said, "it means sad stones,") whose father had purchased a carnival ride and brought it home on a trailer hitched to the back of his Mercury. It was a children's whirly wheel, blue metal cars like stumpy little shoes each with a black rubber safety belt and running around a sheet metal track, scuffed and burnished to a dim mirror where the car wheels ran and the children walked getting on and off the ride . The cars were attached to the end of blue steel spider arms with a string of Christmas lights down their centers and ran round and round the polished metal track without spinning or rising, one behind another until you squeezed the handle of the greased upright brake and slowed them to a stop.
It had been a bargain. The man who sold it owed a gambling debt to a gangster from Niagara Falls and he needed to move fast. He showed a picture round the taproom of a tavern in Crystal Beach, itself an amusement park town. The picture had scalloped edges as if cut with a pinking shears and the image was a little faded, or so her mother remembered over the years. She knew that Delores Peters kept it even after her father's death.
The tavern parking lot was unpaved and huge, large enough that sometimes tractor trailer drivers parked there while they had an ale, easily pulling in and out without the need to turn their rigs around. It was a dusty space that left a taste of stone in your mouth when you walked across it.