Chapter

Life Is Only a Merry-Go-Round

Woody Register

in The Kid of Coney Island

Published in print August 2003 | ISBN: 9780195167320
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849710 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195167320.003.0003
Life Is Only a Merry-Go-Round

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Throughout his eleven seasons at Luna Park, the image of Fred Thompson as the fun-loving boy-capitalist on a spree was as much a feature of the park as its exaggerated “Oriental” architecture or the Shoot-the-Chutes. Thompson staged his performances to show that Luna Park was built by and for a new kind of man, one who would accept no less than all the fun to which he was entitled. Thompson, then, was largely indistinguishable from the Coney Island resort that he named for the continuously mutating moon: a radiant reflection of energy, never the same or in the same place from one moment to the next, the very representation of capricious and insatiable desire. Above all, he said, his park meant unceasing variety and change, “movement, movement, movement everywhere.” What was true of Luna Park would be true of Thompson; he was what he sold.

Keywords: Fred Thompson; Luna Park; Coney Island; carnivals; fun

Chapter.  22690 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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