It started in Vietnam. With a music box. Marine machine gunner Scott Harrison used to listen to the music and picture a carousel in the mountains to cope with the stress of the Vietnam war. Now more than 40 years later, he has created that carousel in the mountains and opened it for the world to ride.
The Carousel of Happiness opened this summer in Nederland, Colorado. It costs $1 to ride, but it is dedicated to the much higher price paid by some Americans during the war. Harrison built the carousel to honor the memory of two of his best buddies who were killed in action.
Harrison spent decades restoring a 100-year-old carousel and carving 36 carousel animals from basswood. The ride is housed in a new building near downtown Nederland.
The Carousel of Happiness is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week through Labor Day.