Other Stories

Posted by Penelope Noll, December 8, 2010

Someone is reading me, somewhere. A few of my stories have been/or will be published elsewhere. I will post reprints and links here (only those with permission, of course.) Also, I'm now officially "old." The first one is a nostalgia piece.

Carousel & Rocking Horses Blog
Published December 8, 2010
The link above will take you to the published story (edited), below is the story as written.

All My Pretty Little Horses

When I was invited to write this article, my first thoughts were something like "what do I know about wooden horses?" Later the same day, I found myself remembering my favorite carousels as a child. They lived at Euclid Beach Park about eight miles East of Cleveland, Ohio.

Euclid Beach Park was built in 1895, and even in the 1950's it had the feel of amusement parks from old movies. Cedar Point, which opened in 1870 in Sandusky, Ohio, still had some remnants of the original, and is the second-oldest amusement park in the country. After Disneyland opened in 1955, Cedar Point started to become a 'modern' park, with all the latest bells and whistles. Always fun, but not the same as Euclid Beach. A visit to Euclid Beach was like stepping into another time, with the best wooden roller coaster ever, a real 'penny arcade' (think Zoltar from the movie "Big," ) and the most wonderful carousels. It was magical.

The traditional carousel, Philadelphia Toboggan Company Number 19, officially; has through the years, resided in Orchard Beach, Maine, then returned to Cleveland for restoration. Hopefully, it will be up and running again by 2013.

A beautiful carousel it was, but the ride of my dreams was The Great American Racing Derby.

A huge (90 ft. In diameter) carousel with racing horses that looked like horses. As much as I love the beauty and artistry of the fantasy carousel horses, it was the realism of the Derby that had me dreaming. The four-abreast horses, with no poles, moved back and forth along a short track as the carousel rotated. The 'winner' received a prize, I believe it was a free ride. This was not a ride for the smallest of children who waited every year to be tall enough, it was fast. The outside horses were said to reach 25 mph.

Euclid Beach was closed in 1969. The arched entrance to the park still remains and is a Cleveland landmark. The Derby? It was moved to Cedar Point in 1967 and is known as Cedar Downs. The Cedar Point news releases say that the carousel is in it's original housing and travels 15 mph. The photos of the carousel today are pretty, and so are the horses with brightly colored saddles. My memories will always be of the browns and blacks on the horses of my childhood that led me to believe I was 'National Velvet.'

Penelope Noll



Published December 9, 2010
Judith Marshall's book page 
Today, I’m pleased to present the following post from Penelope Noll, an artist who writes.

How I’m Learning to Love Writing

Since no one has actually paid me to write anything, I don’t feel I can call myself a professional writer yet. I am an artist;  a graphic artist for over 30 years, a painter and illustrator. My “professional” thrills of the past came from driving somewhere and unexpectedly seeing a billboard I had designed, or receiving a commission check from a gallery that sold my paintings.
Yes, I did say that was “the past.” I am now an artist who writes. My fairly-new-still-finding-it’s direction-blog only has one piece of art posted; and there is a link to my under-construction portfolio, but I’m writing posts . . . working on ideas for posts, reviews, features, research, etc., and I hate writing.
What I am ‘not hating,’ is that the process of writing about my art, (and life in general, ) has inspired me to be artistically creative again. Every new writing idea has produced several visual ones, and every visual idea is translating into another story.
Writing has become my sketchbook.

Penelope Noll


If you have done any online dating/friendship site cruising lately, you may have noticed how all the "about me" profiles start looking the same after awhile. Yes, I know we all love holding hands, long walks on the beach, taking advantage of all life has to offer, etc. My profiles may not win awards for eloquence, and depth of character, but I get bored reading my own rhetoric, and change them frequently. I decided to rescue this from oblivion.


I like scuba diving in warm, clear water. I like to look up and see the sky through a blue kaleidoscope. I also like to look up and know the dive boat is where I left it. I’m most comfortable around 60 feet. I know if I forget to check my gauges, I can make it that far on my own. I’m not a fan of anxiety while I’m daydreaming in an aquarium. I like diving with someone who is technically more capable than I am. I forget to check my gauges.

I like diving with sharks as long as there is reasonable distance between me and the bait, there is a tall stand of coral behind me, and it has been cleared of morays-in-hiding. I like being fairly certain that the incoming will be over my head instead of brushing against my arm. I like remembering the time I realized I could laugh underwater. I looked over at my partner, who I knew was trying to keep an eye on me, as well as the shark that came from below and brushed against my knee.

I like a cold beer after diving. I’m usually a wine or cosmopolitan kind of gal, but there is just something about beer and salt water. I like sitting at the stern of the boat for just a little while and thinking about where I’ve been. I like to sit at the bow and imagine where else it might go. I like taking my turn at the wheel.

I like coming home. I’m not so crazy about seeing dishes in the sink or the dust that accumulated while I was away. I like staring at the jars of brushes, the twisted tubes of paint, the not-so-neatly stacked pile of work in progress, and the much neater stack of untouched paper. I like changing my mind about how to finish pieces in the first stack, and having too many ideas about how to start the second. I like knowing when I should walk away for awhile and reset my head.

Then I wash the dishes.

Penelope Noll
November, 2010


  1. I have a painting of yours. It was painted in 1982
    Regards, Jake

  2. You can email me at wolftrak9@gmail.com or you can call me 804 479 7075
    Regards, jake