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I WAS BORN THE YEAR Storybook Land opened and was able to visit it several times during its heyday in the mid-’60s. Although I was very young, the memories of that magical, mystical land haunt me to this day.
It is quite serendipitous that your article (“Fractured Fairy Tales,”1/20) should find its way into my hands. You see, I now live in Utah, but several months ago I happened to be in the D.C. area visiting my family. For some reason I had a strong desire to find Storybook Land again to see if it still existed. I wasn’t even sure where it was, other than on Route 1 and south of D.C. Between conversations with mother and some divine guidance, I was able to narrow my search (it’s been almost 30 years) to the stretch between Alexandria and Dumfries.
As I crested the rise just north of the park, I was assailed by serious déjà vu and immediately recognized the remnants of the entrance. I was both fascinated and sad as I walked the winding path through the ravaged displays. One part of me was reliving some of my oldest memories while another part was melancholy over the destruction and disintegration. As I left, I wondered if it would ever again be a place of pure imaginative fantasy. Even though I saw a sign with a phone number, my emotions were too overwhelming to allow me to be practical so I left without taking note. I’m not sure how I can help, but would you please forward this message to the appropriate parties so that I might in some way assist anyone who would kiss the sleeping beauty and waken her from the years of neglect.
North Salt Lake, Utah, via the Internet