Carnival Leaves Grand Haven While One Carny Stays Behind For Love

carny-leaves-carnival-for-loveAs the early dawn caravan of carnival trucks and motorhomes left Grand Haven yesterday, one carny stayed behind to start a life here with the newfound love of his life.  Despite attempts to contain his emotions, a solitary tear rolled down the cheek of 43-year-old ride-operator Eddy Rankin as he waved goodbye to the only real family he’s known for more than twenty-five years.  “Those carnival-folk taught me almost everything I know about life”, said the visibly choked up Rankin. “At 17, I lost my virginity to a bearded-woman working for Barnum & Bailey, and since then it’s been one adventure and learning experience after another.” The normally sanguine carny was philosophical about the bittersweet emotions of embracing a new life while saying goodbye to a former life. “I think it was Kierkegaard who said, ‘Life must be understood backward, but it must be lived forward’”, reflects Rankin, “And that’s how I plan to live my new life in Grand Haven. Forward. While staying in one place.”

Like most career-carnies, Rankin is no stranger to one-night-stands with ride-groupies who appear in each town the carnival visits, but he knew instantly that local resident Delores Hymensteiner was no ordinary groupie.  “She was standing in line to ride The Zipper”, recalls Eddy as the couple sit together in a local coffee shop, “And when our eyes first met, I knew she was a woman I could spend more than a week with. By the time she’d laughed at my raunchy joke about the zipper in my jeans, I knew we were soulmates.”  Hymensteiner, the 37-year-old owner of downtown Grand Haven’s pet shop, Pads, Paws & Claws, echoes Rankin’s sentiment. “It was totally like love at first sight”, gushes Delores, “I rode The Zipper twenty times in a row, until I was head-over-heels in love and incredibly nauseous.”

Despite the concerns of friends, family and some particularly vocal Facebook acquaintances distressed by the Winnebago now parked in Hymensteiner’s driveway, Delores says she’s never been happier. “I can’t believe how much time and money I wasted on eHarmony and, when I could find true love at the carnival while eating an elephant ear”, says Hymensteiner as Rankin gives her hand a loving squeeze.  “I’ve heard of people running away to join the circus”, Delores goes on, “But to have the man I love leave the carnival for me is incredibly flattering.”

Rankin hasn’t yet decided how best to apply his diverse skill-set towards earning a living in Grand Haven, a town he’s come to love almost as much as he loves Delores.  He may try to replace Chinook Pier’s Mini-Golf course with a permanent Tilt-A-Whirl ride, or he may partner with Hymensteiner to build a drive-thru pet neutering business next to Pads, Paws & Claws. “There’s time for all that later”, says Eddy, “Right now I’m excited to be in love and getting to spend a second week with the same woman. I never knew that love could be so much more intoxicating than whiskey”, continues Rankin as the words catch in his throat and his eyes mist over, “And every moment we’re together makes me feel the truth in Aristotle’s words when he said, ‘Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting one body.’”

“I know, I know”, laughs Delores as the happy couple leave the coffee shop hand-in-hand, “He’s a corny carny, but he’s MY corny carny.”


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  2 comments for “Carnival Leaves Grand Haven While One Carny Stays Behind For Love

  1. August 4, 2014 at 9:07 pm

    Monday after Coast Guard….I needed a good article to read. Loved it.

    • Laurei
      August 4, 2014 at 9:29 pm

      You can always rely on the grand river times for that, lol!!! ☺

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