Russ & Susan Newell
In the Old West, the clanging peal of a triangle hanging from the side of a chuck wagon was a call to, "Come and get it!"
On Salem's Riverfront Carousel, the chuck wagon call might as well be, "All Aboard!"
The weathered green wagon with red wheels is more than a nostalgic tribute to the past. This intricately detailed cowboy kitchen serves as a traditional "carousel chariot", with a bench seating for those seeking a smooth, easy ride. When two wagons became available for adoption on Salem's Riverfront Carousel, lead artist Sandy Walker began dropping hopeful hints that the future sponsor could consider designing an old-fashioned chuck wagon.
Susan Newell was listening: "The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to adopt it." Newell had come to the project as a volunteer and painter, noted for her skilled detail work. She had no trouble imagining a chuck wagon stocked with frontier staples, dangling utensils and a jumbled cupboard. And, she wanted to paint them all.