Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

One elephant for sale August 21, 2010

SEE THIS LOVELY, LOVELY HOUSE. I’ve always admired this old brick home set atop a hill along a central Faribault street. With the inviting front porch, the fence, the arbor, the flowers, well, it pretty much has everything I appreciate in a place that exudes charm and character.

Ron and Peggy's beautiful house and yard

Ron and Peggy live here. Lucky them. But some day they expect to move and that means down-sizing. So this weekend they’re having an estate sale. Lucky buyers. The antique furniture and collectibles, old paintings, Peggy’s artwork, and even an old hair dryer, are tagged to sell. (Note to those of you who know that I love old dressers: I did not purchase one although I was tempted.)

But then I discovered the find of the day—an elephant. Yes, Ron and Peggy own an elephant.

Now this isn’t your regular circus-type elephant because these aren’t circus-type folks. (Or at least I don’t think they are; I really don’t know them.) Rather, theirs is an elephant slide that once stood in a park in Ron’s hometown of Winsted.

Ron and Peggy's elephant slide

As Ron and Peggy tell the story, Ron’s uncle, Florian, was the maintenance man in Winsted and 26 years ago called to ask if they wanted a slide. They did. And that’s how an elephant ended up in the back of their pick-up truck with motorists beeping their horns and, well, wondering about that elephant in the back of their pick-up truck.

Now after nearly three decades of elephant ownership, the couple is ready to sell the circus slide that provided hours of entertainment for their daughter, nieces and nephews.

Peggy points out the extra safety features—vertical bars placed between the five steps by a fretful Florian who worried about kids sticking their heads or feet between the open stairs.

Steps on the elephant slide with vertical bars added by Uncle Florian.

Decades ago she repainted the paint-worn slide to its original colors, even though she didn’t know the original colors at the time. But it could use a fresh coat of paint again.

And, Peggy insists, “It needs a yard. It needs kids.”

So folks, here’s your chance to own an honest-to-goodness elephant that won’t eat a ton of peanuts or stomp around your yard or run away with the circus.

Step right up! See this rare and exotic 1950s elephant slide (which originally sold for $235 and was made in Gunnell, Iowa) from the Miracle Equipment Company. Today it can be yours, all yours, for only $750!

Slide down the trunk of Ron and Peggy's Miracle elephant.

SERIOUSLY, IF YOU ARE interested in purchasing this elephant slide, submit a comment with your contact information and I will pass it along to Ron and Peggy. Please note that I do not work for the Miracle Equipment Company nor do I have part ownership in a circus.

© Copyright 2010 Audrey Kletscher Helbling