If your dream ride is vintage, one-of-a-kind and extremely orange, check out Item No. 3921764976 on the Internet auction site eBay. A newly restored Cinderella's Pumpkin Coach from the Enchanted Forest theme park in Ellicott City could be yours for a starting bid of $6,000.
Baltimore County businessmen and lifelong friends Elby Proffitt and Scott Shephard acquired the van-sized fiberglass vehicle last month after bidding $2,300 at a charity auction sponsored by Coldwell Banker in Ellicott City. The coach, pulled by a small tractor, took visitors on rides through the fairy tale theme park along Route 40 before it closed in the early 1990s. This spring the coach was restored by Coldwell Banker broker Debbie Burchardt, whose office at the Enchanted Forest Shopping Center adjoins the closed theme park.
After their winning bid was announced, Proffitt and Shephard looked at each other.
"We've just bought a pumpkin," Proffitt recalled saying. "How do we get it home?"
Proffitt said the coach was towed to the Baltimore commercial building he shares with Shephard, and they tried unsuccessfully to display it in local Fourth of July parades. In addition to the eBay listing, they said they have been in contact with several potential purchasers around Maryland.
Proffitt, who visited the Enchanted Forest as a youngster, would like to find it a good home.
"I'd like it to go someplace where it's not going to be destroyed," he said.
In Search of a Name
Howard County recreation and parks officials are enthusiastic about the 160-acre facility under construction west of Roxbury Mills Road. They're not so thrilled by the blandness of its current name: Western Regional Park.
They have posted a list of alternatives from staff members and the department's citizen advisory board on the county government Web site, www.co.ho.md.us. Some of the suggestions refer to nearby Glenwood -- Glenwood Hills, the Fields at Glenwood, Glenwood Oaks -- but that doesn't sit well with Gary J. Arthur, recreation and parks director.
"That property is not in Glenwood," he said. "It's in Cooksville."
Others have pitched the anonymous natural features approach: Clover Fields, Vista Point Park and, for those who think there should be at least one park that sounds like an air freshener, Glade Woods.
There's no clear favorite, so the county wants more suggestions. On the Web site, residents are asked to submit their entries via e-mail. Officials say they'll also go to western Howard schools, the public library branch and the senior center in coming months to solicit ideas.
"It's not a done deal yet," Arthur said.
The first phase of the new park will open in about a year.