The Amusement Park.......

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Bob Wright

Hawkeye
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Jun 24, 2004
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Memphis, TN USA
They're going out of style now, the amusement park. But in their day, what a place! Here in Memphis, it was called "The Fairgrounds." Sprawling, wide open, laid back. On a summer evening, it was the place to take your girl.

There was the "Walkin' Charlies", life size mannequins from the waist up running on a track, coming into view, then disappearing behind a painted canvas backdrop. They wore hats, felt or straw, and for twenty five cents, a man got three baseballs and tried to knock off a hat.

Or there was the "milk bottles", silver painted steel stacked on a stump. Again three baseballs to knock them off the stump. Had to clear the stump to count.

Each game gave a prize to one successful throw, a bigger prize for two. And you could use your prize to try for a bigger prize. Prizes ran from a Kewpie Doll to a big stuffed teddy bear.

And a shooting gallery. No prizes there, just the pleasure of impressing your girl.

And thrill rides that made your girl cling to you for protection. And of course, that contrive boat ride that turned into the "Tunnel of Love."

And a garden for ice cream, cold drinks, popcorn, or a "Pronto Pup" or hot dog.

So for a few dollars a man could take his date, spend a few leisurely hours on a summer's night. Maybe let her take home an oversized teddy bear, a walking cane or a doll.

Doesn't the thought just twang your heartstrings?

Bob Wright
 

737tdi

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May 31, 2006
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Scurry TX
Yes it does Bob. My first romantic kiss was on the sky tram at Six Flags over Texas many many years ago.

Karl
 

RSIno1

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Sep 17, 2013
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Southern California
We're 20 miles from Disneyland. We've got annual passes but I think this is the last year. It's become too crowded. Disney's CA Adventure has a section that is like the old time amusement parks. My favorite there is the bumper cars.
 

graygun

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Sep 24, 2008
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Location
Junction,Tx
I always enjoyed the games,rides and the overall environment. The shooting galleries seem to be a thing of the past;I liked them more than a lot of the other stuff.
 

stevemb

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Aug 8, 2012
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My wifes family used to own Geauga Lake Park. Been to Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farms. Around here, now, Erie has a smaller older type park still I think. Kennywood in P-Burg. I hear Cedar Point at the west end of Lake Erie is much bigger than when I was there as a boy. In Geneva-on-the -Lake Ohio, there was a shooting gallery, I was amongst the last to shoot there. There is a rather unique restaurant in the building now, but if you ask nicely they'll hit the switch and turn it on ! It still works.
 

sfhogman

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Nov 18, 2002
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The living corpse of San Francisco Ca USA
Hoo boy...
Playland-At-The-Beach, San Francisco. Right down the Great Highway from the Cliff House. Good old fashioned midway...
Shoot the Chutes, rollercoaster, Mad Mouse, Diving Bell...sigh. The whole thing was flattened for condos back in 1972. No more pink popcorn, cotton candy or pies at the Pie Shop.

Jeff
 

SAJohn

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Jan 6, 2007
Messages
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Location
Terrebonne, Oregon, USA
Being raised in the Monterey Bay area, I had lots of good times at the Santa Cruz boardwalk. The amazing thing is that it is still there. Its' roller coaster is one of the biggest wood ones in the world.

The Playland-At-The-Beach carousel is now in operation at Yerba Buena Gardens
 

opos

Buckeye
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Oct 31, 2009
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1,147
Location
Where the debris meets the sea
Raised in Denver for most of my youth...we had Lakeside amusement park with a midget race track and great midget races every week during the summer...Lakeside had ...what else....a lake and a big old Chris boat that would take folks for rides....The other amusement park was Elitch Gardens..it was a great family park with all the rides and in addition a great summer stock theater and the Trocadero Ball Room where many of the really big bands of the 40's and early 50's came to play...Still recall going to Elitch's, having picnic lunch in the gardens...riding the rides and then going with the folks to the Troc to hear the big bands and watch the folks dance....

Both places are still "open"...Elitch Gardens has moved down near the football stadium and is high tech with the high speed rides, etc...Lakeside was still open the last I heard....it was a great place with wonderful rides and a fun house..

I'm 78 and am so glad I was blessed with the time in my life when things like that were around...we'd all pile into the old cars and to out for an evening and have a ball...no problems...no gang wars...no issues at all...just fun and lots of memories.

Video of Lakeside speedway time trials..I can still smell the castor oil

http://autoracingmemories.com/forums/showthread.php?t=554
 

Paul B

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Joined
Dec 4, 1999
Messages
1,649
Location
Tucson, AZ
sfhogman said:
Hoo boy...
Playland-At-The-Beach, San Francisco. Right down the Great Highway from the Cliff House. Good old fashioned midway...
Shoot the Chutes, rollercoaster, Mad Mouse, Diving Bell...sigh. The whole thing was flattened for condos back in 1972. No more pink popcorn, cotton candy or pies at the Pie Shop.

Jeff

Yeah, they took out Skateland at the Beach too. Got to skate for free while acting as a foot guard. Met and dated many a lovely young lady at that place. Knew the guy running the roller coaster as I'd gone to school with him. Got to ride that one for free about anytime I wanted. Use to hang out at the "circle" and BS with some of the Hell's Angles and for a while dated one of them's sisters. That's where the "N" car turned around to head back downtown. Use to swim at at Sutro's at the beach as well. I left the city by the bay in 1968. The Pie Shop. Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't that where they made to fantastic beef and chicken turnovers? When I was going to Polytechnic, we'd jump in my buddy's car and make a mad dash through Golden gate Park to get a couple of those turnover for lunch, then an even madder dash to get back before the bell rang. I kind of miss those days. Too bad the liberals had to destroy what was once a very beautiful city. :cry:
Paul B.
 

Jeepnik

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Dec 16, 2005
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On the beach and in the hills
RSIno1 said:
We're 20 miles from Disneyland. We've got annual passes but I think this is the last year. It's become too crowded. Disney's CA Adventure has a section that is like the old time amusement parks. My favorite there is the bumper cars.

With the recent price increases, I missed it by one day, if only I had known, the crowds may start to drop as more and more don't renew. The whole $200 extra for the two weeks at Christmas and New Years had really irritated a lot of folks, me included.

As I recall, Walt's idea was a clean, safe "affordable" place for families. Well, it's run by a corporation now and all they see is profits, the family be damned.
 

sfhogman

Buckeye
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Nov 18, 2002
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The living corpse of San Francisco Ca USA
Hi Paul,

Yup, the very same Pie Shop. Used to take a certain blonde lady there on stormy days and watch the ocean while we had coffee and apple pie...

When I was at San Francisco State I used to work at the Diagnostic School for Neurologically Handicapped Children. Their handicaps certainly didn't keep them from having a great time at Playland once a month! Good times long gone by...

Jeff
 

Jeepnik

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Dec 16, 2005
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On the beach and in the hills
The Pike was my hangout in high school. I won't elaborate, but if any of you know what a "Navy" town is, Long Beach was the quintessential Navy town. And the Pike offered all that a single (or married but on the loose) sailor could desire.

As a kid, Pacific Ocean Park (POP) was an awe inspiring place.
 

Coop

Blackhawk
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Jan 24, 2001
Messages
607
Location
Mt. Lebanon, PA USA
Palisades Park in New Jersey (now closed). Seaside Heights Boardwalk in NJ when I was in high school and college. I rode that roller coaster and got "KISSED" (use your imagination <GGG>) on it many times. That was the same roller coaster shown washed out to sea on one of those iconic photos from hurricane Sandy.

Nowadays I take my kids and grandkids to Kennywood Park or Idlewild Park when they come to visit. I still ride the Thunderbolt.
 

graygun

Hunter
Joined
Sep 24, 2008
Messages
4,034
Location
Junction,Tx
I went to Glen Echo in DC,Hershey Park,PA,Ocean City,MD and NJ,Asbury Park and some others. Last one I went to was Fiesta Texas in San Antonio and rode The Rattler coaster...'bout 20 years ago.
 
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