Friday, April 11, 2014

Remembering Amusement Parks, Euclid Beach and Others


Euclid Beach was a wonderful place, right on the lake, which was a magical place for every child and teenager when I was growing up here. It closed in Cleveland in 1969, the year I graduated from college and got married. These first three images are taken from old postcards of Euclid Beach.


Although I get sick on amusement park rides, my Euclid Beach memories were well worth each First Aid station visit. That it was on Lake Erie made it very unique. In its earliest incarnation, it was a water mecca with a pavilion, fountain, pier and promenade.




We lived in Cincinnati when I was first out of college. It was in the process of closing down its similar park, Coney Island, which was located on the Ohio River. These old parks were in fabulous locations on the water and the premises were old and nostalgic. I'm sure this meant they also would have cost a ferocious amount of money to rehab. Somehow New York and New Jersey managed to keep ahold of their Coney Island although it too was ancient.

Now we'll look at the rides I rode, which was a real challenge for someone with motion sickness. But I was not about to be left out.

Dodgem Bumper Cars  This was a very gleeful ride to do with my friends as ramming into them was great fun. It was just as fun to do on a date as with my girlfriends. Plus this ride didn't make me sick.  If you look in the upper left corner I found bumper cars from an earlier time and place. They don't look good for ramming one another though.

Roller Coaster Ride This ride is sheer terror and thrills. It makes me sick . Literally. But what was one more visit to First Aid? I did it one last time at Disney World in the 1990s, thinking that because the ride was in the dark, I would be ok. I was wrong. I managed to not get sick but I knew that was my last ride. I just didn't have the nerves for it anymore.

Ferris Wheel  This ride was invented by a same named Pittsburgh engineer for the 1893 Chicago World's Fair. It was an immediate success and Ferris Wheels are found all over the world today. It is one of the few rides which is great looking and arguably a piece of both art and architecture. I love looking at them but not being on them.  The reason for this is I'm bad with heights.


The Rotor  This was a very scary ride for me. It is a cylinder that spins around faster and faster and then the floor drops so that the kid is stuck to the wall. Other kids loved it.  I got sick on it as per usual. This one I haven't ridden since I was a kid. I don't know if it exists anymore.


Haunted House  This is my default ride. It is impossible to get sick just riding through a dark hall filled with representations of ghosts, goblins, vampires and such. They are not all that scary once you are no longer a little kid either. Although Euclid Beach had one, the best one is Disney World's. This was a good date ride too because you were alone in the dark. When I was a teenager, rides with a boyfriend in the Haunted House suddenly became a primo ride for all of us at Euclid Beach.

I was quite taken with this image.  It is a roller coaster which has been thrown away and abandoned by tossing it into the ocean. It really made me think of Euclid Beach anew and I suppose myself now as well. I was young when it was old and now I'm old and it is gone. I'm glad I knew it when it was here.

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