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Posts tagged “Columbia Carousel

Reclaiming our Amusement History

Your fearless host (and family) on the World’s Tallest Carousel (Great America, Santa Clara, CA)

Being a lifelong devotee of the amusement park,* I have always been fascinated with the historical aspects of the parks my family visited – especially while we were there.

Correction: I was not made AWARE of the incredible, historical aspects of the parks, until 1993.

For a wide-eyed ten year old, it was an ethereal moment to discover from your father that “the Demon” at Great America used to be sans loops. Or, that a ride could be called “Whizzer” and not have to do with a bodily function.

Even as I close in on the big three-oh, it always gives me a giddy feeling when I discover something new about the amusement parks I grew up with as a child.

In a way, it’s like an oral tradition that someday, God willing, I could pass along to my children.

Fast forward a decade and change, and the company I was working for was part of a battle for historic preservation. In that battle, the passion and spark for yearning to know more about how we all got here was re-ignited.

It certainly helped the project along when the company went under suddenly, too…

So in this new series, I hope to bring all of you on a journey – a journey back in time; to a place where time went by just a little bit slower; where people didn’t run into you on the sidewalk as they were texting on their cell phones; where the family outing to an amusement park was much more than just flashing your season pass – it was an adventure in and of itself.

Join me, as I try to seek out and re-discover the “lost” amusement parks of the San Francisco Bay Area and in the process, reclaim our colorful, amusement history. “Let’s ride!”

*Lifelong fan since my father forced me on the Tidal Wave at Great America in July of 1993.