A to Z April Challenge

During the month of April I will be doing a different spin on my memoir posts. It starts with a song. Each song will be followed by a brief essay that is evoked or inspired by that song. You might want to click on the YouTube link to hear the song as you read the piece I've written. Or you can listen to the song lyrics first and then read. Whichever way you choose, I mostly hope you'll read and leave a comment with your thoughts about my post. Thank you for visiting and please follow the blog if you are not doing so already.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Euclid Beach

Euclid Beach Park Gateway ArchImage via Wikipedia

          My first six years of life were spent in the city of my birth--Cleveland, Ohio.   The fragmented puzzle of my memories has many disconnected pieces.  Over here I find the piece that shows Euclid Beach, an amusement park that I seem to recall visiting several times as a child.

          Nearly any child is wonderstruck by the gaudy carnival atmosphere of an amusement park.  Thus I was with Euclid Beach.  Now I only vaguely remember being there.

          I was afraid of the roller coasters which was fine with my Daddy.  My younger sister was fearless about it and rode with our Mommy while Daddy and I watched.  I envied my sister Joy, but couldn't bring myself to ride those scary roller coasters.

            However, I was okay with the fun houses and dark rides.  There's an image in my mind of riding through a swirling tunnel of stars while Sousa marches played through loudspeakers.   I don't know if this was real or only a dream, but I relate that image to Euclid Beach.

            An iconic image that I do know was real was Laughing Sal, the mechanical woman who seemed to  never stop her maniacal laughing.  My sister and I would pay tribute to Sal as we joined in her laughter until we too laughed like loons.

            My research shows that little of Euclid Beach remains.  The last time I was there must have been about 1957.  The amusement park apparently closed about twelve years after that.  Hopefully one day I can return to Euclid beach to see if there are still any cotton candy memories to be found or a distant echo of Sal laughing.



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17 comments:

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Enjoyed the trip down memory lane.

Yvonne.

Sally said...

Memories are so very important and disappointing when we revisit places we've been to as children. 'Mechanical woman who seemed to never stop her maniacal laughing' - I hope I don't laugh like my namesake!

Mary Aalgaard, Play off the Page said...

That is a sweet memory. Around here, people go to Paul Bunyan land which is pretty tame if you're older than 8, but it has a nostalgic feel.

Play off the Page

Bish Denham said...

Small or large, fragments of memories are part of the building blocks of who we are, they are part of the foundation.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Lee .. good to read about Downey and why you moved down to Ca - and also meeting your wife ..

We were fairly static in our holiday places .. and I wasn't that happy with roller coasters ever and still!

Cheers Hilary

Kathleen Valentine said...

I remember Euclid Beach. I spent much of my youth in Erie, PA -- we had Waldameer Park but went to Euclid Beach once or twice.

Stephanie said...

Kind of a sad story, but a nice trip down memory lane. My fondest memory of family vacations to the beach is spending hours playing in the waves and sand gritting in my teeth as I devoured my bologna sandwich. An ice cold coke and a nap in the hot sun never felt so good as on those days.

Lynn Proctor said...

great post--reminds me of a little amusement park where we vacationed most of our kids life--it has gone now

Rhia Roberts said...

What a great blog idea. Memories are so comforting. Thank you for sharing yours.

Rhia from Five Minute Piece (about # 864 on A to Z list

Sue McPeak said...

Thanks for a fun trip down 'Six Flags Over Texas' Memories. I had forgotten all about the Fun House and the House of Mirrors...yikes I was soooo distorted.

Sad that places like Euclid Beach have gone by the wayside. Nice that you have the memories...especially the ones that include your family...I was standing with you...my brother was the dare devil. I dared not for fear of throwing up!

CoachWalsh3 said...

Very nice! I think we all have those places that that remind us of our youth. For me it is the "Enchaned Forest" outside Salem, OR. It is still there, but I am afraid to visit for feat that my wonderment and memories will be changed.
CHEERS
*\o/*
CW3
readysetyoubet.blogspot.com

Journaling Woman said...

There used to be an amusement park in Springfield that we went to. I remember going in grade school. I remember there being a very scary house, we weren't allowed in. AND I remember seeing a boy (he went to my church) that was 18 and his girlfriend sitting on a stump across the lake--kissing. I thought I was seeing something pretty good. They married the next year.

T

mmshaunakelley said...

I still drive by my broken Dow childhood haunt sometimes. It was called The Enchanted Forest, but now looks like a vandalized parking lot. It's a bittersweet part of life. Thanks for sharing!

Arlee Bird said...

I'm loving your own memories here in the comments. They don't make amusement parks like they used to.

Lee

Ashley said...

It's amazing how big everything seems when you are a kid. And yes, it is disappointing when we realize this as adults :). I've never been to Euclid Beach, but I enjoyed the visual I got from your musings.

ediFanoB said...

What would we be without our memories.

1957 - two years before my birth. Isn't it great that you still can remember?

In my childhood I loved to take a ride in small swing boats.
Several times within a year carnies visited our small town and one of themm offered the swing boat ride.

Sylvia Colette Branch said...

interesting, you know there are people working to restore Euclid Beach - when I had a studio in downtown Cleveland I met some of the members of the Carousal Society. It will never be exactly the same, but people do remember and care :)