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Rider's Delight

In an earlier post, I talked about our town’s public pool, Rainbow Beach, usually a summer daytime destination.  After supper, the place for the young crowd was Uncle John’s Kiddieland. Located at the edge of town, it was owned and operated by a local family who once owned a small carnival, according to rumor. Since my nephew and I were only nine years apart, Mother would often take us both and let us ride together. The trick was how to motivate her to take us. And cute little Mikey had that one down pat.


The dialogue went like this:

(Phone rings)

Mom: “Hello?”

Mikey: “Hi, Grandma. It’s Mikey.  Do you think Kiddieland is open tonight?”

Mom (smiling): “I imagine so, Mikey.  Why do you ask?  Are you wanting to go?”

Mikey: “Wellll, maybe . . . “ 

Mom: “Ok, honey, you pack your overnight case and have your mommy bring you over and we’ll check to see if Uncle John’s is open. Afterward, you can stay all night.” 

Mission accomplished.


We liked the little train that circled the property, and a boat ride with a bell that we’d clang louder than any fire bell. I favored the roller coaster--too scary for Mikey. But the best ride in the place was the merry-go-round with rearing horses, flashing lights and fabulous calliope music. To this day, I’m a sucker for the sound. Dale Evens and Buttermilk were never that lucky!  



young girls feeding baby goats

After we’d used up all our ten-cent tickets, we’d visit the baby goats and feed them pellets from a 25-cent cup. This black and white photo shows my childhood friend, Cheryl, and I feeding them, years before Mikey’s birth. Our mothers, long-time friends, had brought us when we were four and five. (I sent my friend a copy of this photo on her birthday one year.)


Years later, Mikey and I fed the goats too, and afterward were ready to feed ourselves. We hit the cotton candy concession for some of that heavenly pink stuff. I swear it was like eating a cloud. If we were in the mood for something cool, we chose Dairy Queen. I always ordered a ten-cent, chocolate-dipped vanilla cone. Mikey, on the other hand, got the smaller five-cent one. Is there anything better than ice cream on a warm summer evening? 


Sound tame?  I guess it was, but we Old School types thought we were livin’ large.    

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