Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Once Upon an Amusement Park

I rode yesterday evening to another place that had once been magical to me - the site of the former Rocky Glen Park, a few towns away in Moosic. There were a number of amusement parks in and around the valley when I was growing up, and while mom and dad didn't spoil my sister and me with visits to them, the times we had at each of them were larger than life.

Like many parks of its day, Rocky Glen's existence was tied up with a local passenger rail line. Back in its day, a scooter ride wouldn't have gotten one to the park because the only access to the park, by design, was the railroad according to the article linked to the park's name up above. It was common in the early 1900s for rail lines to create parks outside the suburban setting to generate revenue on the weekends.

All that remains on the site of the former park is the historical sign pictured here, and this...

No flashing lights. No whirligigs. All that welcomed us there was a simple hand painted sign, but what a welcome it was!

It hurts to see things of my childhood torn down. Why have we made the things that served us so well as kids into things that aren't good enough for our own kids? We'll travel by plane to give the big mouse yet more money while grass grows up in the lots right here in our own backyards where our dads parked their own cars a long time ago in making our childhoods special.


Marc said...

That sign reminds me of the Tillie sign that resided in Steeplechase Park in Asbury Park, NJ. That park met with the same fate as yours...


Jonathan Ziegler said...

There are still two of these locally owned an operated parks in my neck of the woods. Delgrosso's in Tipton, Pa., and Lakemont in Altoona.

My daughter and her friends prefer Delgrosso's. According to the 5th grade set, they have the better water park.

What I miss are drive-ins. The last surviving one in my county closed last summer.

Earl Thomas said...

I think that most people would call it progress, but I wouldn't neccessarily agree with that. Ipods, Xbox, Satellite television with 200 channels of garbage, what memories will they hold?

I'm old enough to remember what it was like to have only 2 channels on the T.V. and video games were of little interest to my group of friends.

My Fathers old Chevy truck parked in the backyard and my childhood imagination were all that I required, memories of make believe road trips from behind the wheel of that big golden pickup truck still play over and over in great detail in my mind to this day.

I doubt that today's kids will share the same warm memories of their playstations. Sad but true.


Lance said...

You make a good point. We spend a lot of money and time to go somewhere fun, forgetting that there are some great places to play close by.