Thursday, February 26, 2015

WEST VIEW AMUSEMENT PARK: (An excerpt from the coming-of-age novel "Stick Man")

We entered the park arm in arm on one-price day, getting in for a song. I smelled the cherry aroma of cotton candy and frying doughboys. We ran to the Racing Whippet. The Whippet was named after a dog, a cross between a greyhound and a terrier known for swiftness in chasing rabbits. The midway connected the two roller coasters, the Big Dips in the front of the park on Route 19, and the Racing Whippet in the back. The Whippet was built deep into the bottom of the valley with hills on both sides. The dips were steep and the banks were curved.

The loading station of the Racing Whippet was built on a bridge that crossed the valley, next to Boot Hill, a walk-through mirror maze and haunted house. Angel and I stood in line. She smiled at me, giving my hand a squeeze.

I smiled back. "I've never been this happy before," I said.



Angel looked above the coaster's dual tracks and read the signs aloud. "Positively no changing seats. Don't stand up. Please buckle your straps. No Repeat Rides." She noticed two tracks side by side. "Oh, I get it. The two trains race each other," she said.

When we reached the front of the line, Angel squeezed my hand again as we entered the train and buckled the seat-belts.

The coasters raced up and down the hills. Angel screamed. We careened at times running side by side with the other train and at other moments on opposite ends of the valley. Then the coasters rejoined together for the final chase. Our train won the race, as the brakes screeched and returned to the loading platform.

"A long wait for a short ride," I said. "But it was worth it."

I was the luckiest boy in the world.

(Excerpted from the novel "Stick Man" by Richard Rossi. available at Amazon at this link: )


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