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Wild Rides with Dad

By Carole Eibelheuser

Dad worked very long hours six days a week in his grocery store. So, when we vacationed as a family, he became playful and full of adventure for us. During our summertime visits to Pennsylvania to see Mom’s family, Dad would find us a “Whoopee” road to ride on…no seat belts back then. This road had small hills, sometimes one after another. Dad would speed up, we would leave our stomachs at the top of the hill, and the car sometimes would go airborne before landing a little beyond the hill. Whoopee!

Our relatives lived not too far from Hershey Park. Of course, we went, excited for the rides. My first (and almost my very last) rollercoaster ride on an old, rickety wooden one was Dad’s idea of seeing how brave I was. Going down the first hill, I had a feeling of weightlessness that was scary. My reward was the Fun House, the best I’d ever been in. The “fun” consisted of moving boards that ended over a small hole in the floor that whooshed up air, walking through a slanted room, and playing in front of the distortion mirrors and laughing our heads off. My favorite was a high and long wooden slide. We rode down seated on a burlap bag, over and over again.

Thank you, Dad, for all the wild rides and adventures.

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