Lazy, Hazy, Summer Days by Darlene Beck Jacobson

 No matter what era or generation we are from, summer vacation - that time when school is done and the stretch of warm days feels endless - was a time of celebration and outdoor fun. My parents didn't have a car, so we rarely took road trips. But growing up by the Raritan Bay in New Jersey, we spent many a day enjoying sand, sun, and surf. We also had a bus stop across the street that, for thirty-five cents, took us to the end of the line, stopping at Keansburg Amusement Park.

Most Tuesdays, Mom took my sister and me to Keansburg for a day of fun. Ride tickets were five cents each, so for a couple dollars, we could ride all day long. In between, we ate french fries with vinegar (my sister), sweet corn dripping with butter eaten from a paper plate (me), and pink and blue cotton candy, soft serve ice cream swirled atop a cone. We tried our best to win some kind of trinket at a Skeeball game, or on one of the stands. 


Mostly though, we were there for the rides.

Lots of different kiddie rides, because we were in elementary school. The kind of rides that might seem pretty tame to kids of today used to roller coasters and daring speed-infused fare. 

My sister and Mom loved the Whip, and Tilt-a-Whirl. My constitution was better designed for the carousel.  

One summer, thanks to the carousel operator having fun flirting with mom, we got to ride the carousel way longer than the nickle ride would have allowed. 

I can still see, hear, smell, that place from my childhood. And, the park is still creating memories for little ones to this day.


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