Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Idora Park's "Wild Cat"
A friend of mine posted this pic on his blog and wrote an excellent entry about the infamous Wild Cat at Idora Park.

Idora park was a little amusement park in my city that started off as a dance hall in the big band era. It was a main stop on the tour of some of the biggest in Jazz back then. My grandmother used to tell me about going dancing there and later my mom told me of "soc hops" that took place in the amazing grand ballroom. Every horse on the carousel was hand painted.

The park changed a lot over the the years, sadly for the worst. The end came too soon when this ride caught fire in 1984 (? I think). It was a day that all locals remember where they were. I was watching billowing smoke from just a mile away out of the window of my third grade class. A few years of shabby operation and it finally went to auction. All the vintage items were sold. I have always wished I had gotten some signage.

I remember the annual party called the "Spring Thing", it must have been a reall groovy time because I was never allowed to go. It was "for adults".

I can just imagine what it must have been like being 18-20 years old in the early seventies and living in my hometown with Idora Park open and thriving. It was a really happenin' place, maAan. There were a lot of long-hairs hanging out...

1 comment:

  1. I remember Spring Thing. And parochial school day. Strouss' Picnic days. Lordstown Picnics.
    Way back in the 60's, they had an actual funhouse, with big slides, a spinning barrel, air holes to lift ladies skirts, and other old time games. Thet turned into the Wacky Shack.

    The ballroom, there used to be a penny scramble. Jars of pennies would be tossed on the floor and the kids would scramble around and pick up as many as you could.

    Great memories at Idora Park.


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