How my husband and I got off to an "amusing" start
Mar. 13, 2010 3:48 pm
Updated: Mar. 30, 2010 6:20 am
I grew up in a small town. One that didn't have many places for a teenager to work. We had a couple fast food places, a grocery store, drug store and a small five and dime, not much else. And, a small amusement park. So, when I turned 16 and decided I wanted a summer job (I was involved in sports and didn't have time to work during the school year) I went to the amusement park. It was called Shady Lake Park. Anyone who grew up in the Cleveland, Ohio area in the 1960's (or before) probably can remember Euclid Beach Park and the Humphrey Company popcorn balls and taffy. Well, the Humphrey Company took many of the kiddie rides and several adult rides from Euclid Beach and opened Shady Lake in 1977. It was open until 1983.
It was a perfect place to work. They were only open Friday, Saturday and Sunday and only until 7:00 pm. I got a job in the adult ride section - running the Flying Scooters.
Kids from all around the area came to work there. I made some good friends while working there over 30 years ago, one friend (Al) and I still keep in touch on a regular basis. He and his wife are probably our best friends. I also met my husband there. Iworked there all through high school and so did my husband. After the first year I became an assistant to the manager of the adult rides. That didn't really mean much. Except I didn't stay on one ride - I relieved the other ride operators at break time. My husband was the manager in kiddie land. That meant he had free time where he could come down off the hill and flirt with me.
Since we were both ambitious and not against making extra money, we were hired to do clean up in the mornings before the park would open. We would work side by side emptying trash cans and cleaning restrooms. I'm not sure what is so romantic about cleaning toilets, but shortly after that we started dating! When we could get our breaks together we'd take a ride on the Wild Mouse or the Flying Scooters. Sometimes we'd ride the Rotor or the Dodge 'ems. A ride on the Ferris Wheel was always a fun break as well. How could a relationship go wrong that began at an amusement park??