Carnies enjoy early morning coffee and donuts.
A peek at my favorite ride, The Whip. Watching it being laid out and assembled was a production. I loved the harsh heavy industrial music of its moving parts, the sudden jerking thrust of the cars rumbling around corners.
The old Ferris wheel turned with an almost graceful lilt.
My favorite attraction was the quaint Thimble Theatre fun house. The spooky dark walk-through labyrinth on the top floor. The grinding shuffle boards below. The air blast under skirts, and the collapsing floor section just before exit.
The classic Tilt-A-Whirl, about as perfectly designed a thrill ride as ever hit the midway, justly survives into the modern era. Its genius to me is shared by very few rides -- it delivers unpredictable action.
Instant fan: Thunderbolt of surprise for my friend Boyi, who knew virtually nothing of my model building and had never seen this when he's visited me, because the rides have been packed away for over three years. After work last Sunday he dropped by, having only been told "I think you will be surprised." I turned a switch and Century of Thrills came to life, five rides simultaneously. Boyi was ecstatic. "A triple triple plus!!!!!" he exclaimed, overcome with my scratch-built quarter-inch spectacle. What a pleasure when somebody so joyfully overwhelmed appreciates what you've achieved. And what a bummer: I had his immediate reaction on a video, I thought. But I hadn't clicked my camera onto the film icon!
Four rides -- The Whip, Tilt-A-Whirl, Ferris Wheel and Swings operate perfectly. 100% More than I could ever say for my Big Dipper roller coaster, a grand champ of derailments. Once upon a time, it might circle the track nine out of ten times. Not lately. I've accepted its chronic imperfections, but still soldier on, fixing this over here only to be vexed by that over there. BTW: Among others, Paul Horseman was of immense help to me on the Whip and the Wheel when I built the park (1990-2003). I'd like to add a boat ride, if I could bring off a little big splash when it hits the water. And figure out a way to get the tubs back around and connected to the lift chain.
I'm keeping Century of Thrills open up until my niece Lisa and her little boy Noah visit in August. Then down it goes so that I can lay out the roller coaster, section by section, and embark yet on a new set of prospective solutions to make the track and the train that travels it more compatible partners. Finally, I've accepted the coaster as being a permanent "work in progress." The impossible dream lives on ...
Originally posted on July 21, 2010
Below: My New Laff in the Dark, completed in May, 2015