We just had a great family visit to an amusement park and while standing in line to ride one of the coasters, I once again remembered how I used to stand in line with my dad. Since I was so much older than my brother and sister, I would have been without a roller coaster partner. So my dad always rode shotgun with me.
But then again, he was likely glad I was old enough to ride because he was without a shotgun partner as well because my mom wasn’t going to hardly ride one of those “things”!
My dad’s favorite coaster was the Tidal Wave at Great America in Santa Clara, California. Check this bad boy out:
Youngsters today will say that the Tidal Wave doesn’t compare to the Top Fuel Dragster at Cedar Point, but like cars from the ’70’s, it paved the way for what Top Fuel Dragster is today. As a matter of fact, we’d be sitting there getting ready to take off and my dad would say, “This is how it would feel to be in a rail…” (that’s what the old school drag racers called the front-engine dragsters).
Still lost? Check out the classic drag race episode from The Munsters featuring Grandpa’s!
But I digress…
I wish me and my dad could ride the coasters again and I thank God that he’s still here, but his heart and back will just not let him do such activities any longer. I was telling my son this while in line for one of the coasters. It made me wonder if I was closer to coaster-retirement than I thought, as the thrill is still there and I love it, but it seemed just like yesterday I was in line with my dad and I don’t even know exactly when that moment ceased. Had I known, surely one last Tidal Wave ride would have been in order.
Do what you can with them gentlemen while you can. Sometimes we retire on our terms, but sometimes we are taken out of the game before we had a chance to say goodbye. Since we never know which moment we will have, do “whatcha can, while you can”!
So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.