Rollercoasters make emotions go up and down, up and down

I was never a big fan of rollercoasters when I was growing up. I did enjoy going on Zingo, the famous Tulsa rollercoaster that was on the Fairgrounds as part of Bell’s Amusement Park. Bell’s is no longer in business and it’s a shame that more and more people don’t remember that family amusement park.

Years ago, south of Jenks, there was a place called Skyline Amusement Park. Back then, that was way out in the country. A family from church took me out there one summer and I am pretty sure they had a rollercoaster but I cannot remember if I rode it.

Skyline probably closed more than 50 years ago although some folks who live in a neighborhood nearby say they are still some pieces of the park standing. I believe that American Airlines used to hold a company picnic there every summer.

It’s been about 20 years since I rode a rollercoaster at the Tulsa State Fair. The little rollercoaster they used to have was not much of a ride and it looked dangerous. The last ride I went on at the fair was the Tilt-A-Whirl and I almost threw up when I got off of it.

When my son Brian was in high school, we took a bus trip with the marching band to Worlds of Fun in Kansas City, Missouri. I am pretty sure I didn’t ride the rollercoaster there but you can bet that Brian did.

A few years ago, Brian and I went to Silver Dollar City in Branson. Throughout the years, as our schedule permitted, I made trips to Branson with each of our kids individually. It’s a great drive (we go through Arkansas usually) and I always liked the one-on-one times with my children.

Brian and I went to Silver Dollar City. I wanted to wander through the shops and see the shows. He wanted to ride the rides. I got a kick out of watching him but those rides (like the Outlaw Run, Fire in the Hole and Firefall) are for a younger crowd, not me.

I did go on a couple of milder rides, like the Lost River of the Ozarks. Our family went to Silver Dollar City when the kids were young and we made the mistake of starting off with the American Plunge, the barrel ride that got us all soaking wet. We were so drenched, we went into the bathroom, took off almost all of our clothes and wrung out the water before putting them back on. Thank goodness it was summer and very hot.

Since my in-laws live in Orlando, we have visited Disney World several times and tried out their rides.

Splash Mountain in the Magic Kingdom Park looks like a scene from a mining camp in Colorado in the early 1800s. It was a lot of fun and you can get pretty wet. They used to take pictures of you on the fastest drop of the ride and they try to sell them to you.

We went on Space Mountain once and I will never do that again. It is inside a huge building and it has some violent twists and turns that are exaggerated because you don’t see them company. This ride has warning signs for pregnant women and people with back problems or heart conditions.

I am not so old that I want to ride “It’s a Small World After All” but I don’t mind taking a spin through “Pirates of the Caribbean.”

We have never gone to Frontier City in Oklahoma City but I have driven by there hundreds of times. It is right on Interstate 35, just south of the entrance to the Turner Turnpike.

I guess the Silver Bullet and the Wildcat are the big rollercoasters at Frontier City. We were driving to Oklahoma not too long ago when some people got stuck on top of a rollercoaster. We drove right by it as the fire department and others successfully rescued several kids and adults. It was just a malfunction and I don’t believe they were ever in serious danger.

I haven’t been to Six Flags Over Texas in Dallas since I was in college in the 1970s. If I remember correctly, back then Six Flags had you pay individually for rides rather than one set price to ride anything you wanted.

My kids are all grown and I think they still enjoy rollercoasters. If we ever have grandchildren, I am looking forward to the day when I can take them to Silver Dollar City and go with them on the milder rides.

When they get older and want to go on the rollercoasters, I will sit and wait for them and hand out business cards for my chiropractor (Dr. Matt Hunt) as people exit the ride.