RYE BEACH PLAYLAND   4 comments

DragonCoaster 

          I saw a commercial for Disneyworld today. I see a lot of them down here in Florida. That got me thinking of the places we used to go to from the Hook. The trips to Rye Beach were a big part of our lives back then. Rye Playland is just  across Long Island Sound from Glen Cove. I remember it seemed like it was so far away back then. I only went there on bus trips or boat rides. I went at least once a year right through High School. Sometimes it was twice.

Those bus trips seemed to take forever because we were so excited to be going. There would singing and laughing all the way. Somebody would always start “100 bottles of beer on the wall”. It would start with everyone singing loudly but by the time it got down to 70 bottles of beer there would be only three or four still singing. I never have heard that song finish. You can all thank me for putting that song in your head where it will stay all day.

The bus rides were good but the boat rides were the best. The excitement would build as we crowded onto the pier waiting to get on board. When the boat pulled away the magic started. Someone would always bring a hook and some fishing line and throw it over to drag behind us. In all the years I went I think I saw two fish get on the line. Someone else would spot a sand shark and everyone would run to the side to see it. I remember going under the East River bridges, that seemed so amazing back then.

There would be dancing on the way north. For some reason the Limbo stick in my head. Some guy would always bring a guitar. He would play and sing and the girls would crowd around him. Unfortunately the only musical instrument I could play was the radio.

We would finally arrive at Rye Beach. I can still see the dock in my mind. Everyone would run from the boat trying to beat the crowd to their favorite ride. We all had our favorites for some it was the Dragon Coaster others the Tilt-A-Whirl or Carousel. Mine was the Wild Mouse, at every sharp turn it felt like your car would go flying off. Everyone liked the fun house there. Remember the Magic Carpet the big slide, you would have to get a small rug and climb all those stairs to slide down. There was the giant spinner everyone would sit down and it would start spinning faster and faster. Each time the speed went up more slid off. Everyone wanted to be the last one to slide off.

They were great times. Now I wish I had brought a camera and taken pictures but at the time I guess I felt it would always be like that. Those times that would go on forever ended much too soon.

Before I stop I will mention a few other parks we went to. First of course has to be Coney Island the first great amusement park. It was the cheapest and easiest to get to. It has changed a lot but is still there and I hope it will be around for a long time yet. If you ever get a chance to ride the Cyclone sit in the front car and look at the safety bar. On my first  roller coaster ride at eight years old I think I permanently imprinted my hands onto the steel.

Next is one of the parks that have gone to the great play ground in the sky. Rockaway Playland was a sort of Coney Island lite. Not as crowded but better waves on the beach. No Boogie boards back then but a lot of body surfing.

Remember Palisades Park, Freddie Cannon did.

Freedomland, a sort of Disney Land in the Bronx. I don’t know who thought that would work. It only lasted five years. He should have built it in Brooklyn. It might still be there.

Well that’s it for today, let me know what memories you have from back then. The bus and boat trips or what rides or parks have memories that still make your heart light. Remember we are now down to 95 bottles of bear on the wall.

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4 responses to “RYE BEACH PLAYLAND

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  1. I always think of Hazel Melton when I think about the Boat Rides. It seemed like she was always the last one to show up. It was Great that Christ Chapel invited the whole neighborhood. Father Fox was a Great Man. We had so much fun on the rides. I can also remember going for a boat ride with Edna Clark and family to Bear Mountain for the Myers family reunions. I loved it. We enjoyed the simple things in life. Thanks for the Memories!!

  2. I loved Rye Beach. One of my favorite rides was the “turtle chase”. I can still hear the sound it made….and I too remember running from the boat to try to be one of the first ones on the ride. I also seem to remember the beach being polluted….it always had snails all over it….it was yucky!!! At least on the boat dock side. I don’t ever remember anyone swimming there. Thanks for stirring up the memories, Kev! ………68 bottles of beer on the wall, 68 bottles of beer……..

    Maureen Boyle Smith
    • Maureen when you mentioned the beach it reminded me there were always horseshoe crab shells all over that beach.I don’t know anyone who ever went swimming there. Which when you think of it is amazing seeing as how many of us swam at the foot of Coffey St.

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