Picture 4

Do you know how sometimes your memory can, well, malfunction?

I’ve noticed this especially since I’ve started blogging. I’ll write about a family memory and one of my siblings will fill in a gap, or worse, correct me. In my last post I proved that there are things I was sure of in my youth where I have been proven wrong. Anyway, it’s enough to make me doubt some of my earlier memories

I wrote a post a while back about a reoccurring nightmare I have regarding roller coasters. In these dreams, everyone I am with wants to climb onto some crazy, impossibly designed coaster. I refuse to get on. My friends all get in line and the coaster always malfunctions. I watch from a distance while the track falls apart right before my eyes and the car my friends and family are on crashes to the ground.

I believe the source of this reoccurring dream is found in the photo shown above. You see, this is one of the parking lots at Palisades Amusement Park, circa who the hell knows. I know I was about 5 or 6 when my parents took me there and we parked in this lot, or one very similar to it.

You see, I have this memory of parking our car and heading to the park for a day of fun, but our trek into the park began with a stroll past a giant roller coaster – I like to think it was called the Cyclone – but without a park map, I can’t be sure.

Anyway, I know we walked to the gate through the parking lot beside a GIGANTIC roller coaster and only a fence separated us from its structure. As the cars rolled past I was not filled with a sense of thrill & excitement, I was fucking scared.

I kept thinking about idiots who might have stood up and subsequently fell to their death right in front of me. Of course nobody did. That day. But I knew better. I’d heard rumors about deaths on the coasters at Palisades Amusement Park and I was certain some careless dare devil was going to come plummeting down on the pavement that very day.

Nobody did. We had a fun day at the park like any other northern New Jersey family that day. My oldest sister was in the Little Miss America pageant – We have film of her performing on the stage and then some footage of me dancing around a tree in our front yard shortly after that.


Seeing this photo on a facebook site I am a member of really hit a chord. I didn’t imagine this – I really did park in a lot near the Cyclone at Palisades Amusement Park. I did walk right along a chain link fence while the coaster roared by. And it scared me. A lot. Enough so that I still  have dreams of crazy, scary, impossible roller coasters that I refuse to ride on.

No wonder Final Destination 3 is my favorite.