Before we leave memories of last week’s Thanksgiving for a journey to parts unknown, several of you requested “my” Apple Pie recipe. So … below is the link for Nick Malgieri’s “Apple Pie/Tart for Thanksgiving.” My only change is to the crust where I use half butter, half Crisco instead of all butter. Good luck to you baker passengers. Please let me know how your pies turn out!

Now On To Our Travels …

Electra’s single engine is revved up and raring to go. While passengers board I enter a dream state engaging in childhood memories until all are seated. Hang on cause we are about to go back more than fifty-six years to Cleveland, Ohio .… Whoosh!

Oh my heavens, it’s 1965 and we are standing in line ready to board a different kind of ride, a scary one at that! My late husband, Dave, and I are on a date and first in line. Dave holds my hand as we ready ourselves to be steered through “Laff in the Dark,” at Euclid Beach Park. The old amusement park, built in 1895, modeled after New York’s Coney Island, has become seedy. Some of the rides are rusty while others are rickety and probably unsafe. There’s been scuttlebutt about tearing down the famous park but the demolition actually doesn’t happen until 1969, two years after Dave and I marry. 

Behind me stand many other couples, including all of Electra’s passengers who have paired up, afraid to go it alone in “Laff in the Dark.” I hear a kind of ticking sound coming from the track beside us, not tick-tock, but louder like clink-clank, clink-clank, until an empty car stops. It’s our turn! Carefully we climb into the small, sit close together, space and await the spooky fun we had during childhood adventures at picnics and parties with family and friends over many years. 

We enter what becomes a twisting, turning, jerking journey of possible misfortunes and calamities in the form of falling boxes, shadowy apparitions, approaching locomotives, hidden monsters, smoke and mirrors, all accompanied by a cacophony of loud explosions, bells, whistles, and sirens. The car makes its way through this clamor and chaos, sometimes slowly and other times quickly, throwing us together during sudden hairpin turns. We barely have time to catch our breath before entering the finale, a black tunnel surrounded by a  maze of twirling stars during which all feel as if they are being whirled upside down, around and around with no end in site, as we laugh at this surreal “Laff in the Dark” experience. 

Stay tuned to learn more …