"So long to the Rocky Point Sign"
New England clam cakes and chowder, sweet corn on the cob, mouth-watering watermelon, warm summer breezes, and walks on the wharf come to mind as we cruise the coastline passing by the world's largest. Some of us may have toured a last ride through recalling what once greeted us from the right upon entering the park's grounds. A hole filled with dirt replaced the in-ground pool, but the grand memory of plunging into a saltwater swimming arena lives on.
Hundreds of passengers once voyaged steamboats landing at the rocky sea front. The trolley turnarounds then advanced the way to sight the park's first few attractions. Walking, taking a bus, pedaling a bike, hitchhiking for a ride, or pacing through traffic finally marked the journey well worth taken to reach what sat behind the Rocky Point sign.
Families from all cities jam-packed the park to ride the musical carousel circling the melodies of a 60-piece band hoping to grab the brass ring, to find a spot in Kiddieland to view the puppet shows, or to listen for the whistle to board the Huntington Train. People gathered on the beach to applaud the fireworks on the Fourth, talked into recording a single for 35 cents at the penny arcade, or tempted by the fortuneteller to find out what waits ahead. First dates could easily unwind at the Windjammer Lounge while couples perhaps captured moments of passion cramped inside the photo booth. The Palladium Ballroom accommodated many by sorting out the details to create the perfect wedding or to chaperone a high-school formal or to run a political party, or by setting the stage to welcome in the rhythm of ole blue eyes. And the hysterics heard throughout the midway brought on by the slapstick of the "soitenly" Stooges amused the very most.
Waiting in the long hot lines paid off by a wet splash from the Log Flume's water trails. When a sizzling hot dog or an ice-cold soda pop at last to your taste, you knew it was worth the wait. Not only a plus to take in an outdoor concert but if you won a prize by challenging the Midway's Frog Bog game or scored a fastball at the Speed Pitch, the day proved that much better. The ink from the hand stamp washed away, but the memoir of the distorted images formed by parading in front of a funhouse mirror might still reflect.
Imagining the crowd's screams and laughter we envision pairing up on the Feris Wheel, rumbling around in the Rok n Roll, surviving the Scrambler's winded swirls, changing direction halfway into the ride on the Musik Express, dodging the heat from the bumper car sparks, and pleading all through the House of Horrors to relive the excitement. Harnessed in a cabin anticipating the freefall, braced in a Corkscrew's car to loop the double Helix, or stuck on a Skyliner gondola swaying hundreds of feet from the ground faced by Rocky the Lobster instilled enough thrill for anyone.
While some may speak of the great fire that blazed the Rocky Point Hotel, the destruction to the park from the '38 cyclone, or when Hurricane Carol swept through the point others may connect that through each setback shore dinner hall continued to resurrect.
The batting range no longer stands, but as we reached the end of the park we might have been distracted by the past sound of a baseball slamming against a bat echoed by the voice of an auctioneer and considered that it would take a miracle for a miracle to happen. Lifetime chums looked at as bestsellers auctioned off to the highest bidder departing from a long-time address. We held onto the myth of Rocky Point existing just one more season but sadly realized that speeding over the hill to exit the park was in fact the only ride left.
Linda Coletta, a fan of Rocky Point Park, sent us this story. Have a story of your own you'd like to share? Visit our website, www.rockypointmovie.com, for more details.