My moles and big lips were suddenly “my trademark” and I got to see a whole other side of beauty, self-worth, and power. Now years later, I work as a creative consultant building brand strategy and still happily hustling for a living. A lot like what I did and learned at Cedar Point in fact. My old caricature and pastel drawing pals and I made a pact to take the annual trek for HalloWeekends, laughing and reminiscing as we retrace and relive the memories of our wildly wonderful Cedar Point youth. Remembering rainy Cedar Point days under dripping sketch stand umbrellas when we would wait and pray for the call from park management to close early and call it a day.
Or how we would synch our one day off, blow our paychecks and group ferry ride it to Put-In-Bay to have a gleeful stay-cation of our own as island “animals” racing around on golf carts and tandem bikes. Or how we would dance into the wee hours of the night when the park would stay open extra late just for us employees – like a fantastic, over-the-top Cedar Point Broadway musical carnival ball coming to life then coming to an end three magical hours later – like it was all a dream. A tall lanky child, I was excited as any when finally reaching the 48-inch height requirement to ride the Blue Streak or finally take on my own car in the Dodgems. Those little safety bars on the Blue Streak were no match for my father’s arm as each dip lifted me off the seat as I screamed with delight and begged to ride it again and again. Family picnics took place at the front of the park in the pavilion, where all you had to do was stake out a picnic table, cover it with a vinyl tablecloth and leave your basket and cooler in the safety of shade. There was always room for salt water taffy and cotton candy before making our way back home via dinner at McGarvey’s restaurant in Vermilion. We celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary at Cedar Point with our daughter. She and her mom got seats in the front car of the Millennium Force.
In the 1980s, my parents started a yearly, two-day family vacation to Cedar Point. My sisters, brothers, nieces and nephews would spend two nights at the Breakers. One night, my sister and her husband, both smokers, stood in the hall for a cigarette break and set off the fire alarm. Hundreds of people stood outside in their pajamas while the Sandusky Fire Department checked the building, stopping outside our rooms, giving us evil looks. When we left on Sunday morning, we were exhausted but happy to have had so many good memories. We have purchased 2020 season passes for ourselves, our daughter and son-in-law. We might be the oldest season passholders still going to the park. Hope they don’t start an age limit to get on the big coasters. In the early 1950s I delivered papers for the Cleveland Press. The paper had a contest, if a carrier got a certain amount new subscribers, they would get a trip to Cedar Point. We started at Terminal Tower and boarded a train to Sandusky. The train was completely filled with many carriers. From Sandusky, we boarded a boat that took us to Cedar Point. I grew up going to Cedar Point, and when my parents saw an ad that the amusement park was hiring for the 1978 season, I knew it was the job for me. They drove me to Sandusky from Berea for the interview, and soon after that, I was hired. I ended up working four summers there, moving from the Turnpike Cars to the Antique Cars, the Trabant, Scrambler and Tiki Twirl. It was the most fun job I have ever had, and I am now 61 years old. I paid for my college education at Tri-C and Bowling Green from my earnings at CP, and learned to work hard while still having fun. The highlight for me was when I became a “Blue Tag” ride leader my third summer there, and no longer wore a “Red Tag” since I was in charge of the ride. Our youngest son, Chris, will be starting his third year working at Cedar Point in 2020, and will be a team leader on his ride, Rougarou, after two years of working on Gatekeeper. The difference is now you know who the ride leaders are by their shirt color! My 103-year-old grandpa, Charles Kuebler, has been looking forward to winning his great-grandchildren more stuffed animals at the guess-your-age game at Cedar Point this summer. He’s won them prizes when he was 100, 101, and 102 because most people think he’s in his 80s and not a centurion. He went to Cedar Point a couple of times with his children in the 1950s. Starting in the mid-70s and for nearly 20 years, my grandpa Charles and my grandma Dorothy Kuebler would pay to take their eight grandchildren (me, my three brothers and four cousins) and our parents to Cedar Point each summer. My grandma had a specific coin bank she named the “Cedar Point” bank.
When she got change back from stores, she would put only the dimes in the bank and used the money to buy Cedar Point tickets.
Looking back, I'm sure my grandpa had to supplement the purchase of the tickets.