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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. Going to Cedar Point was the highlight of our entire summer. I can still remember staying at my grandparents’ house in anticipation of going to Cedar Point the next day.

We would anxiously await the weather forecast to see if we had the green light to go to the park. I remember the smell of my grandma packing our lunch in coolers filled with salami sandwiches and fresh peaches. Our annual trips funded by my grandparents ended in the early 1990s. Since then, my cousins, brothers, parents and I have continued the tradition of enjoying Cedar Point with our own children. My youngest brother, Kevin Albert, who lives in Houston, boasts he has never missed a summer to go to Cedar Point. It’s his goal to never miss a season, and we’re hoping this year will be no different for him and Grandpa Charles. One of my best memories of Cedar Point is the first time on the Millennium Force. As we got to the top of the hill, I looked around the park and thought how beautiful it was. I took a deep breath to scream and put my hands in the air. I lifted off my seat a little but did not grab on, it was amazing ride. When I go to CP, I can forget about all my cares and troubles. My first year there I was a sweeperette, my second year there I worked in Kiddie Land, and my third summer I worked on the Western Cruise. The stories I could tell are way too numerous to even know where to start. All I can say is they were the best three summers of my life even though they were hot and exhausting, and I believe they helped shape the person I am today. Cedar Point has changed so much since then that I barely know it now, but the memories I have of it are vivid. Cedar Point has been a very important part of our lives for over 50 years. Beginning with the annual firemen’s picnic with my parents, brothers and sisters in the early 1960s (my father was a Cleveland firefighter) to the memorable summers spent with our sons, Billy and Danny, and now to the joy-filled days spent at Cedar Point with our grandsons, Gabe and Dorian. It was our tradition to take a photograph every year by the beautiful statuary located throughout the park, first with our sons, and now with our grandsons. This has become a cherished Nainiger family tradition. As a kid growing up in Barberton , I loved all amusement parks. My younger sister worked there during the summer of 1984. This was after I had been in a serious car accident earlier in the spring. Roller coasters were my favorites, but this was before they had the extreme coasters of today.

We were on the relatively tame Wildcat when it got stuck at the top. We were informed we would have to climb down the ladder to get off. I thought the ride operator would have to peel my fingers off the safety bar to get me out of the car. That was when I discovered that I was no longer comfortable going on roller coasters. I assume it was almost dying in a car accident, but to this day I have never been able to ride one again. I have lived in Bensenville, Illinois, for the past 16 years, but still visit my family in Ohio several times a year. It makes me sad that I have this fear, because I would love to be able to go on the extreme coasters out there now. To all of you who want a place to enjoy a great family vacation, Cedar Point is the place. I took my grandkids last year for a three-day stay and they are still talking about it. I remember my grandson being so exhausted from his day at the beach and park, going up to the room to get something, and falling asleep.

Imagine the panic when he didn't return to the pool.


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