Who remembers Riverview Park? I only visited a few times as a young boy, but still remember the anticipation of the El ride to Belmont Avenue followed by the streetcar to Western. The walk past the ticket booth in the stifling summer heat, the sounds and the sights and the feeling that you never knew what could be lurking around the corner. Cracker Jack and Hot Dogs and purple Snow Cones dripping down my chin and fingers. Doing a quick two-step so the man spitting tobacco wouldn’t get any brown juice on my white Keds.
Riverview ‘s gates closed for good in 1967, but the thrill rides go on and on! Let’s walk down the Midway so we can revisit the fun we had last weekend. We can start in the wacky Bank House Fun House. See those crazy mirrors? They are the one’s that can make a one month process stretch into a three-month one. Be careful you don’t fall into the Document Review Dunk Tank. NO ONE ever gets out!!!!
Next ride is up to you. But may I suggest we skip the Greyhound, the Bobs, and the Fireball for the real roller coaster of choice, the Exploding Plans. The first climb of excitement and anticipation, the click click click of the wheels on the wooden rails, and then the lurching stomach churning “The House will be Too Big and Too Expensive” drop. Watch out for the hairpin turns as you negotiate with the builder and architect. A Disneyland “E Ticket” ride for sure.
Look to the left. That’s the on ramp for the Bumper Cars, or as our cabbie in Naples, Italy called them, BOOOmper Cars. Just one more drive down the Eisenhower on a Friday night. Watch out for those lane closures!
But despite the obstacles, our weekend was made joyous by our ultimate destination, the Never-Ending Tunnel of Love. We were so lucky to be part of a wedding of two lovely people, the ceremony linking their ancient cultures, proof of wonderful mysteries of love and happiness. Barb and I shared the joy of the newly married couple, and we know the love we have between us will remain as we negotiate the wonderful, scary, never-anticipated “Adventures in Lifeland.”