was watching this show on TV last night called "Things that aren't
there any more" and of course the old Pike popped up. My dad
loved the old amusement parks like P.O.P and the Pike- but he
especially liked the old roller coasters. He claimed the Cyclone
Racer was the best roller coaster he ever rode. Now I know he
took my brother and I to both parks on a regular basis because we have
several family pictures taken in those photo ops. Honestly, the
memories are pretty hazy as I was 5 years old when the Pike
closed. But I do remember this(like it was yesterday):
This is us at the pike. I'm the little girl on the left.
* * * * *
What a fantastic place you created for memories! I remember the old Pike well, along with the Rainbow Pier. There was a tunnel under Ocean Blvd. with an underground "village." A candy store made candy that looked like bacon and eggs and other foods. We always bought a box of salt water taffy at the Pike to "take home," but none made it there. You could smell the taffy being made and no one could resist it. My brother and I spent many happy hours at the Plunge on Saturdays and my family loved the old Strand Theater. They had local talent shows during intermission and a drawing for prizes. Sometimes an old vaudeville act would make an appearance. This was in the late '40s. We spent hours at the Strand. There would be a film, usually a WWII movie, cartoons, intermission with lots of activities and then another movie. The old Pike! Whatta memory to cherish.
Cyclone Racer sure looked familiar. When I was a teenager we would ride
that thing over and over, just to prove how brave we were. I remember
when they added the diving bell and that ride where the floor dropped
out from under you. When I was just a kid, there were "freak
shows." Those would be banned today, and it's a good thing, but in
those days no one thought about the fact they were people with
disabilities. When WWII was just over, you could hardly walk for
the servicemen - I was a young kid and would have to walk in a sea of
legs. Long Beach - a great hometown.
Long Beach Polytechnic Class of 1937, wrote:
Bob Rapp, Long Beach Poly Class of 1969, wrote:
The Cyclone Racer Last Ride
In 1968, a friend
(Eddie Hoke, Class of '68) and I went to the Cyclone and climbed
to the top of the highest point before the big drop. They had
already started tearing the old coaster down. Just after the
bottom of the first drop, the coaster climbed up another small
hill. That is where the demolition crews had stopped for the
day. The track stopped there. If we could only push the cars
up that big hill, we could see the last run of the coaster and
have it land on the beach below. We pushed and pushed, but could
only get the cars about 20 feet up. Boy, were we disappointed!!!!
The Cyclone Racer
The operators of the cyclone claimed there were 17 deaths on the ride. I know there two deaths between 1966 and 1968 as I was the first officer on the scene; all of the accidents were caused by careless disregard by the patrons (such as standing up while the ride was in motion)."
Above from Ken McGrath who was with the Nu-Pike police from 1962 until 1978 and as chief of the Park Police from 1972 until 1978 (the father of Millikan classmate Cindy (MCGRATH) Obertean '77).
Time of our Lives for a Buck
My family lived
just west of there in the Long Beach Harbor area until I was
10 (1953). The Pike was
my second home, especially on Wednesdays when kids could ride
any attraction for only $.10. From our neighborhood, on hot summer
days, we kids would walk down the boardwalk, cross the L.A. River
on the old wooden walk bridge (remember it?) and have the time
of our lives for a buck.
Free Ride with an Empty "Circus" Peanuts Wrapper
Entire contents of