I Created the World’s Greatest Thrill Ride (at Age Ten)!

Former site of the World's Greatest Thrill Ride

My Real Memoir

I don’t mean to brag (yes, I do), but the year I turned ten I created the greatest thrill ride the world has ever known! And that’s no small claim coming from a guy who lived just minutes away from the original theme park Knott’s Berry Farm and a flashy wannabe built by some guy named Walt Disney (oh, OK, I loved Disneyland—and still do).

Sometime during the previous year, They (you know, They) decided to build our suburb’s first high school, the very one I would later attend. Problem: La Mirada High was slated to sit atop a hill in the middle of The Field.

Wait, what? They were about to civilize that vast uncivilized wilderness we’d claimed as our own—where we hunted trapdoor spiders, built treehouses and waged the infamous “Shingle Wars,” where lay the secret entrance to the fabled Tunnel of Doom!

The Field was our own private theme park. And now They were going to gouge a canyon through Our Hill in Our Theme Park in order to extend Adelfa Drive to the school–Adelfa, the Spanish name for the pretty-but-poisonous oleander flower. It would indeed poison our private pristine playland!

Or would it? The moment They cut that massive gouge through Our Hill something magical appeared. The steep cliff-like slopes on either side fairly screamed, “Use this!”

But how? Mommandad had recently purchased a washing machine, which was booooring. But it had arrived in The Biggest Cardboard Box Ever Made! Which I’d already employed as a spaceship at my secret Command Center in our garage. But now, thinking about those 100-foot-tall slopes (give or take a few feet), I began to wonder if…

Yes, I had it! My fellow-engineers and I were soon able to devise a method by which two fearless astronauts lying side-by-side between thick layers of re-flattened cardboard would execute a countdown ending in the most exciting words ever uttered by humans, “Blast off!” At which point several others would push my Super Rocket-Sled over the edge!

To our astonishment, not only did the 10,000 mph ride not kill us, the onrushing shower of asteroids (pebbles) bounced harmlessly over the space-age cardboard surface until we glided to a stop on the dirt road below.

Within minutes of our maiden voyage, every kid in the neighborhood came running. So we devised a method by which each would-be astronaut would earn their ride by serving as a sled-pusher.

It was the greatest attraction The Field, no, the world had ever seen!

Until They paved Adelfa Drive. Once the asphalt dried and cars began using the road, our attraction was forced to close. Still, while it lasted, my Super Rocket-Sled was…

The World’s Greatest Thrill Ride!

My Real Memoir is a series. To read the next one, click here.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Humor, Memoir and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

35 Responses to I Created the World’s Greatest Thrill Ride (at Age Ten)!

  1. mic says:

    👌👌👌✒ sweet youth … is gone. Sweet oldies age started for me😉

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Pingback: God, Summer Camp, and Talking in My Sleep | Mitch Teemley

  3. I would like to have tried that thrill-ride!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Love this story! The greatest thrill ride indeed! Then “they took paradise and out in a parking lot!”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Norman Peterson says:

    “Don’t try and be original, you won’t. Write about your life and you will be original” Well done Mitch. I really liked it, especially the meteorite fragments hitting your ‘shield’ How many trips? The spaceX of cardboard. It’s pretty good. Jack

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks, Mitch, for the trip down Memory Lane. My first seven years of life played out within a Mayfield type neighborhood; populated by a dozen kids my age; where we, just like you / your pals, gave free reign to our limitless imaginations; even discovered how a large cardboard box could be far more fun than our toys. And, even tho “The Wonderful World of Disney” was “only” a Sunday night TV show to me, I can dig your (to-this-day affinity) for the actual theme park.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Here’s to packing boxes for stoves and refrigerators and anything large! They can become anything.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Nancy Ruegg says:

    Does this story coincide with any of your scar stories? How did you hold on to your Super Rocket Sled without injuring your fingers?!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. K.L. Hale says:

    I’m so glad you survived to share it! We would have never known! P.S.-the map was extremely helpful :-)!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This is hilarious, Mitch. My boys played adventurously too. We were blessed to live one block away from a 12-acre wooded lot with a stream running through. You had me laughing out loud and brought back memories of their innocent but not always safe adventures. During their childhood, there were many appliance box creations. They graduated from boxes when a friend got a go-cart.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Half a Soul says:

    So funny and brings back memories! When I was about that age, a hill up the street was dug out to put in foundations for 2 new houses. After school we slid down the sides of the dirt for hours. Pretty sure they had to dig it straight again because of us but it was fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This makes me nostalgic for my childhood which was spent creating and exploring the hills of San Diego and then the fields and orchards of the San Joaquin valley. Often without parental supervision *gasp*! I don’t know how either of us survived those perilous times…

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Michele Lee says:

    Great story, Mitch! Reminds me of us ice-blocking down hilly grassy slopes. Childhood adventures!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Staci Troilo says:

    The kid in me is jealous I didn’t get to join you. The ride sounds epic. The mom in me is horrified and terrified (and any other appropriate “-fied”) and I can’t believe no one got hurt.

    Great walk (or luge) down memory lane!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. JOY journal says:

    I’m not sure how boys make it to adulthood. :0

    Liked by 1 person

  16. TEP336 says:

    There was this absolute monster of a hill near my grandmother’s house, and my cousins had skateboards. We took turns hiking to the top of the hill, laying on the skateboards, and flying down the hill while praying that no one’s car came round the bend. No better feeling than adrenaline, high speed, and bugs in your teeth. 😁

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Pingback: I Grew Up in a Theme Park | Mitch Teemley

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