May 23rd, 2007


dead amusement park journal: Conneaut Lake Park

Conneaut Lake Park, somewhere in a stretch of Pennsylvania between Erie and Pittsburgh, is pretty much closed for good. Employees have been laid off, all plans for Doo-Wop Weekend and the like cancelled, and a fundraising program started this spring will now be used to pay off the park's incredible amount of bills instead of acting as capital for the opening. The park's been struggling for years now, relying on loans and fundraisers and the good graces of the township and friends. It's had more reprieves than any other small amusement park I've ever known, but now it appears as if even Conneaut's time has run out.

I visited Conneaut only once in 2000, stayed for exactly one hour, and had a wonderful time. I chronicled part of the experience for Neil deMause's late, lamented HERE Magazine (I recommend perusing all the stories there on a day when you don't have much to do, because you'll be there for quite a while.) And my rides on the Blue Streak, which now will be the only rides I got to enjoy, were among some of the best roller coaster rides I ever had. For serious.

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Young Ones - Neil

and retail for 19 pounds and 99 p

Jimmystagger foists upon us all the new Doc Martens ad campaign in the UK. It's pretty much the late 20th century equivalent of those airbrushed posters featuring James Dean, Marilyn Monroe and Elvis hanging out at a neon-chrome diner named "Legends" or something.

Actually, it's worse than that, given the fact that these are actual ads for the boots. Once again dead people are dragged out, devoid of all irony, to sell products. Hmm. I think we need an antidote:

It's not class or ideology
Color, creed or roots
The only thing that unites us
Is Dr. Martens boots!
Typewriter Guy

Buddy Cianci: A face you can trust

One of the funnier stories that's come out this week is that everybody's favorite mob mayor, Buddy Cianci, will be in charge of sales and marketing for XV Beacon, a totally classy luxury boutique hotel somewhere on Swanky Street here in Boston.

That is, he gets the job once he's released from his five-year federal prison sentence.

Oh, Buddy! We love you and your lovably corrupt ways. An openly corrupt city government, such as Cianci's in Providence or Honey Fitz's in Boston back at the turn of the 20th century, is a government that Gets Stuff Done and doesn't have to play the hypocritical moral high road card. None of that indignant denial, none of that "I am shocked, SHOCKED to discover gambling going on here!", just a "Hey, you want a favor from Buddy? C'mon down and bring yer checkbook." Just don't get him thinking that you're fooling around with his wife, or he'll go after you with an ashtray and fireplace log. No kiddin.

By the way, his former wife's name is Nancy Ann. One can only hope that Nancy Ann Cianci is now helping Bob Loblaw with his law blog.

Anyway. Universal Hub, which is giggling as loudly as anybody over the idea of Buddy being an upscale pitchman, is running a commercial contest which invites readers to send in their own commercials featuring Hizzoner and the hotel. Here's my entry, written in under 20 minutes thanks to a 30-minute lunch break:

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Another Conneaut Lake Park memory

zorndeslammes mentioned in my previous Conneaut Lake post that he'd miss the Blue Streak coaster as well as the dark ride. Oh, yes, the dark ride. I remember it as Dr. Moriarty's Wild Ride but it had another name before it went down for the count.

I wrote it up in a trip report. It involves the most incredible wall of ABC gum it was ever my misfortune to encounter. Kinda gruesome. Beware.

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