The summer, that I
remember, was a hot one. In two short months, Janet and I would be
back in high school , but we were in no hurry; it was summer and
time to have fun.
Rye Beach Amusement
Park, back then, was a short train ride away but I never went until
that summer when my mom treated me and my friend, Janet, to a full
day of fun at that well-known amusement park north of NYC. The
bouffant style was soon coming to an end, but I refused to let it
go. As you know, I loved the look. So it is, without a doubt, that I
was wearing a bouffant skirt that day. There, in my opinion, is
nothing more comfortable on a hot day then a nice full cotton skirt,
and with some layering of tulle underneath. It was like natural air
conditioning. Your legs feel almost naked. Janet wore that pretty
summer sundress that I loved. I was always jealous of that dress.
Her dress was white with small polka dots. So how could I remember
that detail from so long ago? Janet had a Brownie camera and still
has some pictures in her scrap book. The dress had an elasticized
camisole top with a full circle skirt. Janet wore a petticoat of
sheer rayon netting with two layers of crinoline netting underneath.
I thought it was too fancy for the park, but Janet wanted to wear
it. She looked so cool and comfortable.
We left home early so
we could have a full day at the park. Mom drove us down to the train
station and read us the riot act. We knew that if we wanted to do
this again then we had better not mess up. We both wore watches so
we wouldn’t miss our train back. After a short ride on the train, we
got on a bus that shuttled from the train station right up to the
amusement park’s main gate. It was easy! We were through the gate by
9:30 in the morning. We didn’t eat much breakfast that morning
because we knew we would be tempted by all the cotton candy, corn
dogs, popcorn, hotdogs, pretzels, and lots of other great junk
foods. Janet and I could eat lots of junk, back then, and never gain
weight. I wish I was still like that.
Because we were
early, the park wasn’t too crowded. We walked around for a while
just to see where all the rides were and, yes, to let the boys see
us. We were getting a lot of attention from the boys that worked
there and we loved it. Back then, if a girl looked pretty, the boys
would always let her know it. We loved that! The boys would whistle
at us and make silly wolf noises. If you are old enough to remember,
and you were one of those boys back then that whistled at the pretty
girls: thank you! We lived for it! Whatever happened to that? Fear
of the PC police, I guess. It’s so sad.
After trying a few
rather tame rides, Janet wanted more excitement.
“Come on Allie.
Let’s try The Cyclone.”
I was always a
little afraid of roller coasters, but Janet wouldn’t let me alone
until I agreed to ride it. Janet ran for the entrance, dragging me
“ I’m coming, I’m
coming! Let go!”
“It’s coming to a
stop. I want to get on line before the line gets too long!”
“All right, I’m
We still had to
wait a bit, but we were in front of the line, so Janet was happy.
When the ride reopened we got in the first car. Janet thought we
were lucky, but I don’t like the first car. If you’ve ever rode the
first car, then you already know why. The attendant pulled the bar
down across us and I grabbed onto it for dear life. The long slow
noisy ride to the top of the first peak was the part that made me
the most nervous. We were so high and you had time to think about
what was coming. Janet was excited and couldn’t wait but I just
wanted to get it over with.
As we went over
the top I couldn’t see anything under us, then the sudden fall, and
my stomach felt like I shouldn’t have eaten that hot dog. Our skirts
and crinolines were flying back in our faces. I held on to the bar
with a death grip. When we bottomed out it felt like an elephant was
sitting on my head. Up we went again, then we were thrown to the
side as we went around a curve, then plunging down again, then up to
the right, then back to the left, then down and back up and, on and
on we went. By this time it seemed like I would be on that thing all
day, but, suddenly, we leveled out, and the cars slowed. There were
people standing in line on the platform watching us coming in. My
skirt and crinolines were blown back, exposing my legs for all the
boys to see. I would’ve pushed my skirt back down, if I hadn’t still
had a death grip on that bar. Janet let go of the bar near the end
of the ride and she arrived at the station looking like a lady.
After the cars stopped
I finally let go of the bar and got my skirt back under control. The
attendant pulled the bar back up and we left the car with wobbly
legs. I didn’t feel so good, so we sat down for awhile until I
regained my ladylike composure.
“Wasn’t that fun?
Why don’t we do it again!”
“ No! Once is
enough for me!”
"Okay, what do
you want to do next?”
“Let’s just walk
“Okay, let’s go
over to the pavilion and listen to the band for awhile. I'll bet
there's a lot of boys over there.”
Well that sounded
like a lot more fun than that torture machine called The Cyclone.
The old pavilion must
have been built at the turn of the century. It was a very large
building painted a dark green, and there was a wide porch that ran
all the way around it. Inside was a large dance floor and bandstand.
I was told that during the late thirties, and all through the
forties, some famous big bands had played there. As we approached,
we could hear a rock and roll band playing.
“Allie, let’s get
The line at the
concession stand was short, so we hurried over and got on it. We
were just in time. A large group of teenagers from the pavilion
hurried over and got on line behind us. One really cute boy smiled
at us and said, “ Hey dolls! What’s your names?”
Allison and this is my friend, Janet.”
You dolls here to dance? It’s a really cool band.”
know the guys in the band. They’re good friends of mine. You want to
meet them later?”
know.” Janet sure had a way with words. I spoke up.
got off The Cyclone. We want to rest for awhile and listen to the
The Cyclone was too much for ya!” He and his friends were laughing.
Janet looked peeved.
didn’t like it, but I thought it was fun!”
“Hey, I was
teasing, okay? Hey, did you girls try The Rotor?”
“No what is
really cool ride. Even Allison will like it.”
like that remark. Janet looked interested. “What is it?”
could answer, we were up to the window.
“Can I help
We took our
drinks and headed for the pavilion. As we walked away, Pete shouted,
“Maybe I’ll see ya later. Hey, try The Rotor. It’s fun!”
I enjoyed the
rest and listening to the band, but I could tell that Janet
was getting restless, so I thought we’d better have some
“What do ya
want to do, Janet?”
I want to try The Rotor.”
going to make me dizzy, is it?”
Pete. It’s a cool ride! Come on, let’s go.”
around, looking for The Rotor ride.
there, Allison! I see it!”
We saw a
large building that was shaped like a big cylinder. It had a
stairway going up to the top of it and a large flat front where the
line was forming. It looked like we would be entering at the bottom
so I wondered what the stairway was for. When we got closer, I could
see what looked like seats with a railing going completely around
the top. I saw people up there looking over the railing down into
that cylinder thing.
moving, Allison! I don’t think it will take long!” Janet was
waited on line, I looked at all the pictures painted on the front of
the rotor ride building. It was pictures of people supposedly riding
inside the rotor. The people seemed like they were in distress! They
looked like they were falling! I was getting nervous. Just then I
heard girls screaming inside.
don’t like this thing. Let’s go.”
even know what it is. Pete said it was cool. I want to try it.”
I was very
nervous. Soon we were entering through a door at the bottom. I saw
that we were inside a big cylinder that had no top. In the center
was a column with a hand railing around it. We were instructed to
hold onto the railing. Then the floor started to rise like an
elevator and as we got closer to the top I could see the railing and
all the people up there in sort of a gallery looking down at us like
we were on exhibition. The floor stopped rising about eight feet
from the top.
Allison! It’s Pete!”
where Janet was pointing and saw Pete. He was up in the gallery and
he had a big grin on his face. I couldn’t help but think that he had
been up there waiting for us. He looked like he was going to enjoy
watching what was about to happen to us. I was really nervous. Just
then, we were instructed to stand against the cylinder wall. The
wall was padded with a rubbery like material. Janet and I stood with
our backs against the wall and when everyone was in place the rotor
started to spin.
getting dizzy, Janet!”
“Don’t be a baby. This is fun!”
spun faster and faster and we became pinned to the wall. I couldn’t
move! My skirt and crinoline were pressed tightly against the wall
and across my legs.
like this!” I cried out loud.
Then the floor dropped away! It dropped ten feet or more! Janet and
I both started screaming! But we didn’t fall! We were pinned to the
wall and couldn’t move!
The rotor continued to
spin at a fast pace, then it started to slow. It was slowing just a
little bit at a time. Gravity started to take over and I felt myself
starting to slip down the wall. I could see the girls on the other
side of the rotor. They were slipping down the wall, but their
skirts were not! I looked down at my own skirt and saw that my skirt
and crinoline was still pressed tightly against the wall! Gravity
was pulling me down out of my clothes! I tried to push my skirt down
but it was impossible! I could see the girls on the other side of
the cylinder. Their legs were being exposed more and more as they
slipped down the wall. I saw a lady struggling to push her skirt
down as her stocking tops and garters came into view. All the girls
that were in skirts were screaming! My crinoline was bunching up
around me. I tried and tried to push my skirt down but I couldn’t. I
heard Janet screaming,
my dress!” I looked at Janet and her dress and her lovely crinoline
was almost up around her waist.
get my dress down! What do I do?” All I could think was I hope she
wore pretty panties.
“Pete, that rat!
He knew this would happen to us!”
rotor slowed even more, we continued to slip down toward the floor.
Our thighs were now completely exposed and we knew our panties would
soon be next. I tried to raise my legs up and turn on my side but it
didn’t work. I looked over at Janet and her crinoline was over her
head. Janet was completely exposed. She tried to cover her panties
with her hands. We knew that Pete was up there enjoying every second
of our plight, and it made us so mad! My blouse was pulled out of my
skirt and my bra was exposed. My crinoline was up over my head and I
knew my panties were exposed. I had no choice but to do what Janet
was doing. I tried to cover my panties with my hands. We could hear
the men in the upper gallery cheering. When we finally reached the
floor, I fell over. I was pushing my skirt and crinoline down and
tried to get my blouse pushed back inside my skirt.
dizzy, Janet! I’m going to kill that Pete!”
We were quite
wobbly and extremely embarrassed as we stumbled out the door. All we
wanted to do was find a place to sit and recuperate. After that
experience, we decided that if we ever got our composure back, we
would go back to the pavilion. We thought that men had designed that
ride for one purpose only, to get the girls' skirts up, but looking
back, I have to admit it was fun.
We felt better
after a brief rest, so we went back to the pavilion and had fun
dancing with the boys for the rest of the afternoon. We never ran
into Pete again. I think he was avoiding us. I wonder why?
getting late, and we had to leave and catch our train. It was a fun
and exciting time, and these memories of my crinoline days will
always stay strong in my mind.
Love to all, Allison
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