bunny_hugger got the shocking news by Facebook, before she got out of bed and while I was showering. It was about Cedar Point. Their larger wooden roller coaster, the Mean Streak, had been subject of rumors for years that it was to be torn down. bunny_hugger had a feeling this might be its last season. And that early August day Cedar Point made the announcement official. Mean Streak was to close in about six weeks, and would be replaced by --- well, they didn't say. They still haven't. We have some good guesses, must be said. She told me of this as I showered, and when I saw MWS and K getting packed up and ready to drive home I told them. She'd gotten the news from them, which is just how news gets passed around anymore.
bunny_hugger and I had planned to stop in at Cedar Point on the way back. It's a pretty good halfway point between Pittsburgh and Lansing. MWS and K weren't going to be able to; I forget what drew them home sooner than we could. We'd just figured we would poke around, see what maybe might be easy to get to. Now we'd have a specific objective. We hugged MWS and K and spoke of how we'd meet up with them later. MWS at pinball events; K, who knows?
We don't make trips to Cedar Point in August, ordinarily, because the park is packed that time of year. I think the only August visits we've made to it have been on the way to or from Pennsylvania parks. It was a Tuesday and one of a stretch of pretty nice days but the park was still fairly busy. We stopped in for a bit of pinball, first, in the Casino Arcade since why skip that if we don't have to? I think that both Hercules machines, the oversized-yet-disappointing pinballs, were working, a bit of a novelty.
While walking back to Mean Streak --- it's at the far end of the point from the main parking lot --- we happened to go into a gift shop we normally ignore. It's the one opposite the Top Thrill Dragster, the 400-foot-tall roller coaster that's just a rapid climb and no-slower drop. It's fun but not a favorite of ours. So we jus didn't pay attention to the gift shop opposite it since we figured, what would be there but Top Thrill Dragster merchandise?
And the answer is: a lot of ride T-shirts. One for all of the roller coasters, in fact. Also patches, of the kind you can sew onto vests or the like. Also keychains. We would buy stuff for some of our favorite rides, including Mean Streak. We did note that sure, Cedar Point declares the end of one of our favorite rides there but at least they got us to give them a bucket of money for it. They had shirts for all the roller coasters, I believe, even the minor ones like the Woodstock Express kiddie coaster. Who could imagine? I got a Mean Streak and one for Corkscrew, which we've gotten to appreciate so much more in the last few years.
Despite the announcement Mean Streak didn't have a huge line. Possibly the news hadn't got out very far. Maybe six weeks out is too far for people to think of their last chances on a ride. The ride operator did share the news with people when we got to the station, surprising quite a few people. I noticed for the first time I remember this sign at the control booth. It was for Mean Streak Henry, one of those specific-ride enthusiasts, who'd had 15,000 rides on it between the ride's open in 1991 and the 27th of September, 2015. We did have to wonder what would happen to Henry, and to the other bits of decoration for the ride.
Mean Streak officially has (had) a ride photo, but we've never seen the photo booth open. It wasn't open that day either. We found Mean Streak merchandise in all the shops we poked into. It would all be gone by the next time we visited the park.
We'd figured to spend maybe an hour or two in the park. Amazingly, the little bit of stuff we'd done --- one or two pinball games, some gift shop browsing, and walking to the far end of Cedar Point and then back again --- too up the two hours we had to spare. So tempting as it was to get in another ride or two we didn't; we got back to the highway.
We had reasons. We wanted to get back to bunny_hugger's parents, so we could pick our pet rabbit up. And we couldn't keep them waiting to all hours of the night, not decently. They were in good shape, and seemed fascinated by all our talk about Pinburgh and what the experience was and how much everything we did. And our pet rabbit was in good shape.
We got home, and wondered at how intense the past week had been, and how we were supposed to go on to an ordinary old average Wednesday after that.
Trivia: The first ``flow director'', the single manager overseeing an entire space shuttle between landing of one mission and launch of another, was Bob Sieck, overseeing the April 1983 launch of Challenger, the sixth space shuttle launch. Source: A History of the Kennedy Space Center, Kenneth Lipartito, Orville R Butler.
Currently Reading: Classics Illustrated: A Cultural History, William B Jones Jr.
PS: The End 2016 Mathematics A To Z: Hat, in which my attempt to write something quick and little and easy takes 1400 words somehow.