Thank you for the days, those endless days, those sacred days you gave me
When Cedar Point announced they'd be closing Mean Streak they said it wouldn't be closing at the end of the season. There would be a closing and retirement ceremony in September. We got to drop in on Cedar Point the day of the announcement. But it was nearly certain we'd go back to the park for the last day of the ride. So we did. We made a day trip of it. The closing day would be a Friday in September, when the park normally is open only from 5 pm to midnight. We could make that, especially if we left the park before closing.
The park properly opened at 6 pm, but season passholders could get in at 5, and who wouldn't get there at 5 for a last ride on a roller coaster, even if it was a much-maligned roller coaster? ... That would be people who read the announcements and knew that Mean Streak would run only from 6 pm to 7 pm. Well, any chance to get to the park. We parked up front, none too far from the front gate, and set off towards Mean Streak at the far back of the park. During walking we realized we'd probably have been better off going to the hotel or water park parking lots and entering by the hotel gate. Just because we go to a lot of amusement parks doesn't mean we don't make little mistakes.
But walking from the front entrance did let us see the gravestone readied for Mean Streak. Cedar Point's had a tradition of putting up markers and memorials for its ``deceased'' rides, as part of the Halloweekends theming. They had some space set aside for Mean Streak, and a quite suggestive one at that. Everyone figures Mean Streak's superstructure is being refitted into a new roller coaster, although it hasn't yet been announced what. Incredibly, even still. (It's going to be something named Vicious Streak, I figure, but it ought to be named Winning Streak instead.)
And we discovered something new along the way. Something new just since our visit the previous month. Outside the Casino arcade they had a Laffin Sal. Just like at Kennywood. It's a life-sized mannequin-style figure of a woman that just ... shakes, and laughs. The amount of shaking and the intensity of the laughing keep changing, but it keeps going on. Cedar Point used to have a Laffin Sal, back when they had dark rides and funhouses and the like. They don't anymore, though, and the question is: is this their old Laffin Sal? Or did they buy one from another park? Or is somebody making new old-style Laffin Sals? There's no indication on the actual item. Could be any of these possibilities. There's no need for the Laffin Sal, mind you, but it fits Cedar Point's current effort to fill the park with more little amusements. Things that aren't big thrill rides but that are fun to run across. And an endlessly laughing human-shaped figure in a glass box is one of those things now.
Since Mean Streak wasn't to start running until 6:00 we went to Maverick, which is nearby it and which we hadn't gotten to this season. It's a ride that always gets a huge queue. Early-admission Friday during the Halloweekends season would probably be our best chance to get on it and so it was. Beautiful, clear, warm day, not too long a line, and I could swear I saw Mean Streak running before its appointed hour. But I have a mental block about that; I always think I see Mean Streak running on Halloweekend Fridays, even though it was never open Fridays. Only select rides were open for those and Mean Streak never made the cut. I suppose I won't have this precise same problem next year.
Trivia: The Space Shuttle Main Engines for the first launch of Columbia were serial numbers 2007 (for engine 1), 2006 (for engine 2), and 2005 (for engine 3). Engine 1 fired for 519.42 seconds; engine 2 for 519.56; engine 3 for 519.68 seconds.
Source: Space Shuttle: The History of the National Space Transportation System: The First 100 Missions, Dennis R Jenkins.
Currently Reading: Groovy Science, Editor David Kaiser, W Patrick McCray.
Reading the Comics, December 10, 2016: E = mc^2 Edition, for the comics-reader among you.