Now, the fair rides. As mentioned they had a roller coaster, a Toboggan, the kind of small and supremely portable roller coaster that we'd ridden at Lakemont Part in Altoona, and which we saw standing but not operating in Conneaut Lake Park, and which bunny_hugger saw, like, all the time at fairs when she was growing up. It turns out there weren't so many of them made as she imagined, and apparently there's fewer than a dozen known to still exist, so to get to be on one was a great treat. It drew a pretty good line all night, probably because it looked ready to offer a lot of excitement without any really terrifying parts like steep drops or excessive heights. Also each time we got in line they switched from having two ride operators down to one, slowing the ride way down.
The Toboggan was in great shape, though, clean and fresh-painted and with all the lights in good order. All the rides looked like this, really: it was a great-looking set of rides and everything seemed fresh and new. It also had a perfectly horrible claw ride that looked like it grabbed people, turned them upside-down, and slammed them against the ground before tossing them into Eaton County, although this might be hyperbole on my part.
The most notably weird ride we did get on was a Paratrooper ride that didn't just take people in the swings forward on its diagonal loops, but also did a fair cycle in reverse. We'd never seen or heard of a Paratrooper doing this before and who could resist that? The backward cycle is remarkably exciting and novel and goes on just a little bit too long for my tastes, at least. Maybe yours too, if you ever try it. It's unsettling to do for too long.
They also had a neat funhouse, billed as the Cuckoo Haus, with all sorts of Vaguely Bavarian comic folk art for the facade and an audio greeting from a comic German voice and a pretty good set of stunts, including some floor stunts that worked better than normal for this sort of thing.
They had a Matterhorn ride, the Alpine Bobs, but just as we were waiting to get on it the ride operators heard ``something'' in the machinery and brought it to a stop. They said it'd be down for at least a little while, and actually it'd be down the rest of the night, so we missed that. On the other hand, they did have an ice cream stand offering square ice cream cones, like at Kennywood.
The fair didn't seem to have a clearly defined closing hour. I supposed it to be midnight, because a beer tent said it closed at 11 pm. 11 pm would also have been a good guess, but the rides just kept running past that hour and nothing seemed to be shutting down. It was about 11:40 when the ride we were on --- a swings ride --- ended its cycle unusually early and the lights on it went off when we got the hint that maybe they were closing the fair at the traditional hour of twenty minutes to midnight.
We could've used more time there, but when couldn't we say that about most anything?
Trivia: Theodore Roosevelt first spoke of the ``Big Stick'' in a speech at the Minnesota State Fair on 2 September 1901. Source: The Imperial Cruise: A Secret History of Empire and War, James Bradley.
Currently Reading: Viewpoints Critical, L E Modesitt Jr. You know, I could just tell before checking the contents which stories were originally published in Analog, eg, the late 70s story setting up the struggle of a lonely defense attorney trying to save his poor oil-billionaire client against punishment for his tax evasion and oil-legging by seeking a judge who'll buy his claim that it's unconstitutional to have different tariffs for American- and foreign-owned companies. Before you prejudge the conclusion, bear in mind, the attorney has a com-pew-ter to help his jurisdiction-shopping.
PS: Reading the Comics, August 16, 2014: Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal Edition, as that's the comic that got me enough to do a mathematics comics post this month. It's been a slow August.