Saturday, August 07, 2010

Joyland 4ever

Before I post my trip memories (and there are SO many) I wanted to give a shout out to the ghost in the room, who could not attend due to Wichita's lack of interest in its true, best history: So much has been torn down and forgotten. So much has been homogenized. I raise a tiny fist against replacement windows (in honor of my sis) and the Fake Old in Oldtown. I hate you! Mostly Wichita, I spit in your general direction (collectively) for not dedicating your whole heart to bringing the magic of Joyland Amusement Park back to life.

Joyland features one of the oldest working (?) wooden roller coasters in the country. See below.

Don't miss the special irony of this video being shot on my 18th birthday. Can you say sentimental value?? If you've ever ridden the Cyclone in Coney Island (a superior ride, but similar visceral experience), you have a sense of its awesomeness. What makes it special, however, is its general lack on maintenance, which makes the whole thing creak and sway as you ride it. Imagine the terror! It was a wonderful ride and it is a sad loss.

The Wacky Shack is hard to describe. Watch it here:

You have to really pay attention to the silences, I'm afraid. No video can really reproduce the freakyness of the Wacky Shack. It is weirdly quiet, with bursts of loud honks and mental instability that few haunted rides can boast. It is minutes of uncertainty in the dark.


Here is Louie, hatless.

It is hard to describe how terrifying this clown is. People with fear of clowns no doubt have formative experiences such as this: entering your first amusement park, filled with wonder and some worry (what is an amusement park? will I be hurt? or amused?) and you see this sight, a capering animatronic clown playing an organ. And no matter how many fun rides you partake of (the roller coaster, the wacky shack, the train that rides past piles of forgotten litter) the memory of that herky jerky clown lingers. In your life as a Wichita youth, it is the one thing that binds you all, whether nerd or not, you all can share that one memory together: Remember the clown? Remember? *shiver shiver shiver*

Help Joyland come back to life! Louie awaits patiently, motionless but forever staring, packed away safely to be brought back to his post at the entrance of Joyland to greet and terrify new generations of Wichitans. The facebook page is here.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't understand why Joyland was drivin into the ground by the city council and it's heartbreaking. Rori would love that place! It's also the opposite of what they should be doing to revitalize that part of town.


10:43 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home