Sunday, August 24, 2014

Stricker's Grove

 Yesterday Tom and I had the pleasure of joining his friends, Nan and David, for an afternoon of fun and relaxation at Stricker's Grove. It's a 25 acre amusement park in Ross, Ohio, closed to the public for most of the year, but available for rent by various groups. Nan's an employee of TriHealth of Cincinnati and this was their annual company get-together.

 I drove to Tom's apartment, parked my car there and then he drove to Stricker's for our 1 pm meeting time. It was a hot, humid day with billowing cumulus clouds that threatened rain ... but never did. When we first got there, attendance was fairly light.

Attendance was light at 1 pm ... but the event lasted until 7 pm
It was crowded by mid-afternoon

David (l) and Tom eat the traditional snow cones upon arriving
All of the food (except ice cream) was free

Gift baskets were available for raffle; you tried for one by leaving a ticket in a bag
for a 4:15 pm drawing

Which to try for? Nan settled for an Italian-themed basket of goodies 

Large grills cook burgers by the hundreds producing a thick smoke screen
They had veggie burgers .. charcoal-grilled and delicious 

We first walked through a line, picked up a plate, napkin and fork and then cold, salad items
Well, the barbecue beans weren't cold when we started but they were when we got to a table

Tom's on the opposite side of the tables from me but doing an exceptional job of loading up 

Food's eaten ... now it's time to check out the amusement rides 

Saw this T-shirt on a female attendant at one of the rides and liked the sentiment
The shirt was for the Honor Flight, serving WWII veterans

First ride, Tilt-A-Whirl
Tom (l-r), Nan, David - I didn't ride on any of the rides 

Lines for various rides were long - this one for the Tilt-A-Whirl 

The "Electric Rainbow" - only Nan rode this one (alone)

"The Tornado" roller coaster

  Construction began in 1990 and was completed in 1993. This wooden roller coaster was "designed by Al Collins and built by Ralph Stricker". According to the amusement park's website, "Ralph Stricker is the only person in the Unites States to build his own roller coaster".

Nan (l) and Tom were the only two of our group brave enough to take a ride on The Tornado
Here they walk to the line where they'll wait their turn 

Shade was at a premium in the park

 I checked the weather radar on my cell phone and found all was clear. Mid-afternoon they gave the temperature as 87° and added "feels like 98°". I believe it. It was a sweltering afternoon, almost too hot to be outside.

Tom and Nan near the top of the biggest drop-off on The Tornado 

And then fall full speed ahead 

This bubbling fountain was the coolest sight in the park 

I watched parents walk up to the fountain, hold small children over the water as the kids paddled in mid-air like dogs. Other adults dipped their own fingers into the water to clean them ... perhaps to remove residue from the free cotton candy?

Nan and Tom once worked together at The Jewish Hospital in Cincinnati.
It's good to see friendships that mature, then last 

A final ride on the Tilt-A-Whirl
Tom and Nan didn't stay off the rides for long

 We left about 4:15 pm and Tom and I arrived back at his apartment about 5 pm. On the way there we stopped at a roadside stand and bought a whole watermelon ($6). It was the seeded variety. "I think they taste better," said Tom. I brought half of it home.
 Traffic wasn't too heavy driving north on I-75. I passed through three showers, one fairly heavy.
 It was a nice day with new friends and a pleasant place to share the time with.
 Thanks, Tom, for asking me; Thanks Nan and David for asking us.

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