Coney Island Memoirs: Happy Birthday Cyclone and horsing around on the carousel

Gypsy Girl at the Carousel, Coney Island, 1949

Two items from this morning’s stroll through the newspaper brought me back to my Coney Island days. It never takes much! First of all it’s summer – and from my experience that means sand, surf, kids screaming and fond memories of Nathan’s hot dogs! Secondly, since I was born in Coney Island Hospital, I guess the place is just a part of my DNA.

The Huffington Post ran a story about the Cyclone’s 85th birthday. That means that the world’s most famous roller coaster was only four years old when I was born. I was probably not much older than five when I took my first ride up those rickety rails. I was hooked. I was one of those kids who stood up in the front car.

When I first picked up a camera at the age of 15, I headed to Coney Island and straight onto the Cyclone. Here are a few of my early photographs aboard the world’s greatest roller coaster.

Cyclone 1st Climb, 1955
Cyclone 1st Climb, 1955
Girl screaming on Cyclone, 1952
Girl screaming on Cyclone, 1952

The second story came from the Boston Globe about someone in my own backyard. A fellow artist from the neighboring town of Newburyport, Jeff Briggs, has taken the art of carousel horses to a whole new level! The fact is, because of his great imagination and talent, kids can now ride toads, mermaids, herons and eagles.

Still… joy is joy and kids love to ride carousels no matter what creature they’re seated on! Here are a few of my photos from the days when horses were horses!

Reaching for the Brass Ring, Coney Island, 1958
Reaching for the Brass Ring, Coney Island, 1958

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