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  • Jason Inanga

Jason's Jive: September 2019

Good day, my dear reader. Please forgive my forgetfulness. I did indicate that I would share my amusement park experience with you. Careful what you get yourself into. As you read on, you will understand what I am talking about. The fear and respect of roller coasters at amusement parks is a true sign of wisdom.

Flashback to 1980. We had just left the political turmoil in Kingston, Jamaica, and were in transition in Boston, MA. One Sunday while we were there, we were taken to Whalum Park, outside of Boston, my first ever experience at an amusement park at ten years old. I was thrilled…did the bumper cars, a merry-go-round, and one or two rides. Then we (me, myself, and everything in my body and soul) hit the brakes. Roller coaster! Never been on one before, so in the spirit of adventure, I went on one, and that was where my trip to Whalum Park ended. I will spare you the details of my fright.

May of 2019, my daughter Jada was going with her graduating middle school class to Hershey Park. I had just flown in the day before from Europe where I went to see my father, who was on his deathbed. So I felt going on the trip would be a nice way to take my mind off the situation with my dad.

We got to Hershey Park, and I was as excited as the kids. This was the first time I was ever going on a class trip with any of my children (demands of work just never allowed it previously). We went through the rules, split up in groups, and then went on to explore.

We approached a building that I took to be something like a maze with mirrors. I asked another parent from my group what it was, and he wasn’t sure either. We went inside and boarded a cart. I should have backed out then. But because I couldn’t hear any screams, I figured it was an ok ride. Oh my! This apparently was an indoor roller coaster ride. The other parent (Gladstone James, please do not tell our friends how I screamed…lol). He was relaxed and laughing while I screamed and shouted in genuine fear. He had fun laughing at me. He was amazed at all the things I said. As soon as the ride ended, I composed myself and told the leader of the group I was finished with rides for the day. I volunteered to be the person carrying all the bags.

It took me 39 years to go back on a roller coaster, not even a big one, and I reminded myself I got to respect my limits.

I looked on at amazement the rest of the day as young and old people lined up to go on roller coaster rides you CANNOT pay me to go on. Some light humor, I believe all those who love roller coaster rides are wired differently. That stuff is torture.

Dear reader, now I am reminded why amusement parks are not for everyone….I got my reminder in May.

And to my good friend in Beltsville, Kiiza, who has been trying to get me to go sky diving…that is definitely not happening any time soon. I am a Christian, and the only time I will go up in the sky is at the end of time to meet Jesus. Until then, I am perfectly okay on the ground. Have a great month and, yeah, it is about that time when we got to start raking the falling leaves.

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