The ride operators and the game concessions were owned and operated by two different companies, and over the course of the summer, there was considerable "fraternizing" between the two. We got to know each other well, and as they were paid by the hour, they didn't mind if we rode the rides. (Concessionaires were paid on commission, which was a very different situation. Now that I look back, I am sort of surprised that the ride operators didn't demand some "free games" from us, but I don't recall that ever happening. We earned 25% of what we brought in and were paid in cash, every Friday, based on what was turned in each evening in our apron. I was stationed in the "balloon game" which cost 25 cents for three darts. I made about $50 per week, a reasonable wage for a kid in 1969!!)
Jantzen Amusement Park had this incredible, world famous wooden roller coaster, and I probably rode it at least once nearly every day that summer. The eighteen year old me was fearless, and loved that old roller coaster with a passion, especially if I was riding with my favorite beau that summer (another concession worker, of course!)
With two hour dinner breaks, we had plenty of time to visit the rides, and still eat something, before we had to return to work.
The photo to above is of the first big "dip" and when I found this online, it brought back vivid memories of more than 40 years ago, and the feeling in the pit of my stomach when we crested the top before the descent.
Which all brings me back to the reason for this ramble down memory lane this morning.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about my recovery being like a roller coaster. At that time, I was seemingly stuck in the ascent portion of the journey, slowly heading up the hill, with the thrilling downhill ride few and far between. It felt like each day was a continual struggle, and it was all uphill!
I was reminded by a fellow blogger a couple days ago about the difference in the past week, and it brought back for me the roller coaster image. These days, the ride is up and down, with some definite struggles, but many more "whee" moments when I'm feeling like I'm flying downhill. I'm smiling more and I'm feeling like my old self again more often than not. I saw both of my regular physical therapists this week, and both of them commented on how much better I look, as in I have this happy countenance that is shining through.
Am I walking normally yet? Nope. Still slow and careful; still using a cane for short jaunts or the walker for longer ones. Am I pain free? Definite nope! Both PT's really worked my knee over this week, as I am still struggling to straighten it out. But, my bend is now 118 degrees! Last night I told Mindy, "No! I don't want to get to 120, because then I won't get to come to Physical Therapy!"
She laughed and said, "Well, we'll just change your goal to 133, OK?"
I know it seems strange to want to go to PT and be in pain, but I have had the absolute best experience and I appreciate how hard they make me work. While I am faithful to do the exercises at home, it isn't the same as when someone is watching me, checking my form, and encouraging me to push just a little harder, and increase my range of motion.
This morning, I timed myself doing the "laying down" exercises, and discovered it takes a little over 30 minutes. I needed to know, as I am pretty sure I'll still be needing to do those exercises when I'm back to work and no longer "on vacation", in order to not lose the range I've gained. When I'm finished here, I'll hop on the stationary bike and ride the 17 minutes I've worked myself up to, and complete the various "standing/upright" exercises. The cool thing about all these routines I've developed is that it's a habit now; just a regular part of my day. Wow, back in the habit of daily exercise. That's a bonus for me!
Photos found at: http://www.rollercoastersofthepacificnw.com/pages/jantzen.html