On a sunny day in summer, amusement parks are feasts for the senses—the colorful game booths, the smell of popcorn and waffle cones, the chill of slushies, the whoosh of wind through your hair, and delighted screams as coasters drop. This past Saturday, even though it was only spring, and the day was quiet, gray, and rainy, Lake Compounce Family Theme Park in Bristol, Connecticut, was as inviting as always.
Cyclone was a roller coaster at Six Flags New England, in Agawam, Massachusetts. It first opened in 1983 when I was twelve and the park was called Riverside. Cyclone was the park’s main attraction. It was wooden and clanky, but always a great ride. When I grew up, I rode it with my own kids. Sure, the paint was peeling, and it was showing its age, and most park guests bypassed it for newer, slicker rides. But I still loved it.