Last summer, we got a call from a travel writer with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Tom and I had been in touch for several years and it was great to know he planning to drive the three hours to visit us.
Tom was particularly fun to walk with around the park. He was fascinated by Zinga, and took lots of photos of those clover-leaf inner tubes plunging into the enormous pink and blue funnel.
When it came time to look at our coasters, I offered him a ride.
I’ll never forget his answer: “I’ll ride them as long as you hold my hand.” Will Koch was with us and we had a good yuck. Will knows what a coward I am and that I’d be no comfort whatsoever to someone who was a bit nervous about riding a top-ranked coaster.
We decided to ride The Raven first, since it’s not as long or fast as The Legend. Tom deferred to me for advice when I asked where to sit. I like the front, because you get the best view. The back, though, provides the wildest ride. The back seat it was.
As previously mentioned, I’m a chicken and a screamer. Doesn’t matter how many times I’ve ridden, I still render my riding partner temporarily deaf. It’s downright humiliating.
Tom and I hooted and hollered over the hills of The Raven. He grinned as he wiped a few drops of sweat (or were they tears?) away. And we headed down the hill to The Legend. He talked me into grabbing another backseat ride. We screamed ourselves hoarse.
As we lurched into the brake run at the end of the ride, two teenage girls (with fabulous long, blond “coaster hair”—sorry I caught my hand in it, dear) sitting in front of us were still squealing. One shouted to the other, “That was awful – let’s ride it again!”
Late last summer, the Post-Dispatch ran Tom’s inviting travel article about his trip to southern Indiana. And in case you’re wondering, he never did hold my hand.