By Paula @ Holiday World
Published

Today, we introduce our PR intern, Leah, as a guest HoliBlogger.

Leah will be a junior this fall at Indiana University; she's majoring in journalism.

…she has an interesting "sister" to tell you about.

Mom used to joke that this park was “the other woman” when it came to my dad.

Being Will Koch, my dad sort of had a lot of work to do on a daily basis: planning and arranging for the next five to ten years, keeping things going smoothly daily, not to mention his regular walks around the park. When he greeted guests in the morning and closed the park at night, we occasionally went an entire day without seeing him, but we always got to tease him for it.

Anyway, if Holiday World was indeed “the other woman” then I can’t help but notice he had three “babies” (just as his three babies in real life: my brother, my sister and me).These “babies,” of course, “wood” be: The Raven, The Legend, and The Voyage. That would make these coasters my half-siblings.

Leah and her "sister coaster" I prefer, however, not to think of these “babies” as being a separate family. I like to think of Holiday World as some sort of unconventional extension of my family (of course, the staff is already my family, but I’m talking about rides, slides, the kitten who returns to Hoosier Theater every winter, etc., in this case). Basically everything in the park is somehow a part of my family, but those coasters held a special place in my father’s heart, which makes these coasters my siblings.

As the middle child, I prefer the “middle coaster”: The Legend. My Aunt Barbara would likely add at this point a comment that the middle children tend to be the easy-going ones (though I believe our coaster maintenance technicians might disagree).

After my visit to The Legend earlier this season, I feel comfortable stating that the Legend is a true middle child. The Legend is riding so smoothly this season and the double helix has really clicked.

You know, the two of us sort of matured together: from my childhood days of the Legend’s original painful lap bars (anyone remember Legend Legs?), to the ride's current older, wiser–yet still awesome–controlled excitement (have I mentioned I’m humble?).

For anyone who hasn’t ridden The Legend, or for those who haven’t paid attention, The Legend grew around the existing park, and has since allowed the park to grow around it. From its early days dwarfing Frightful Falls and providing a lovely (albeit noisy) background to our Dive stage, to the growth of Splashin’ Safari through and around the Legend, it has threaded Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari together. I would say The Legend and I share this rooting in the park.

I grew up in Holiday World, and I remember realizing I could no longer ride the “little kid rides.” I had my first job here. At the age of 20, and five departments later, I get to watch the park continue to grow around me. Most importantly, I think the both of us are here for a long time. The Legend certainly won’t be going anywhere anytime soon and I have always loved Holiday World too much to plan a future anywhere else. I always planned to come back and help run Holiday World one day and with the recent death of my father I want to more than ever.

I should add that I only recently realized this subconscious closeness to The Legend when Alex, one of my many wonderful managers in Rides, commented that The Legend was sort of the red-headed stepchild of the three coasters. After clarifying that he has always been sort of partial to The Legend, I realized I was getting ready to be deeply offended that Alex might prefer another coaster in our park. It was only as I told another boss of mine (you get a lot when you work in so many departments) about my “sister coaster” that I realized we shared so many personality traits.

 Leah blows a kiss to her "sister coaster"But I’m not entirely sure I can attribute my love of The Legend solely to our commonality. Any time I walk through the park or ride any of the coasters; I can’t help but feel just a little bit closer to my dad.

The Legend, however, is extra special for me. I remember Dad picking us up at school one day, insisting that we come to the park to watch The Legend. It was almost ready for riders. (I was not going to ride—I was having coaster issues at the time). It was close, but not quite ready. The train needed to go a few more times around without riders. I had to go to karate. I remember, though, as soon as I finished karate, I got to go back to the park. Just to watch, though. After watching Dad go around one time… and return, Dad persuaded me to try it.

I don’t think I’ll ever forget riding my first ride on The Legend with my dad.

It was just me, my dad, and my sister coaster.

 

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3 Responses to “When your sister is … a roller coaster”

  1. Anonymous

    What an awesome blog. Made me tear up. My dad too has passed and it is nice to have special times that make you feel him near you. I gotta get on this coaster soon! Is there a child holding area so mom and dad can ride when the littles are too short? Thanks for sharing!

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