By Leah Koch

As a rule, I don’t do mushy.

Especially not in front of others.

And especially not while blogging.

It’s like I always say, “Friends don’t let friends blog and get sentimental.”

Okay, I’m kidding. I think we all know I’ve had a few sappy blog posts.

So, what’s one more mushy story?

Let me set the scene for you: Yesterday we placed the final piece of track for our new Thunderbird steel roller coaster. (Fun Fact: yesterday was also the one-year HoliVersary of James, our VP of Development & Maintenance. We think he intentionally scheduled that one.)

James did his usual interview for the Hard Hat Chronicles with Stephen (he’s the man behind the Hard Hat Chronicles).

Lauren and I then headed over to the construction site for interviews, which we nailed.

By saying we nailed our interviews, I actually mean Stephen had a lot of work to do with editing. Sorry Stephen!

After we finished our interviews, Lauren and I took a second to admire the unbroken ribbon of orange track winding through the woods before heading back.

Thunderbird, Voyage, Trees

Looking at the full coaster for the first time and seeing the elements pop in and out of the woods reminded me of just how proud my dad would be if he could see what we’re doing.

And that we’re three weeks ahead of schedule.

My train of thought was suddenly interrupted by a song playing over the radio: “Come Together” by the Beatles.

For those who don’t know, my dad was a HUGE Beatles fan. He was also an avid bass player, and “Come Together” was one of his favorite songs to play (Lauren actually hated the song for a considerable amount of time simply because Dad used to practice within earshot during homework and sleeping hours).

I looked at Lauren with a laugh and commented, “How appropriate.”

Last Piece of Thunderbird Track

We listened for a moment and smiled.

I think it’s exactly the song Dad would have picked for such an occasion.

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11 Responses to ““He roller coaster, he got early warning””

  1. Scott

    I got chills from not only your photos, but also your reflections while touring the now completed track. Something tells me any father would be proud of a shiny new B&M, and especially the job your doing at Holiday World. Maybe “Twist and Shout” will be on the radio later this spring when you drive over for the first test ride.
    Keep the photos coming! We love them in Orlando.

  2. Becky hill

    WTG girls! Great song chosen your dad was looking down with a great big smile. He is so proud.

  3. Nancy and John Beachler

    Leah and Lauren,
    You two girls are certainly doing a great job and we know your dad is so very proud of all of you. God has prevailed over the last few years of struggles but has put all of you in charge in carrying out His will. Your mom will be there to support you and your dad will always be there looking over your shoulder. (In a good way) keep us all in touch.
    Your relatives up north. Blessing to you and have a wonderful Christmas.

  4. Shane

    Can we get some hints on what the ride will be. My guess is Sparkler and it will be renamed Flying Turkeys

  5. John

    Your father would be IMCREDIBLY proud! You girls had gigantic shoes to fill and your filling them quite nicely! It’s in your blood and it’s quite obvious! Fantastic job you are both doing! Such an awesome story and thanks so much for sharing!!

  6. Nathan Slater

    I just really feel this post. I lost my father very unexpectedly in June shortly after returning from Holliwood Nights. My dad was not a big theme park guy but he did always love holiday world! I think it may have been the free soda and cheap food mainly. 😉 but that said my partner and I just bought a house together and I just can’t help but miss my father and wonder what he would think of all the changes. Hard to believe its been six months already since I lost my father. Time gets funny when you lose someone you love. I met your dad only once but I know he’d love everything you’re doing! You all were left with big shoes to fill when he passed but it seems to me you’re growing into them! I llook forward to coming and visiting again in 2015 and you know I’m gonna dedicate my first ride on Thunderbird to both our dads wherever they may be. 🙂

  7. Steven Lamb

    Come together is my favorite song to play on my bass. For14 years I was a youth pastor and bass player at a church in Illinois and we played a parody of come together during services. It was fun. Our youth group would go to holiday world at least once a year during the summer. Best park in midwest. So family friendly.