Pittsburgh area man organizes rally for Geauga Lake's Big Dipper

Posted Thursday, April 23, 2009 10:57 AM | Contributed by Jeff

David Mitchell of Cranberry, PA has organized what he is calling a "town hall meeting" to celebrate the Big Dipper at noon Saturday at the Veterans of Foreign Wars across the road from the former Geauga Lake Park in Aurora. It's for people to share memories of the park and the ride. Two experts on coasters will speak.

Read more from The Post-Gazette.

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Monday, April 27, 2009 4:25 PM

You are hearing things because no one suggested you were a bad enthusiast, you just acted like someone was suggesting you of that because you wanted to bait Ensign into a debate. I'm simply calling it as I see it.

In a strange way, it does feel nice to know I was missed.

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Monday, April 27, 2009 4:53 PM

wahoo skipper said:
I don't think losing the coaster is any more or less painful than losing the park. If you are a fan of amusement parks and appreciate their history then you have to be at least a little saddened by the passing of this park.

Well Rob, in this case you would be seeing it wrong. I believe this was the statement that initiated Jeff's responses. And it looks to me like there's a sentiment there that suggests in order to be an amusement park fan and have an appreciation for their histories, then you must be sad about this park/coaster.

Jeff isn't seeing, hearing, or creating anything in order to spark a debate from where I sit.

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Monday, April 27, 2009 5:34 PM

Actually Carrie, Jeff's comment was directed towards Ensign Smith's comment-- they are the two last comments on pg 2 of this thread. And Jeff was the first to use the term "bad enthusiast."

Jeff may not be sparking a debate, but in his multiple posts on this thread he says he was never interested in Geauga Lake and doesn't care what happens to Big Dipper. Seven posts to keep repeating one doesn't care-- go figure. Fine. I'll take his word for it. I have no argument there. However, my inference from his posts is that because he doesn't think it's important, it shouldn't be important to anybody. Because he doesn't think it's important, the only people to whom it is important are small negligible unimportant people. If he doesn't care, that's his prerogative, but he doesn't have to belittle the people who do.

Yes, a definite plan of action to save this coaster would be nice (by those so inclined). It's difficult to formulate a plan though, when you don't know the name of the owner you'd be dealing with, what arrangement they have with the land owner (Cedar Fair), what the current unknown owners' plans are, and how much money would be needed to enact the plan.

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Monday, April 27, 2009 5:54 PM

RatherGoodBear said:
Yes, a definite plan of action to save this coaster would be nice (by those so inclined). It's difficult to formulate a plan though, when you don't know the name of the owner you'd be dealing with, what arrangement they have with the land owner (Cedar Fair), what the current unknown owners' plans are, and how much money would be needed to enact the plan.

Don't know the owners? Check.

Don't know the current arrangement the ride owner has with the land owner? Check.

Don't even know what the plans are for the coaster? Check.

No idea what the costs involved are? Check.

Still trying to make noise and get involved in something you know nothing about and have no part of? Check.

Am I the only one who sees it? If you're that far removed from the situation, what business do you have trying to involve yourself? It just feels meddlesome and icky to me.

If you were serious about creating as plan and trying to ensure the coaster is 'saved' then should you know these things?

...or at least know some of them?

...or know even just one of them?

This is where you lose me. Regardless of my own feelings on the ride or preservation or whatever, this just doesn't add up, feel right or seem useful to anyone.

Or to repeat my less technical terms - meddlesome and icky. :)

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Monday, April 27, 2009 5:55 PM
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Monday, April 27, 2009 6:29 PM

It is apparent that the webmaster does not care, and that is perfectly fine. Although why someone who caters to amusement park enthusiasts, has several websites geared toward amusement parks, and weekly podcasts regarding things going on in the amusement industry doesn’t care even a little bit is something Ill never understand.

Anyway as said in a previous post many things went on at the event and many key players were brought together. Lots of folks like to bitch about the current goings on in Aurora, but a few people actually did something about it. We are not guaranteeing anything will come of it but at least we can say we tried.

I will say that Lord Gonchars checklist looks similar to ours and many have already been checked.

Last edited by coasterdad!, Monday, April 27, 2009 6:34 PM
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Monday, April 27, 2009 6:58 PM

RatherGoodBear said:
Actually Carrie, Jeff's comment was directed towards Ensign Smith's comment-- they are the two last comments on pg 2 of this thread. And Jeff was the first to use the term "bad enthusiast."


Hey, far be it for me to try to explain what people were really trying to say in their posts.

But the thread I read had wahoo skipper offering the statements I referenced and Jeff responding in a way that Ensign disagreed with and therefore their chat began.

Perhaps there is a history here that goes beyond this thread?

coasterdad! said:

(Please see second sentence above...)

Don't you think statements like this one may be where the idea that folks who don't care about expired coasters/parks are tagged as "bad enthusiasts" comes from?

Why is there such an expectation that people who enjoy amusement parks and coasters have to engage in the idea of saving them or resurrecting them? Regardless of the level of attraction, I think it's reasonable to be ok with things having had their time and then moving on.

And if we could stay away from comparing expired coasters and parks to the loss of loved ones, I would really appreciate it. It strikes a difficult chord with me and I don't really see the need for that connection.

Edited because the copy/paste feature is still a bit challenged around here...

Last edited by Carrie M., Monday, April 27, 2009 7:01 PM
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Monday, April 27, 2009 6:59 PM

I am completely pulling for whatever preservation plan emerges to succeed. I think the cards are stacked against the attempt to save this particular coaster, but then again stranger things have happened. Even if it fails, at the least the people involved won't have to wonder, "What if we had tried harder?"

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Monday, April 27, 2009 7:14 PM

coasterdad! said:
It is apparent that the webmaster does not care, and that is perfectly fine. Although why someone who caters to amusement park enthusiasts, has several websites geared toward amusement parks, and weekly podcasts regarding things going on in the amusement industry doesn’t care even a little bit is something Ill never understand.

There you go, Rob. If Carrie's quote wasn't enough, or the dozens over the last two years (more if you want to throw in the Conneaut Lake "drama"), is this one enough?

If I sound like a broken record, it's not because I want everyone to know how little I care, it's because I'm tired of hearing about people who do care who don't take any action. Action, activist, they all say act, so who is going to act?

At least the drone is no longer accompanied by ridiculous conspiracy theories.

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Monday, April 27, 2009 7:16 PM

Carrie M. said:


And if we could stay away from comparing expired coasters and parks to the loss of loved ones, I would really appreciate it. It strikes a difficult chord with me and I don't really see the need for that connection.

For someone who act so tough around here, you sure are sensitive sometimes. I, for one, have fallen in love with a few coasters in my life. If they were to be closed and/or demolished, I would really feel just about the same sense of loss that I would feel if a good friend had died.

Steel Phantom comes to mind. I was at kennywood near the end of SP's last season, and after my last ride, I got a little teary-eyed. I knew that it was goofy to feel that way, and I did chuckle a little to myself, but I still felt a loss...They led everyone into thinking that the ride was going to be torn down completely, but the story had a happy ending after all.

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Monday, April 27, 2009 7:17 PM

There was this Amusement park back in the late 50's that was on the verge of disappearing. A Toledo man became interested in the land this park was on and wanted to turn it into a large upscale residential community. The community and the state got involved and saved the park, that park is now called Cedar Point.


As much as some people don’t understand that attraction to their home park, I think it’s safe to say that most here are glad that Cedar Point was saved. I think what’s left of Geauga Lake and especially Big Dipper deserves that same chance.

***Coasterdad - who is happy to be upgraded to a drone now instead of a troll.

Last edited by coasterdad!, Monday, April 27, 2009 7:20 PM
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Monday, April 27, 2009 7:29 PM

Jeff said:
At least the drone is no longer accompanied by ridiculous conspiracy theories.


Why even bait this sort of argument? No one needs that, again. Especially with Rob on the prowl.

Carrie M. said:
And if we could stay away from comparing expired coasters and parks to the loss of loved ones, I would really appreciate it.

I don't think we can stay away from those comparisons Carrie, sorry. Especially since there are so many memories associated with loved ones, living and passed, that have emanated from that park and others.

Last edited by d_port_12E, Monday, April 27, 2009 7:31 PM
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Monday, April 27, 2009 8:01 PM

d_port_12E said:

I don't think we can stay away from those comparisons Carrie, sorry.

Ok.

LostKause said:
For someone who act so tough around here, you sure are sensitive sometimes.

Actually, more often than not I describe myself as sensitive. And as for acting tough, well, I don't see it. But that you do, probably speaks to your own stuff more than mine.

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Monday, April 27, 2009 8:28 PM

I'll admit that I act tough too, and I am pretty sensitive about certain subjects. I didn't mean any offense. I was trying to be friendly in my own stupid way. (Insert goofy face icon!)

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Monday, April 27, 2009 8:40 PM

You know, I really hate where this thread has gone. For whatever part I've played in bringing it to this point, I wish I hadn't involved myself. But I'm not going to throw any more fuel on the fire.

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Monday, April 27, 2009 8:42 PM

^that's usually my job around there parts! ;)

And Carrie isn't tough...but she sure has a sick sense of humor! lol

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Monday, April 27, 2009 8:43 PM

I think you're all a little goofy. :)

Personally, I can't even begin to understand an emotional attachment to an object.

In that sense, I think comparing a roller coaster to a loved one is just creepy and shows a real lack of perspective.

However, an attachment to memories associated with is understandable even if it is a futile pursuit. The object's existence doesn't validate the memories and it's removal wouldn't negate them. In that case I don't understand the need for the object to exist either. I suspect some people confuse their attachment to memories with attachment to the object. (which is not the same as feeling for a loved one) I guess I'm not one for sentimental value.

And even if I were, I still know the difference between sentimental value and real world value. When it comes to items or businessess or business items, sentimental value isn't enough. There's has to be real world value and so far it doesn't seem like anyone thinks there is in this case.

No matter how I try to rationalize the situation, I just can't understand caring if a roller coaster gets torn down or not.

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Monday, April 27, 2009 8:53 PM

I guess I see it this way. Without the big dipper...we wouldn't have the technology or the wooden coasters we have today.

Without John A. Miller we wouldn't have guys from GCII or Gravity Group around to design these top notch coasters we see today.

I suppose it is a lesson in our history of a subject we know and care so much about. If we didn't care about our passion, it wouldn't be a passion would it? We just wouldn't ride or visit parks.

I suppose one might be more attached to the memories surrounding their visit(s) to a certain park, growing up there, going with past family members and so on.

I didn't ride Dipper much but it was a fantastic coaster filled with airtime and wooden coaster ride you don't see much anymore. Most coasters from that era are long gone or in serious disrepair or for the case of Kennywood all of them still exist. As do some other parks have coasters from that era.

So, I one am glad for the history for this industry for without it, we wouldn't have anything new and exciting without the technology that it was based off of from a long time ago.

I was at the meeting and thoroughly enjoyed the history about the park given by Jim Futrell and the lovely talk given by Charles Jacques. Hopefully, down the road, we see dipper either running or in a museum. I just hate to see any coaster torn down just for a little money. It does tug on the heart strings just a little.

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Monday, April 27, 2009 9:29 PM

Lord Gonchar said:
I suspect some people confuse their attachment to memories with attachment to the object. (which is not the same as feeling for a loved one) I guess I'm not one for sentimental value.

Thanks for dissecting my psyche, Dr. Gonchar : ) How much will that be?

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Monday, April 27, 2009 9:33 PM

Lord Gonchar said:In that sense, I think comparing a roller coaster to a loved one is just creepy and shows a real lack of perspective.

Comparing, yes, but associating a memory of a loved one with a particular ride, maybe not so much. Even moreso when said loved one is no longer around.

However, an attachment to memories associated with is understandable even if it is a futile pursuit. The object's existence doesn't validate the memories and it's removal wouldn't negate them.

Validate? No. Serve as a pleasant reminder and a real nostalgic anchor for special memories, again, maybe not so much. It's funny to me how much we (Gonch and I) agree on what the spinning coin looks like, even though we're often seeing it from the other side - I say it's half-heads, he says it's half-tails. :)

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Monday, April 27, 2009 11:16 PM

Being nostalgic about some ride isn't even the same ballpark as remembering a spouse, sibling or parent who died. And while I can't directly compare the two, I just got married into a family that had a hard time keeping it together at the wedding as my would-be mother-in-law passed away two years ago. That anyone would put that level of love and respect to the same level for some object that didn't give birth to someone or be someone's wife for 43 years is borderline insulting to the memory of any person we've lost. And frankly, since you don't know what people on the Internet have recently gone through, I'd just assume you not make the comparison on this stie.

Thrillseeker0216 said:
I guess I see it this way. Without the big dipper...we wouldn't have the technology or the wooden coasters we have today.

Without John A. Miller we wouldn't have guys from GCII or Gravity Group around to design these top notch coasters we see today.

That's completely hypothetical. We've watched the same crappy wooden roller coaster trains used for decades without so much as a minor refinement. Why? Because the business is too small to support more players. There was no incentive to innovate, and as steel coasters began to dominate, the incentive nearly vaporized. I think you're disrespecting the guys at TGG and GCI and not giving them the credit they're absolutely due. They've pushed boundaries way beyond anything that Miller ever did.

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