Re: Playland Memories from a Whitney family relative owners of Playland

09/01/03 - posted by don paolino

Yes, the slot car place. I was there with my friend in I think 1965. He had a slot car, but his controller wouldn't work and he went home on the bus to get another. I stayed behind with the car. He had a pair of pliers in his toolkit and I took them out, put the car on the track and shorted the terminals together that controlled that track. The car took off, and when it went too fast, I disconnected the pliers and when too slow, shorted them again. As a 15 year old with raging hormones I remember seeing some rather good looking girls in there too.
Bringing back other memories, I think it was 1961, the last day of summer school which I had to attend for some deficiency or other. I was on the traffic squad at Lafayette school on 37th and Anza. All the traffic boys got tickets to Playland at the Beach the last day. A few of us took off early and decided to blow all the tickets at once which I summarily did. When I got home, I told my mother about it and got punished. I learned then it was best not to speak unless spoken to!
And finally, my dad brought me there and we did the usual dad and son bonding. I remember a bullet shaped rotating cabin which whirled up in the air and down. After we got down, we went to the restroom where I summarily threw up!
The 50's seem so far away, no drugs and Leave it to Beaver type families which seem few and far between these days, but my memories of growing up in San Francisco are as sharp as ever.

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