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

07/07/02 - posted by Robert Schaezlein

Thanks for the great story Warren! It's always interesting to hear the "the rest of the story". As a 3rd gen. San Franciscan, I always felt like I was born about 50 yrs too late. My dad told me stories of he and his buddies having a great time at Sutro Baths and Playland. It makes me a little jealous and sad that those places were before my time (the Bathes and Playland during its best years) and that there aren't any great fun places like that left here in the city.
I was only eight or nine when my mom took me to playland. By then it was in decline and a little run down, but as a kid it still had a certain magical feel to it. I still remember the Diving Bell with its sea monster, the two different "Haunted House" type rides, and of course the Fun House. At first, we would enter through the hall of mirrors. Then, through the spinning barrel shaped things with those air jets in the floor used to blow women's skirts up (which used to scare me), then it was to those wonderful hardwood slides (watch out for the floor burn!). I had forgotton about that droning instuction message the other emailer mentioned, but I'll never forget the stinky feet! I guess the other highlight would have to be the spinning platter. The other stuff I remember in the Fun House were the mirrors upstairs, the giant rotating barrel, and that strange jumping twisting walkway. It seems like there were a bunch of other things that were broken down or had been removed long ago. It's funny, the place itself seemed to have a longing for the hordes of kids that had once flocked there during its heyday. It was as if there were a kind of ghostly sadness in the air.

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