Reprint of an article that appeared in The Arch, Euclid Beach Park Now’s quarterly newsletter: Volume 14, Issue 4, Summer 2003. Authored by Robert Callaghan.
Robert Callaghan lived in the park in a house provided by the Humphrey Company. Robert's dad was employed as a chauffeur for D.S. And Effie Humphrey.
My memories start back some sixty years ago, when my parents and I moved to Euclid Beach in 1929. My dad got a job chauffeuring for D.S. And Effie Humphrey (the older Humphreys), and along with the job a house was provided in the park. Next door to us lived the Scott family. (Note 1) They had three children: a boy named David (Note 2) and two girls named Marion and Carol. I was about eight years old at the time. As kids usually do, the four of us soon became friends.
Being the son of a man employed by the Humphrey Company had its benefits. On slow days at the park, I discovered it was possible to get free rides by showing the operator a blue ticket and telling him for whom my father worked. And thus, the summer of '29 flew by for me. Oh wonderful summer!
Although the park closed for the season in the fall, it didn't mean the end of our fun. The empty park became our domain. At least we thought so, anyway. There wasn't a single place that could be reached by bicycle or foot that we didn't explore and stake a claim to. Euclid Beach, closed down for the coming winter months, was a paradise for adventurous kids on bikes. We could ride anywhere we wanted...there were no cars or pedestrians to interfere with our fun. Red Bug Boulevard was even more fun to bike on in the off-season than it was to ride its electric cars when the park was open. The drained Mill Chute became a mysterious, dark passage for us to venture through. Even the Flying Turns failed to evade our exploration. Dave and I used to spend hours rolling around the barrels on our bikes. If that ever got boring, we would go down the Turns in wagons or on roller-skates, using a broom between our legs as a brake-lever.
The Laff in the Dark was another spooky place made for adventure. Dark was its name, and dark it certainly was...especially without flashlights. Dave was more familiar with the territory than myself, and was the leader of the expeditions. We would bump and stumble around the eerie place, trying to find our way back to the door that a careless adult had left open for us to use.
Needless to say, our revelry was not always appreciated by we kids' common enemies – the adults. We gained a certain amount of craft and skill to avoid them. There was really no end to our ingenuity when it came to having fun.
And as the seasons change, so does Euclid Beach. In the winter, at night, it would have made a perfect setting for a Hitchcock movie. With the Dance Hall looming large and castle-like, its tower pushing up to the sky, there was definitely a scary aspect to it. Here and there, a few naked light bulbs pushed back the shadows for the night watchman. I did not in anyway envy his job.
As the years went by, and we all grew up, the sorties into our playground grew less and less frequent. With the coming of WWII; we all, Marion, Carol, Dave and I went our separate ways to venture off into the real world. It was kind of sad, looking over my shoulder as those times changed. But change is what comes of old amusement parks. New replaces the old. People change. Jobs change. Friends remain.
My childhood accomplice, David Scott and I frequently slip back, through our pictures and memorabilia, to a time when Euclid Beach Park was home. We miss the Park, but we love our memories. Remember the song, “Puff the Magic Dragon”? It was sort of like that.
Note 1: Dudley Humphrey Scott, was chief engineer at Euclid Beach Park.
Note 2: David Humphrey Scott, was the founder of Euclid Beach Park Now.
The following issues of The Arch are being prepared:
All three should be in the mail to Euclid Beach Park Now members the week of September 12, 2021
THE ARCH Editor: John Marn
To contact via email scroll up to "CONTACT US."
Due to Covid-19 publication of The Arch was held up. These three issues were sent out in one mailing on October 26, 2020.
Added to the ROLLER COASTERS page (09/07/2021) computer generated POV simulated ride on the Thriller and Derby Racer/Racing Coaster.
Added to the BAND ORGANS page (09/06/2021) BAND ORGAN ARRIVES AT PAVILION. Acknowledges the loan of the band organ by the Vincent T. Aveni Charitable Foundation.
Check out the new article for September on THE ARCH page.
EUCLID BEACH PARK IS CLOSED FOR THE SEASON
Reprint of an article that appeared in The Arch, Euclid Beach Park Now’s quarterly newsletter: Volume 14, Issue 4, Summer 2003. Submitted by Robert Call