Cedar Point opens this Saturday and I thought it would be fun to take a walk down memory lane. This weekend marks the beginning of traffic pattern changes for the local residents. Taking the back way into The Sandusky Mall and avoiding restaurants on State Route 250.
Anyone living in the Sandusky area around 50 years ago know what I'm referring to when I mention Esmond Dairy Day. Esmond Dairy was a local business that sponsored a day at Cedar Point. As far as I remember, opening day was the Saturday preceding Memorial Day. I think my brother Kyle believed that it was opening day because his birthday is May 28th. I Googled Esmond Dairy Day the other day to see if there was any information that I could use in this column, but found nothing. I thought by jogging my memory I could paint a clearer picture of what Esmond Dairy Day meant to families of the surrounding local Sandusky area. Nothing doing! I guess I'll have to rely on how I saw this special day in my life.
For sure, back in the 50's things moved at a much slower pace. Esmond Dairy Day always marked the beginning of the summer season. Cedar Point was open Memorial Day-Labor Day as the ferryboat sign proclaimed. None of this Hallow Weekends stuff. There was no Frontier Town, very few "thrill" rides, and no two hour wait to ride the rides.
We packed a picnic lunch and loaded up the car. Mom would usually make her famous ground meat or egg salad sandwiches. We also had a cooler filled with soda pop. As we entered the park, the kids were told, "If you get lost go to the merry-go-round (carousel)." That was always the designated spot to meet. As far as I know, none of the kids ever got lost. However, I often wondered if other families used the merry-go-round as a lost and found for their kids. Mom and Dad would purchase reduced ride tickets at the ticket booth. They were the keeper of the tickets. Unlike today, many of the rides could be ridden as a family as I don't remember any height constraints placed on the rides. The parents joined the kids on such rides as The Bug, The Octopus and The Tilt-A-Whirl. There were no long lines and each ride lasted at least three minutes.
We would stay at the Point into the evening hours so we could see the rides lit up with multicolored lights. The food stands all had the yellow bug lights so the bugs wouldn't annoy the customers.
By the time we went home, we were completely exhausted. We all had a great time and looked forward to returning to Cedar Point the following summer.
Oh life was so much more fun in simpler times.