Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Remember Esmond Dairy Day

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.


Anonymous said...

I remember Esmond Dairy Day. I have often thought I was crazy taking 3 children on the ferry packed in like sardines. But what fun we had when we got to Cedar Point and all the rides. I think each ride only cost 3 cents or something ridiculous like that. A very reasonable one day outing with lots of fond memories.
Mom Quirie

Daleen said...

I guess putting up with tourists and traffic is the price we pay for fond memories and the smiles on the faces of our grandkids as they ride the rides.
ITA the "old" days were so much simpler.
And speaking of Esmond Dairy, wasn't that an E.D. milk bottle you had the incident with? And was the bottle brown or clear? LOL Maybe that's another blog post for another day.
Meet you at the Merry-Go Round.

Brad said...

Who remembers "stealing" ice from the Esmond Dairy delivery trucks? What a cheap thrill!

Cedar Point has changed a lot over the years and continues to be voted the best amusement park on the planet...You have to change with the times.

Other memories - the stage coach ride (didn't someone die when it flipped over?); getting rub burns on the Giant Slide while tucked in an itchy burlap bag; the first time you were old enough to "drive" the turnpike cars, Cadillac cars and dodgem; watching Carl Krieger win a bazillion stuffed animals at the games;the Tiglons at Jungle Larry's and waiting for the "Sisters" to finish playing Fascination so we could go ride the Space Spiral - thanks to Aunt Eloise and Aunt Marilyn we had more memories than we otherwise would have.....

David and Heidi said...

Okay, so my good ol' days may not be the same as yours but what about a little walk down memory lane for me.

I remember playing in Kid Arthur’s Court. The stinky ball pit, trying to get through the maze at the end faster than anyone else, playing in those God awful hot “playhouse” things, and being too scared to go up the net ladder thing.

I remember loving the Mill Race and thinking I was so brave when I rode in the front seat. And Riding White Water Landing and trying to push our entire weight to the back of the canoe so when you hit the bottom of the hill you’d try to skip, like skipping a rock on a pond.

I remember riding the spinning ride (I guess it’s now called the Rock, Spin, and Turn) and we could never make it go fast enough. I feel real bad for whoever had to ride and Ande’ and me. I’m sure they walked off feeling quite sick. And for some reason I always thought the wheel was a pizza pan. Why??

What about the notorious “smell of Cedar Point.” Especially by the water rides. Yep, it’s still there.

I remember going to all the shows including Centennial Theater and Lusty Lils and trying to repeat the songs and dance sequences once I got home.

I remember always wanting to be chosen to be in a show so I could get a button. Needless to say I was never chosen.

I remember going on the Pirate Ride every visit and feeling like it was so cool. Too bad it can’t hold a candle to the real Pirates Of The Caribbean at Disney.

I remember when the Troika was my favorite ride and then all the sudden they upped the height limit and I couldn’t ride it. What a bummer.

I remember crying as I got to watch my siblings go on Cedar Downs as I patiently (or not so patiently) waited to grow a ½ inch.

I remember trying to stuff my shoes to make me just “this” much taller.

I remember when Disaster Transport was Avalanche Run. I never rode it due to my size, but I remember when they changed it to DT and I rode it for the first time. It was top of the line and I was scared to death.

I remember the Swabinchen (sp?) Also know as the “lady with big boobs” ride. I never understood why they had that one and another smaller one (can’t remember the name) that was next to the Scrambler. Two of the same ride? Dunno.

I remember riding Ocean Motion and doing the whole wave stand up thing to emphasize the feeling of weightlessness.

I remember the food. I still get the same stuff. Corndog with ketchup, Berardi’s fries with vinegar and ketchup, and a funnel cake to finish the day. And you can’t forget about the salt-water taffy.

I remember the summer when we’d go over so dad could play his game-skee ball, but where you shot the ball out of the cannon. We were saving up all the stuffed animals so we could keep trading up. Then when we went to trade them in for the giant prize it had changed to a not so cool prize. Ah well.

I remember the smell of the Dodgem’s when you’d walk by or ride them. The smell of the gas and sparking metal.

I remember riding the Mine Ride and mom doing her “indian cry” in the last part that goes round and round.

I remember riding the paddlewheel ride and ruining all the “guides” jokes since we had ridden so many times.

I remember having at least one weekend a year when we would have a picnic day. We’d pack our lunch and leave the cooler at the picnic area, then come back later. Can you even still leave your stuff there without having someone steal it?

I remember leaving the park and always keeping my eyes out for toys that were left behind by others. I remember these feather/furry black long things that had stick-on eyes. I have no idea what they were but it totally made my day if I found one. I always wanted one of those walking lizard things on a metal stick. Now I know why I never got one….they have NO point.

Boy, I could go on and on about what I remember…obviously I remember a lot. Even though I could say a lot of negative things about Cedar Point, the bottom line is I can’t deny that it was a huge part of my life growing up and has produced so many fond memories.

reblasko said...

Going through my collection of 50's stuff, I ran across a 1/2 pint NICKEL-O Chocolate Milk Bottle. This was from the Esmond Dairy Co. I used it to keep pennies in. Still had some wheat pennies in it. Thanks for the memory jog.

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!