If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com

Our May author interviews: Marla Cooper-5/3, Rhys Bowen-5/10, Cindy Brown-5/17, Martha Reed-5/24, Sherry Harris--5/31.

Saturday Guest Bloggers in May--Paty Jager-5/6 and Maren Anderson-5/13. WWK Saturday bloggers write on 5/20--Margaret S. Hamilton and on 5/27--Kait Carson. E. B. Davis blogs this month on 5/30.


“May 16, 2017 – The Women’s Fiction Writers Association (WFWA) today announced the finalists of the second annual Star Award, given to authors of published women’s fiction. Six finalists were chosen in two categories, General and Outstanding Debut. The winners of the Star Award will be announced at the WFWA Retreat in Albuquerque, New Mexico on September 23, 2017.”

In the general category, WWK’s Carla Damron was one of three finalist for her novel, The Stone Necklace. Go to Carladamron.com for more information. Congratulations, Carla!

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Warren Bull's new Lincoln mystery, Abraham Lincoln In Court & Campaign has been released. Look for the Kindle version on February 3.

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.

In addition, our prolific KM will have the following shorts published as well: "Sight Unseen" in Fish Out of Water, Guppie (SinC) anthology, just released, and "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017.

Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Once a Kappa" was published as a finalist in the Southern Writer's Magazine annual short story contest issue. Mysterical-E published her "Double Crust Corpse" in the Fall 2016 issue. "Baby Killer" will appear in the 2017 solar eclipse anthology Day of the Dark to be published this summer prior to the eclipse in August.

Linda Rodriquez has two pending book publications. Plotting the Character-Driven Novel will be released by Scapegoat Press on November 29th. Every Family Doubt, the fourth Skeet Bannion mystery, is scheduled for release on October, 18, 2017. Look for the interview by E. B. Davis here on that date!

James M. Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available. His novella "Low Tide at Tybee" appears February 7 as part of Lowcountry Crimes: Four Novellas, which is available for order.

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Saturday, May 30, 2015

Come On Over! by Kait Carson


Today is May 30 – traditional Memorial Day in the US and the traditional start of my childhood summer. And, oh yes, you may feel free to wear white again.

Like most children of my era, I grew up in many places. There was my great-grandfather’s farm in upstate New York. Then there was my cousins’ house in Dade County Florida. Then there was the place I usually went to school. That was northeast New Jersey. School started the first Tuesday after Labor Day and because of snow days and such, ended sometime around mid-June. That was the official school year. The unofficial school year ended the same day summer began in my world – MEMORIAL DAY!
Everything that made life worth living began on Memorial Day. The beaches (we called ‘em the shore) officially opened. Families celebrated the holiday (or the weekend after the holiday depending, Memorial Day wasn’t always on Monday back then) by driving ‘down the shore’ and opening up the summer houses. That was the big deal for the folks. For the kids, well, the amusement parks officially opened. Now that was something to look forward to. Parents wouldn’t usually take us down the shore (except for the annual house opening and airing) but they would take us to Palisades Park on a Saturday before school ended, or Freedomland, and sometimes could be persuaded to take us to Jones Beach, but that was on Long Island (pronounced Lawn Guyland) and a drive.

Palisades was the big prize. Best of all, it was only a half hour from my house. In my earliest memories, my Dad took me. He would pay our admission ($0.10 I think) and we would walk through the magical gates. First stop was the ride ticket seller. I don’t know how much a day’s worth of tickets was, but it was quite a fistful and I never remember going back for more. Then it was to the outdoor arcade to win prizes and visit with my Dad’s friend Fortunato. Then it was time for lunch – usually a big Italian sausage with lots of onions and peppers – and finally, the rides. Years later, I asked my Dad about this unusual sequence. He told me he had no stomach for the rides, so he had the excuse of carrying all my arcade prizes around. I loved anything that went fast or turned me upside down. My Dad turned green at the thought.

Once my brother was old enough to drive it was his job to take me. That meant a different sequence. No more arcade. Now it was straight to the pool. My brother had his priorities, and meeting women topped his list. After the pool, if my brother met someone, he’d hand me a fist full of tickets and off I would go, alone with orders to meet at the gate at 5 PM. I headed first for these little space ships where I was strapped in and they spun in in clockwise and counter-clockwise circles while the capsules spun around counterpoint. Then the Round Up, and the Tilt-A-Whirl, and the Cyclone. The world’s biggest wooden coaster. OK, that’s not true, but I believed it at the time. I never did lose my love of defying gravity!

I was too young to appreciate the music, but I do remember hearing Paul Anka. I was stuck on the top of the Ferris Wheel. For his entire concert.

Freedomland was the other amusement park. It only lasted a few years before it became Co-op City. I have since learned that Freedomland was in the shape of the United States. I have no idea, but I do remember witnessing the Chicago Fire, wild west shootouts (once I was taken hostage on a runaway stagecoach) and riding paddlewheel steamboats on the Great Lakes (“Do you know what lake you’re on? Lake Huron!”). I also have one other indelible memory of Freedomland. It’s where I took my first helicopter ride. We were only supposed to go around the park, but it was sunset and glorious and the pilot took us out over New York City so we could see the sights as night fell.

These places are long gone. Disney Parks and other amusement parks have sprung up to take their place. Somehow though the showcases and vignettes of those parks seem pale to me. Totally incapable of inducing the adrenaline charge that went with putting yourself under physical stress, or the imaginative charge of witnessing and participating in historical events.
Oh, that thing about wearing white? Well, it was only appropriate between Memorial Day and Labor Day – so, wear something white today.

What about you? What is your favorite childhood action memory?

11 comments:

E. B. Davis said...

During my childhood, we vacationed in Ocean City, NJ. Gillian's Fun Deck on the boardwalk was the place to be. My favorites were the Tilt-O-Whirl and the Bump Cars. Since Gillian's was located by the ocean, and we always went to the amusement park at night because everyone wanted to be on the beach when it was hot, the Ferris Wheel didn't hold much appeal. At night, the sight of the ocean from the Ferris Wheel was a blank black board. Glad you had such wonderful memories, Kait. I remember having this wonderful feeling of anticipation about going to Gillian's.

Kait said...

Amusement parks by the ocean were something really special. I have heard that some of those old style parks managed to survive Sandy in NJ. Made me happy to think that was the case. Not so many of those types of places around anymore. They were so much fun. Thanks for sharing, Elaine.

Warren Bull said...

My family shared a boat with another family. We used to go boating along the Mississippi River. Our boat was small so we could go through shallow water and get close to islands and the shore. Going through locks was particularly exciting to me. Sometimes I got to steer.

Kara Cerise said...

Fun memories, Kait! I remember going to San Diego with my family to cool off from the hot Arizona summers. Sometimes we ate dinner at a luau held on the beach. After dinner the Hula dancers, some of them twirling fire on poles, entertained us. One time the dancers pulled my dad from the audience, stuck a grass skirt around him, and taught him to do a Hula dance. The memory of my dad dancing to the song, "Tiny Bubbles," still makes me smile.

Gloria Alden said...

What great memories, Kait. My family went on picnics almost every summer once the weather was warm enough with an aunt, uncle and their four children about the same age. Such fun we had. Idora Park and Conneaut Park were the parks with the roller coasters and other rides we enjoyed. The Wildcat and the Jackrabbit were the two wooden roller coasters, and people from all over the country came to ride them because they were rated so high among roller coater connoisseurs, The few vacations we took were to a lake in Canada and camping in PA, also with the same aunt, uncle and cousins. I grew up in the same area as my mother and grandparents and still live in the area. After I was married, we started traveling on vacations with my parents, assorted siblings, and eventually my children camping over much of the eastern US.Those were great trips and lots of fun with so many memories. Even when my four kids were babies before disposable diapers, I took them camping every summer.

Sarah Henning said...

Mine is always vacationing in Estes Park, Colorado. We still go there with my parents every year and it's awesome!

Polly Iyer said...

Great remembrance, Kait. For me it was Revere Beach, north of Boston. There was a roller coaster and all kinds of rides and games in the arcade. I remember I was on the tea cups that went round and round. It went so fast, and my head went back and I couldn't get upright. My mother started screaming for them to stop the ride because I had fainted. I hadn't, but she didn't know that. She was hysterical. I was mortified when she took me off. I was probably around 5 or maybe even older. The beach was right across the street, so it was usually a day's fun. When I was older, I went with my friends, and there was a man who had a pizza stand. That was the first time I saw anyone with numbers tattooed on an arm. We knew what it was, and that made us sad. Then there was Salem Willows and Canobie Lake Park. The latter was farther away and I went when I was older, usually with a date. Those were good times. Long ago times.

KM Rockwood said...

EB, my husband's family still has reunions at Ocean City, NJ, every few years. That's where they use to go every summer for a week (from a Philadelphia rowhouse) The Ferris wheel is pretty good now--you can see up and down the coast. Atlantic City may be in decline, but it's still a bright spot on the horizon. Did you go see Lucy the Elephant? We were just there last summer, & went to visit her.

I can remember going to Palisades Park with school trips. I still remember the jingle on the radio--"Rides a nickel in the daytime, a dime at night." Of course, that wasn't all rides--just the most plebeian ones. And once I was staying with a cousin's family, and we went to Freedom Land.

Jones Beach was a frequent destination, since we lived nearby.

James Montgomery Jackson said...

I loved summer camps – both the sleep-away variety and the one put on by the town recreation department. The local one was an easy bikeride away. I’d ride down for two hours in the morning, back home for lunch, and then back down for another two or three hours in the afternoon. Unless it was pouring; then we were stuck inside.

~ Jim

Kait said...

My deepest apologies to all. I think I need a redo for this enire year. I am sorry for my late responding. Today, my septic system committed hari kari. Needless to say, it has been hectic. And the problem won't be fully resolved until Monday. So -- enough of this whining -- on to summer fun!
@ Warren -- what wonderful memories. The Mississippi. Oh, the stuff of myths and legends. Could you hear the voice of Mark Twain? I have the strains of a song Alan Jackson sings running through my head.
@Kara -- I have a wonderful visual. And it is making me smile. To those of us on the east coast, anything Hawaian was exotic and magical. Isn't it amazing how vivid our childhood memories are. From your description I can feel the sand and smell the tiki torches!
@ Gloria -- wooden coasters. Talk about cult status! There a clubs devoted to them aren't there? Are thiopental parks still there and do they still have the coasters? What wonderful memories you must have of camping with the kids. I bet you told the best campfire stories!
@ Sarah - How wonderful that the tradition continues through the generations. Have ther been many changes, or is it relatively unchanged? I'm keeping my fingers crossed for unchanged.
@ Polly -- I forgot you were from the Boston area. Revere Beach! What a great memory of the teacups. Did you ever ride them again?
@ KM -- OMG someone else who has been to Frredomland. I love it. I'm glad to read that Ocean City survived Sandy. Are you a Ferris Wheel aficionado? Did you ever ride the Eye of London? It's on my bucket list,
@ Jim -- summer camps. They were so much fun. Did you go to sleep away with your usual group of friends, or did you have home friends and sleep away friends?

James Montgomery Jackson said...

The first two years at sleep away camp I went with one friend, but we were in different tents, so it was meeting a whole new group of kids. After that I went to scout camp for two weeks with my Boy Scout troop, so I knew all the kids.

~ Jim