Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Still around after 86 years


A carnival comes to the courthouse square of my hometown of Delphi, Ind., every summer as part of the annual Old Settlers celebration.

Seeing this Tilt-A-Whirl at the Northeast Arkansas District Fair last evening took me back to that wonderful night in the early 1950s when my mother took me on the Old Settlers Tilt-A-Whirl. It was my first “grownup” ride, and signaled my stepping up from the tame kiddie rides.

I can still remember the thrill of being slammed back into the seat the first time the little basket-like car caught a ridge just right and spun with unexpected ferocity. For the next few years, the Tilt-A-Whirl was my ride of choice until I graduated to the Scrambler and the Octopus. It was only after I got into high school that I worked up the courage to ride the Bullet, also known as the Roll-O-Plane.

The local fair doesn’t have an Octopus or a Bullet, but I think I saw a Scrambler.

The Tilt-A-Whirl was invented in 1926 by Herbert Sellner, a woodworker and maker of water slides, at his Faribault, Minnesota, home. They’re still being built by Larson International, Inc. of Plainview, Texas. The current model costs more than $300,000.

No comments: