"Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity." ~ Gilda Radner

Monday, August 20, 2012


Back in the KI days...
Once upon a time, as a 16-year-old ride operator at Kings Island Amusement Park near Cincinnati, I could run and leap effortlessly to the top of the Giant Slide, amazingly akin to a young gazelle.

Donned in a cheery blue-and-white polka dotted dress with matching bloomers and a pair of bright white Keds, I could also hop from lane to lane seemingly at the speed of light, swooping young children up in my arms out of harm's way if need be, delicately darting between a dozen or more other park patrons as they flew down the slick fiberglass hills on their itchy burlap rugs.

Those of us assigned to work on the Giant Slide were tagged Sexy Slide Girls, or SSGs.

We were young, lithe and lovely.
One Sexy Slide Girl

Fast forward 40 years, then, to Sunday when five of my friends and I  -- no longer young or lithe, but still lovely -- rode the Giant Slide at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines.

A patron now, not a ride operator -- donned in pair of brooding black capris, black shirt and scuffed off-white gym shoes --  I grasped my itchy burlap rug in my right hand, my left hand clutching the railing as I huffed and puffed up the gazillion metal steps to the top of the slide. I felt amazingly akin to the old and rather massive 1,500 pound boar sprawled in a giant slothlike heap on the floor of his stall over in the livestock building.

Finally high atop the slide, the gruff ride operator (she never would have made it at Kings Island) hailed me and my friends over to the far end. She hurriedly grabbed our burlap rugs and threw them down next to each other, edges overlapping, and instructed us to sit down quickly. We wanted to go down the slide all at the same time, so we locked our arms.

From left: Leesa, Karla, Me, Diane and Vick
More like The Golden Girls than Sexy Slide Girls, we moaned and groaned our way down into sitting position on our burlap, locked arms, and with one big push from the ride operator, off  we flew down the Giant Slide!

It was a magic burlap carpet ride! I felt like a kid again! Adrenaline rushing,  hair blowing back in the breeze...


Oh, the screaming! The yelling!  The laughing! The sounds of our collective long-ago youth echoing across the fairgrounds!

We held on to each other for dear life as we zoomed toward the bottom of the slide. It looked like my friend Vicki might flip over!


And a grand time was had by all!
Seconds later at the bottom of the slide, our burlap rugs came to an abrupt halt and we were laughing so hard we were just about in tears, trying to catch our breath and collect ourselves as we struggled to stand up.

OMG! Too much fun at the Iowa State Fair!  Thanks, Ladies!  I needed that!

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