Going, Going, Gone

“I don’t like nostalgia unless it’s mine.” Lou Reed

The Wipe Out, the giant slide on the Boardwalk of my youth, is no more. Well, actually, it’s still there for now, but the plan is to tear the sucker down to make room for the new.

One of the new things in the works is a roller coaster that will span two piers, the Courier Post reported. That sounds pretty awesome. But there’s no word yet, on what attraction will replace the slide, which has been a cornerstone of the Morey’s amusement pier enterprise since 1969.

An online lottery system, gave 200 “lucky” sliders a last chance to slide down the Wipe Out on Sunday. Call me a curmudgeon, but I wasn’t really interested.

Sure, it has been a landmark on the Boardwalk for almost as long as I’ve been alive.
And it is much bigger than similar amusements that we’ve all seen at impromptu carnivals and fairs.

I remember climbing the stairs as a tot, many summers ago with my Aunt Fran. And on more recent summer nights, I remember panting up the stairs with each of my own children in tow.

But still I can’t quite bring myself to feel any pangs of nostalgia. I just wasn’t a huge fan.

The top was rather terrifying with small children, and I remember on numerous occasions, desperately trying avoid a premature launch while wrestling my wiggly toddlers into my burlap sack. The ride down was intermittently thrilling and humiliating, depending on whether or not you had to do the butt wiggle to make it to the bottom. I’m just not feeling the love…or the loss.

So imagine my surprise, when I learned that Morey’s is selling pieces of the slide for $50 a pop. (Proceeds are earmarked for the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) archive preservation fund.)

“What would you do with that?” I asked.

“You could build an awesome pool slide with it,” my son said.

My husband, Troy, who developed www.wildwooddoowop.com, says I just don’t understand nostalgists.

But really, I think do.

Urban Dictionary defines nostalgia as “a longing for the good old days, whether or not they were very good.”

I don’t like change much…at all. During the building boom of 2003-2009, I mourned the loss of each landmark motel and quaint seashore bungalow that was replaced with condos.

I still vividly remember “strutting my stuff” along the Boards in satin shorts and a “Frankie Says” T-shirt.

I can feel the sweaty joy of my first pair of jellies (those pre-Croc rubber shoes), as I “did the hustle” at the foot of the Himalayas (now called the Musik Express)? I remember holding onto my hat on The Flyer and screaming around of the hairpin turns of the Golden Nugget. And I hope the Morey’s new coaster can bring back that thrill.

image courtesy of www.funchase.com

But the Wipe Out, for me, I guess it was just a passing fad.

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