The Cyclone: One Last Ride

16 August 1898 – Edwin Prescott patents the roller coaster, and forty-seven years later his invention achieves perfection in “The Cyclone,” at Palisades Amusement Park in New Jersey. Palisades Park was situated on the bluffs above the Hudson River, and my friends and I frequented the place from childhood through our college years, and riding The Cyclone was the highlight of every visit. Alas, like so many treasured things in our lives, this wonderful Amusement Park has disappeared into history: Palisades Park closed in 1971.
Nevertheless, even now, sitting in my quiet study, I can hear the joyful screams of people as The Cyclone hurled them downward through the warm summer air of a New Jersey evening, with the lights of New York City twinkling like an immense host of fireflies just across the wide and lovely Hudson River. Then, as they must, those sounds and sights retreat back into the shadowy corridors of memory, where they wait, with so many other cherished artifacts of the past, for something to tease them back into vivid recollection.

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