Thursday, November 12, 2015
Today is part 12 in the series of vintage postcards from the collection of Ken Martinez! Here's Ken:
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, California
The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is a special place to me. I've lived within walking distance to the boardwalk for nearly forty years and was employed there as a ride operator during the late 1970's/early 80's and again in grounds maintenance during the summer of 2011. I see it practically every day whether passing by it or in the distance when driving in another part of town. It's been a constant in my life for forty five years.
This is where the main entrance and access to the beach is. What's great about the boardwalk is that it's admission-free. The Sky Glider has been carrying visitors above the Boardwalk for 48 years since its opening in 1967. The building in view housed the 1911 Looff carousel and a couple of concession stands and still does today.
This attraction is called the "Merry-go-round" even though it's referenced as the "1911 Looff Carousel" online. It's 104 years old and one of the few that have a ring dispenser for tossing rings into the clown's mouth which is actually a lot of fun.
This is the way I remember the Giant Dipper roller coaster with its bullet-nosed trains, one red and the other blue, racing along the green track and white wooden structure. This was before they installed the two-person bucket seats. I remember sliding around on those seats from side to side slamming into my sister or friend who rode with me. The 1924 wooden classic is now over ninety years old.
The Anton-Schwarzkopf "Jet Star" coaster was pretty popular when it opened. I worked on this attraction as a loader many times during the summer. I remember it being a loud and noisy ride to work on.
The Cave Train is another Boardwalk classic that disappeared and then was brought back several years later. I worked this ride only a few times. It had a really compact layout that traveled underneath the Autorama and Boardwalk.
This was one of my favorite areas of the old boardwalk featuring the Autorama/Cave Train complex. The Autorama is now gone as is the wooden Wild Mouse coaster in the background. Behind that is the Giant Dipper's first curve turnaround. The Wild Mouse was actually considered he scariest ride in the park as it was rickety and felt like you were going to fly off the track at the sharp u-turns into the Cave Train/Autorama area below. It was replaced by the Logger's Revenge.
Hope you enjoyed these. I will have more cards to share with you in the future.
Information source material:
www.beachboardwalk.com Official site of the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.
Major Pepperidge again... I visited the Boardwalk once (back in the 1990's), I remember thinking that it had a neat, old-fashioned atmosphere. I was bummed that the Sky Glider was down that day, but did ride the Giant Dipper. I was with my mom and my grandmother, so I had to ride by myself!
THANKS as always to Ken Martinez... I look forward to seeing more cards from Santa Cruz.