PALISADES AMUSEMENT PARK: SUMMERS OF MY YOUTH

  1. I started going to "The Park" as we locals called it, very early in life.
    That's me - Jersey Jet, in the Diaper Derby crawling race in 1953. My mom is with me as my dad looks down at us. I didn't win. 😊
  2. We found free entry coupons inside Salem cigarettes matchbooks
    We could spot the turquoise matchbooks in the street from a moving car!
  3. We walked the mile or so it was from our neighborhood to the park but if it was really hot we took the bus.
  4. My brothers and I would collect the free admission coupons and sell them to people on line for half the entry fee.
    Sometimes we would have to waste one demonstrating that they really worked.
  5. We would use the money we made to buy tickets to the rides.
    We were poor kids so we learned to hustle early. 🤷🏻‍♀️
  6. When my brothers reached their teens and I was about 10 or 11 they started to prefer the arcade at the park with its pinball machines. My friends and I started to enjoy the weekend live music shows emceed by a then-famous DJ, Cousin Brucie.
    Shows were included with the price of admission.
  7. So I saw a bunch of performers there from the 1950s and early 1960s.
  8. We also loved going to the pool
    When we got a little bit older my friends all chipped in to get a season locker and they let me join them even though I didn't chip in as much as everybody else. Sometimes they paid for my rides too. I was really lucky to have such nice friends.
  9. Each year in the late spring the public schools would all wear their school colors and march from the schools to Palisades Amusement Park
    We would all get to go on the rides and have fun.
  10. The Ferris Wheel
    From the top you could view the Hudson River and Manhattan skyline.
  11. It closed when the owner sold the park and it was rezoned to allow skyscrapers. Prior to that it was a little city with good public transportation, homes close together and lots of multi family dwellings and small apartment buildings.
    Once they allowed skyscrapers, the homes began to sell out all along the top of the Palisades taking away the sense of charm the little town had prior to that. In a very short time the population of the town doubled. It was never the same again. The picture above is of the towering condos located where the park once stood. It was a great loss to the kids of our beloved little town.
  12. PS - Good bye, lovely park. We had so much fun!
  13. Such an awesome place a book was written about it by one of my classmates.
    My Diaper Derby picture is in this book 😊