50 Years of Six Flags

Emma did that reading program where if you read so many hours, you receive a free ticket to Six Flags in Arlington, Texas. J’s mom is a teacher, so she got a free ticket, plus a free child’s ticket. With three free tickets in tow, we scrounged for a Coke bottle, which offered $20 off an adult ticket and took off–2 adults and 2 11 year old girls for a day at Six Flags.

I didn’t know until I arrived that Six Flags is celebrating its 50th Anniversary. Originally created in 1961, the park has changed much over the last half century and as part of the celebration, the park owners have placed old pictures of the place all around.

This proved to be my favorite part of my Six Flag’s visit. The girls are old enough that with cell phone in hand and specific meeting places/times established, we let them venture off on their own and J and I did “old” people stuff–we walked around, looked at the old pictures, and talked about our own childhood trips to the park. We rode the steam train, which we both did as kids, went up in the big tower, recalled fond memories of the log ride, and lamented the removal of LaSalle’s river ride. At least we can see the same saloon on the Runaway Mine Train that we did when we were nine. It’s good that some things stay the same.

Of course we had to ride the new Texas Giant, which set off conversations on how painful the old Giant was. As a note, the new one is super smooth and a great bang for your buck–it’s a long coaster and really enjoyable.

During the times we met up, I watched Emma and thought about the memories she was making, despite the fact that she was unaware of them. Some of my favorite Six Flags trips were the ones I took with friends–not with my parents! And I told her about how I used to take her brother on an annual “mom and son roller coaster extravaganza.” He’s 17 and goes on his own now–no need for mom to tote him around.

I’m sure everyone who has lived in the DFW area has memories like this of Six Flags. UT Arlington Libraries are putting on an exhibit this summer, filled with old pictures. I might just check it out, if I’m back down that way.

And now I have new memories to add to the old ones.

Kelly and Emma, June 22, 2011

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