I’m honored today to see that Newsday published my letter to the editor about Tucker Carlson’s recent misinformation about the January 6th, 2021 attack on the Capitol. It’s the very last letter in today’s Letters page; you can find it right here.
Newsday is America’s ninth-largest newspaper, and the third-largest in New York State. Its Sunday circulation is just under a half million people.
My 6th grade classmates and I would have gone to Adventureland even before this ad was made. (I am linking here to Jay Lifton’s Youtube channel; he writes that this ad aired around 1987 … my friends and I went there after graduating from grade school into middle school.)
I’ll never forget the fun we had. I rode The Gravitron! But those giant rotating swings — the kind you can find at just about any carnival — were my favorite.
Adventureland is still around. It hit its 60th birthday this year.
Tragically, Wikimedia informs me that there were two ride-related deaths — which really surprises me, because I remember the rides as being pretty tame stuff. Both deaths occurred within a week of each other in 2005, and the details are pretty horrifying. Wow.
“Renaldo!” I wrote this story in the 7th or 8th grade. It was my attempt at an organized crime thriller.
The story has everything!! Ziti!! Cocaine!! A main character whose name is “Scab!!” Famous cops who go by a single name — like Madonna or Prince or something!! The phrase “genius detective, pride of the police force!!” Possibly a degree of confusion about when the Great Depression occurred!! (I chose to set the story in the 1920’s, for some reason, and confusingly stated that “jobs were scarce” at the time. Hey — I’ve told you people before that I was never the smartest kid in the class.)
Anyway, enjoy (?) this antique Nolan prose. Thanks once again to Carrie Schor for passing along vintage stuff from the Longwood Central School District in New York.
Postscript: admit it — you saw the headline “7th-grade crime story” and thought this would be about me committing a crime in the 7th grade, didn’t you? But I gotta find out about a couple of statutes of limitations before I write about those.
A version of it was actually part of McCay’s earlier vaudeville act; he “interacted” with his artistic creation on stage. The version you see here shows McCay presenting his character to some friends at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. (It was shot on location — and that made this short a little neater for me, as the museum was my favorite place to go as a boy.)
Can you imagine what McCay, a pioneering animator of his time, would think of the modern “Jurassic World” movies? Or what about today’s mind-numbing animation on “Love, Death + Robots?”
An old pal of mine was cleaning out her closets and happened across this t-shirt from Ridge Elementary School in New York. I am actually still friends with a bunch of the people listed here. New Yorkers stick together. 🙂
Was the Roadrunner our unofficial school mascot or something? I honestly do not remember. Thirty-eight years is a long time.
I never actually went to Action Park — the infamously dangerous 80’s-era amusement park in Vernon Township, New Jersey. But the name alone conjures childhood memories because it was a perennial source of rumors and urban legends for kids at the time. (And we all lived a few hours away in Eastern Long Island.) I remember the commercials too.
I don’t think I’ve ever heard the name mentioned since that time. (The park closed in 1996, in part because of the same recession that was giving my generation so much anxiety in our first post-college job searches.)
So I was surprised when a friend in Britain, of all places, sent me the first video below. Not only does Action Park’s infamy live on, it extends across the Atlantic.