Be a kid with Laffin’ Sal

July 29, 2009

Laffin' Sal in Kennywood Amusement Park

Laffin' Sal in Kennywood Amusement Park

My great-grandparents fell in love among the wooden roller coasters in Kennywood Amusement Park.  Or maybe it was lust.

It’s been twelve years since my family and I have played in Kennywood Park near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. We made it back last weekend.

The numerous historic landmarks, such as the toothless Laffin’ Sal, deliver quirky character to the grounds much like Coney Island.  “Laffin’ Sal debuted at Kennywood in 1931 as a free attraction in front of Laff in the Dark.  It was during the Great Depression and provided some of the best medicine available in that sad period – Laughs.

“When the ride was razed in 1965 to make room for the Turnpike, Sal went into retirement – in a storage bin.  But life began again in her 40′s and she has been laughing ever since” -Kennywood plaquelafnsal2

Next time your inner-child plays hide-n-seek and doesn’t come back out, visit Laffin’ Sal.  Listen to her ancient cackle and stare into her dead-eyes.  Your intrinsic-kid will reappear and either tremble with fear or laugh hysterically.  My tyke chose the latter.

I sound like I’m 87-years-old, but new parks do not compare to this rich landmark; you feel the history and magical aura of previous generations in the air.  Or maybe that’s just the aroma drifting from the Potato Patch.  Either way, it’s delightful.

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