This blog post is part of a new series on the Carrousel Courier called Remember When. These posts are written by our staff, volunteers, and fans on memories of carousels and amusement. See how these memories have influenced us to this day. Interested in sharing a fond memory of your own? Leave a comment or email Ian K. Seppala at email@example.com.
By: Ian K. Seppala
I grew up in Genesee county, New York as the oldest of three boys. Growing up we always had a babysitter during the summertime. When I turned 15 my parents got me and my next oldest brother (Alec, 13) a new babysitter: Darien Lake Amusement Park. We had always had family passes growing up. We lived less than 15 minutes away and would ride the plethora of roller coasters, and other rides (one of my favorites to this day is the log flume). When our cousin's came to visit we would all visit together. Our youngest brother is 10 years my junior, so we always had to choose rides the family could do (most of our cousin's are his age or younger). We would also spend hours in their version of Kiddieland; watching him on the tea cups. However the summer I turned 15 is when this changed. Multiple days a week my mother would drop the two of us off in the morning. We would have our season pass, a lunch, and I was in charge of the emergency money (which was always used on ice cream). The two of us would stay joined at the hip riding the rides. Some days we would take swim suits but mostly we stayed dry. I enjoyed roller coasters like the Predator and Superman, while Alec preferred the bumper cars and pirate boat ride. We would ride our fill and then some, until mom or dad got us in the afternoon. Some days our friends would join us at the park. Then my brother and I would go our separate ways, joining for ice cream or to play out our competitiveness in a carnival game. I remember those days fondly, and the bond that grew with my brother. We were always close, but very competitive. Those summer days showed that we could rely on each other, while still having fun. Even though we don't ride many rides anymore, we still have that shared memory, and more important bond, that was developed in Darien Lake for two summers. Ian K. Seppala is the Education Director of the Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum. He enjoys educating the public in local history and how history and science combine. He is also an avid sports fan and outdoorsman. Do you have any fond memories of Darien Lake Amusement Park? Leave them in the comments below.
The author and his brothers in 2016. From left to right Alec Seppala, Seth Seppala and Ian Seppala