Growing up in Pittsburgh, summer never really started until I made my annual pilgrimage to Kennywood. I remember my grandfather taking me as a kid, back when you could just walk right in, buy a few tickets to ride the Ferris wheel (invented by Pittsburgher George Ferris, by the way), and then go home. So for this month’s Tee Club, I decided to pay homage to my favorite ride and Kennywood’s oldest coaster, the Jack Rabbit.
As a kid, I remember walking past, terrified at how loud and fast it was. At school, I would hear stories about the infamous “double-dip” and how kids would almost fly out of their seats were it not for the loose safety bar over their laps. Finally, one summer I mustered up enough courage to get in line. I nervously approached my seat, assessed the barely-there safety measures, and realized there was no turning back. Alas, I hit the double-dip, flew what felt like three feet out of my seat, and was back at the station eager to jump back in line and do it all over again. I was hooked.
From that point on, that’s what Kennywood always meant to me. It was a place where Pittsburghers experienced coming-of-age moments conquering our fears. From scary rollercoasters as a youth, to getting older and asking our middle school crushes to join us on the Muzik Express, these memories will live on in the minds of all Pittsburghers.