I loaded up the whole family and went to Whitewater last week. It was a good time. The weather was great and we went on a day that they had “Nightwater”. So instead of cooking in the sun all day we went at 5pm, didn’t wear sunblock and head a great time. I did not realize that Whitewater was a part of Silver Dollar City. I have very mixed emotions when it comes to Silver Dollar City. Some of my first memories are at that park. While I enjoyed winning at a dart game and watching my step brother cry because he lost the rest was pretty bleak.

It started on the trip to Branson which was worse then than it is now and it is no picnic now. I was loaded into the back of a truck with a shell on it for three hours which is a recipe for motion sickness. To top it off there was a propane tank with a slow leak in the back with me. I spent the last hour of the trip vomiting into a paper grocery sack. If I smell propane to this day I nauseous. When we finally arrived I was given some Sprite and I was ready to go. We went into the caves and that was amazing, but I think the highlight of the trip was watching that weird Ringo Starr Movie “Cavemen” with my parents in the hotel room. I have not watched it since, I doubt that hit would hold up today. Then it was time to go to the pool and it was pitch dark and I stubbed my toe like you would not believe. It was mangled and bloody so I was not allowed in the pool. The next day we went to the park, things had to improve. That’s when I first heard about the ride “Fire in the hole”. This was a sadistic experience in my eight year old experience. It’s an indoor rollercoaster full of loud noises, drops and turns. When I saw what looked like a training come right at us I thought I was dead for sure. But it was worse because it dropped further down underground. When we stopped I was grateful to be alive and rightfully suspicious of my parents from then on for exposing me to this. “Come on let’s get on the roller coaster”. I was done, there was no way I was getting on a roller coaster. “This one is above ground it is not nearly as scary”. I don’t think my trust in adults ever fully recovered from this event. This roller coaster while like any other was terrifying for sure. But there was an added twist that some deviant sicko added to mess with little kids. You start climbing the largest hill on the ride “click, click, click, click” my anxiety started rising. “I can’t jump out from this high up and the terror might kill me,” I thought. Then, at the very top there when I expected the ride to spill over the edge killing us all there were store windows. “Why are there store windows?” The image is burned into my brain. There were mannequins. Mannequins! There were adult mannequins holding the hands of mannequin children and looked as though they were running and playing. And there was music. Like elevator music playing softly. It was calm and serene and then the bottom fell out and we plunged toward the earth. I did not ride another roller coaster until my 20’s.

When we left Whitewater Saturday I was too tired to drive so I gave the keys up and sure enough I got car sick. 33 years later and that drive is still making me sick.