Summer Recess Meant Trips to Dartmouth’s Lincoln Park
When the last schoolbook was collected, the blackboards washed and the fourth quarter report cards handed out, there was little else to think about but Lincoln Park.
Provided, of course, your parents were satisfied with the grades handwritten on that report card.
A lousy report card could result in a long summer hanging in the backyard – or worse, summer school!
If the teacher delivered for you, however, summer was filled with days at the beach, a visit or two to Fenway Park to see Carl Yastrzemski and the Boston Red Sox, hanging with friends, and Lincoln Park.
Lincoln Park was about the sounds, the smells, the crowds, the rides. Who could forget the food? Cotton candy, french fries, popcorn, clam cakes. At night, the lights lit the sky and made the world seem magical.
Lincoln Park meant roller skating, bowling, the Tilt-A-Whirl, the fun house, the roller coaster, the carousel, and the Ferris wheel. There was skee-ball, basketball, the clown heads with balloons that you filled with a water pistol until one popped and someone won a prize.
As a child, I lived in New Bedford's North End, a 10-minute drive to Lincoln Park, yet it seemed so distant. My wife grew up in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, and says it seemed hours away.
I recall seeing shows in the clam cake pavilion, including The Three Stooges, Bobby and Sissy from The Lawrence Welk Show (when my grandmother took me), Browning Bryant, Frankie Fontaine, and many others.
Mine was a wonderful childhood, and trips to Lincoln Park helped to make it extra special.
With the school year drawing to a close, I feel bad for the kids not having summer days at Lincoln Park to look forward to.
For those who may not be aware, Lincoln Park is gone now, replaced by housing.
Lincoln Park was just one of many amusement parks that existed around the region. They are all gone now.