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First Ride on the Giant Dipper, 1975

The summer of 1975 was a milestone for my friend Traci and me. We had just grown tall enough to ride the Giant Dipper roller coaster at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk! Traci’s 60-year-old grandmother, Grandma Brook, accompanied us. I remember screaming in surprise as we plunged down the dark tunnel before being dragged slowly up, up, up the first hill. The view of the beach and the Pacific Ocean was spectacular, but it was also scary being so high above it all. And then the first drop happened! That was the scariest, most exhilarating moment I had ever experienced in my life. Traci and I screamed our lungs out. Grandma Brook held up her arms and laughed. She laughed over every peak and valley. I remember looking at Grandma Brook’s tousled grey hair at the end of the ride and thinking, “When I’m 60, I still want to be riding the Giant Dipper – just like Traci’s Grandma Brook!”


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