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High School Graduation & Giant Dipper, 1979

I graduated high school on the Saturday before Memorial Day 1979. We lived in San Jose, but my graduation party was at a beach house in Aptos. Family and a few high school friends attended. When the party died down, my dad had my older brother take me, my siblings and friends to Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk for a night of rides and fun. The Boardwalk was not very busy, so we were able to go on all the rides we wanted with very little wait time. I took the opportunity to do something I had only dreamed of. . . I rode the Giant Dipper from front to back that night! I wanted to experience the Giant Dipper from every car and learn what it was like from every possible vantage point. Was it really worth waiting longer to get the front or back cars? It was THRILLING! And, I learned that I like the FIRST CAR FRONT ROW BEST! Never again would I settle for a ride in a middle car just so we could move on to the next attraction. It’s been more than 45 years, but I still wait to ride in the front row of the Giant Dipper. I’m usually the oldest person getting on, but I don’t care. . . my arms are in the air and I’m smiling and remembering the night I rode in every car for my high school graduation!

Michelle Mendizabal

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