Saturday, May 19, 2012

Orphans for the Day at Euclid Beach

Nehez, Cleveland News: The Flying Turns
Guest post by hubby, remembering a special and thrilling day at Euclid Beach, Cleveland's amusement park.

Early one summer morning when I was about 14, I took my 9-year-old brother for a day of adventure at Euclid Beach, without telling anyone our plans. We'd been to the park many times, but never on our own.

First, my brother and I stopped at the nearest Cleveland Trust branch, where I withdrew some money from my passbook savings account.

After an interminable streetcar ride from Cleveland Heights, we arrived at the park. I bought a few tickets, and we began our rounds of the rides. The Flying Turns (pictured here) was one of the most exciting rides in the park, and we were looking forward to it!

The park seemed full of kids our age, each wearing a tag. Standing in line for a ride, I talked with one of the kids and learned that it was the annual orphans' day picnic. That meant the orphans could ride as often as they wanted for free! The kid generously offered me his tag, and his buddy handed a tag to my brother. I said, "What will you do?" He said they'd just go get replacements.

My brother and I were astounded by the wealth of opportunity that suddenly opened to us. We rode one ride after another, losing track of time. The only money we spent during the rest of the day was for popcorn balls and Euclid Beach taffy. We felt like we had just won the sweepstakes!

Finally, when the orphans had to leave the park, we reluctantly had to find the streetcar and rode home, exhausted but happy. At dinner, my mother (Marian McClure Wood) asked where we'd been all day. We told her we'd been "orphans" for the day and had ridden all the rides at Euclid Beach for free. She was mortified.


  1. Wow! What a funny story! I'm not surprised your mother was mortified. This sounds like it could be an episode on "Leave it to Beaver" or something.

  2. Jana, thanks for're right, it does sound like "Leave it to Beaver."

  3. This is such a great story. Thanks for sharing! Of course, it would never happen today.

  4. This is a truly wonderful story in so many ways! I was touched at the beginning that you took your little brother on your own and were paying his way with our savings. Then, just when I was getting ready for the rides, you told the orphans story. OMG, what a tale. Thanks for the smiles.

    1. Hi Nancy and Elizabeth, This is one of my favorite tales of my husband's childhood and I'm so happy to share it with my Geneablogger friends! Thanks for visiting and leaving your kind comments. - Marian