"Wait, wait, wait!" I turned the heads of the guys pushing the heap of old lumber toward the dumpster. "I'm writing a book on vintage amusement parks and I'd love to own a piece of a rollercoaster. Those are going in the dumpster, right?"
"Um, yeah." said the incredulous worker.
"May I take this one?" I asked as I gingerly slid out a small piece of white painted wood from the pile, like a kid playing Jenga.
"Sure, whatever makes you happy." said Mr. Incredulous, looking at me like I had bats flying out of my ears.
I now own a piece of the Giant Dipper, the signature rollercoaster of Belmont Park. I thought I'd get to ride the ride, but a mix-up in communication landed me at the park on a day when it was closed (lemons), but I got to interview the guys who work on refurbishing it on a rotating basis: this week this portion, next week a different part (lemonade).
I have an actual brass ring from a carousel. I got to watch my funnelcake being made right in the funnelcake shop. And now I own a piece of an ACE Award rollercoaster whose first day of operation was the 4th of July, 1925 (nine days after my dad's first day of operation on this planet.)
Yep. I'd say this first leg of my Southern California Roadtrip is going pretty darned well.