Riverview Park, the per­fect set­ting for their young dreams

Reminisce - - Spotlight - BY DON MILLER • LIBERTYVILLE, IL Tell us how you met your true love: REM­I­NISCE.COM/SUB­MIT-A-STORY

Grow­ing up in Chicago, Illi­nois, in the 1950s,

I spent many days and nights at the nowde­funct Riverview Park on the city’s north side. My teenage mem­o­ries of that era in­volve me, my wife and our friends.

To cel­e­brate my birth­day, for a cou­ple of years my Grand­mother Vi­vian took me and a group of my friends on an out­ing to the amuse­ment park. We took a street­car, known to us as the Red Rat­tler, north to the park. There we’d eat a pic­nic lunch in the grove and spend the day on rides and play­ing car­ni­val games. Af­ter we’d gone through all our money, we’d head back home on the street­car.

Dur­ing those years, I had an af­ter-school job, and when I earned

$5, I thought I was rich. My fa­vorite ride was the Bobs, a renowned wooden roller coaster fa­mous for its speed and its 85-foot drop.

When I turned 16, I met Pat Hansen, a girl two years younger than me. A neigh­bor who went to Vis­i­ta­tion High School, the all-girl Catholic school Pat at­tended, brought her over to meet me and my friends. We fell in love at first sight.

Af­ter that we spent many dates go­ing to Riverview, and even had our pic­ture taken there. We al­ways ended the night watch­ing fire­works and tak­ing the Red Rat­tler home.

Pat and I mar­ried in 1959 and spent 55 happy years to­gether un­til she died in 2014.

I still keep in touch with many of the peo­ple who went on those Riverview out­ings. We get to­gether a few times a year and mostly talk about the days gone by. We grew up in the ideal era to be a teenager.

THIS SOU­VENIRphoto taken in 1955 showsDon and Pat rid­ing the moon at Riverview.

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