© Ruth Lopez
Never do a web search on medical conditions — particularly when you are driven by fear, neurosis or paranoia that you might be suffering from whatever mysterious it. You know this already. The same should apply to a search on carnival ride accidents.
Driving back from Ann Arbor on back roads, we stop in the town of Three Rivers (established 1823). There is an art center built out of an old stone Carnegie library, and a main street of 19th century storefronts. People are walking by lugging lawn chairs — a festival is happening down the hill behind Main street on the other side of the river. We follow. Oh, the humanity. It's probably the first hot day of summer and so there is lots of skin on display with lots of tattoos and a surprising amount of piercings for a rural area. It is also a beautifully diverse crowd.
I manage to take some pictures on the Hurricane before I have to close my eyes and imagine I am somewhere else. Still. With both feet on the ground. At that moment, I believe this ride is close to the worst thing that could ever happen to me and I wonder if the ride operator has gone on a pee break. Please. Stop. What if he walks off the job, or falls over dead and no one knows how to stop the ride and we go round and round and round and round? This is what I am thinking Rose: Do I want to die by leaping out or by being swirled to death? It's a horrible thought, and even if I were a jumper (I'm not), I wouldn't be able to get out because the centrifugal force has slammed my companion up against me and I am pinned uncomfortably in place. I stopped my online search to see if there were any interminable thrill ride incidents after catching the headline of a girl who got her scalp sliced off. No thank you on the details.
The Hurricane was created in the 1940s and whoever thought to name it after a natural disaster must have been something of a marketing genius. It looks like a giant insect with six metal cars at the ends of long arms (sweeps) that can carry four people. The sweeps are attached to a 40 foot-tall tower housing the pneumatic cylinder that powers us up and down as we go around. Anyways, when we get out we give away the rest of our tickets to the most bedraggled looking mom with a horde of kids and get out of there.
Andrew Carnegie (1836-1919), the great industrialist and philanthropist, also gave us a thrill ride ‚ the public library.