from the diary: “August 1, 1981
“[Yesterday] I walked into the library and looked up ‘Amusement Parks’ and ‘Baum, L. Frank’, but didn’t find anything new.”
I’ve been remembering the Oshkosh trip as just me and Dad. I’d forgotten Mom came with me. We flew to Milwaukee and spent a day together, visited the museum, ate lunch outside on the lawn. After lunch I stepped into the library to do a little research.
I remember the thick yeast smell that weighted the air. Brewery town.
Dad met us that afternoon at the motel. Took us to dinner. “We ate at the Pfister. Very swanky-danky. I was a little uncomfortable walking in there in old cords and Mom’s home-made jacket and such. After we met the courteous waitresses and waiters and by the time the band started playing I felt much more at ease. Mom and Dad danced … I wrote an episode of The Lost Queen of Oz.”
The next day Dad took me to Marriott’s Great American in Gurnee, Illinois. “It’s a bit different than the park in Santa Clara. It’s bigger and has more rides. I rode my first wooden roller coaster … twice.”
“At 8:00 we left the park. On the freeway the radiator blew and we walked to … the Fantasy Inn [where] Dad called a cab … Dad is going to try to make Rent-a-Heap pay for cab fare since their heap stranded us.”