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Pleasure Island Amusement Park Memories



Today, Pleasure Island might be the name of a future TV reality show starring sassy, shallow people, but I remember the name best as a wonderful amusement park located in Wakefield, Mass.

Pleasure Island had a short life -- only in business from 1959 to 1969 -- but the memories can never be taken away.  This lively 100-acre park had all the amusement park bells and whistles that were requisite for finicky kids like me with enough rides, attractions, events and overall visual appeal to create those lifetime of memories. I loved the hokey actors that staged mock gunfights in the Western City, the Space Rocket, Moby Dick and Pirate Rides, the picnic area, the Animal Barn, reliving the frontier days on the Chisholm Trail, the merry-go-round, various boat and car rides, and the locomotive steaming through the premises. I recall a few good places to eat there. They had an entertainment center, too, and I read that performers like Ricky Nelson, the Three Stooges and Caesar Romero performed at the "Show Bowl," We never got to see them, as our bed time was something like right after supper.

I bring up Pleasure Island in conversation whenever I can, and people look at me like I'm nuts. No one seems to remember this place, except my brother-in-law, Bill. It's nice to know there's someone in this world that remembers Pleasure Island and was equally enthusiastic about this amazing amusement park.

A business park eventually replaced Pleasure Island. That's fine -- we need people working in our country -- but perhaps some day an entrepreneur familiar with the glory days of Pleasure Island can find some open space and bring back this wonderful amusement park for the younger generations.  Wouldn't that be nice?

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