Paragon Park Would Sure Look Good Now on This Summer Day

As summer comes around and thoughts turn to the beach and carefree days, the former Paragon Park would sure be welcome in a state that seems to become less fun as time goes on.

 Paragon Park at Nantasket Beach in Hull, Mass. had the distinct advantage of being an amusement park conveniently located, for us Boston area people, by one of the best ocean beaches in New England. For many of us, Hampton Beach, N.H., was too far away and with too much traffic getting there. Old Orchard Beach, Maine, added even more travel time and came across back then as more sketchy and the Maine ocean beach water was too cold for swimming. Paragon Park, however, was just a short high school or college group car drive away for most of us in the Boston area as Hull is considered suburban Boston.

Oh, what I would do to see once again the amusement rides, arcades, the boardwalk, the relatively warm swimming water, and most importantly, the spirited summer ambiance. You didn't even have to ride the Giant Coaster or try your hand at skeeball to have fun -- sometimes, it was just nice enough walking around and feeling the essence of a fun summer through the salt sea air, the sandy ocean beaches and crashing waves, the aromas of comfort food and suntan lotion confirming the summer season, and, of course, people just having a great time on the amusement rides and at the penny arcades.

After nearly 80 years bringing summer vacation joy to hundreds of thousands of people, Paragon Park closed in 1984, and Nantasket Beach just hasn't been the same since. The condo development that took the place of much of Paragon Park seems sterile when compared to Paragon Park's family-friendly summer warmth. Sure, the 1928 Carousel and mini golf remains and there is an impressive, growing restaurant scene by Nantasket Beach, but summer here seems more like a cold, winter day knowing that one of the greatest amusements parks on the planet will never be with us again.

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