The Parachute Jump still stands as a recognizable icon of Coney Island. It was moved to its current location in 1941 from its original spot at the 1939 New York World’s Fair in Flushing Meadow Park. The ride became part of Steeplechase Park, which closed in 1964, the year my family moved to Brooklyn from Long Island. I don’t remember the ride running after Steeplechase Park closed and for that reason alone (or simple cowardice), I myself never rode the Parachute Jump. My mother, however, did.
|THE PARACHUTE JUMP THIS BEAUTIFUL, SUNNY MORNING.|
|YESTERDAY FROM MY BEDROOM WINDOW, SHOWING THE WONDER WHEEL AND CYCLONE.
THE PARACHUTE JUMP IS BEHIND THE BUILDING ON THE RIGHT.
|THE CONEY ISLAND BOARDWALK THIS QUIET MORNING AFTER THE HOLIDAY WEEKEND.|
|THE PICK-UP “ARTIST” MORE THAN 60 YEARS LATER.|
“It wasn’t like that. It wasn’t nice for two girls to go on a ride like that by themselves.”
“But it was nice to pick up a couple of sailors?” I was having such a good time. “What about your husbands?”
|MY PARENTS. YEARS AFTER THE SAILORS.
(MY FATHER WAS NEVER TOLD.)
“Well, of course, we weren’t even engaged at the time. Murray was in the Navy and your father was in the Army.” My mother was actually blushing now and Jerry and my cousin Joan were wiping tears from their eyes.
“So, what did you do AFTER the ride?” I asked.
“They walked us to the subway station and we took the train home. It was completely innocent.”
We recently took my mother to a local diner for lunch. The diner is called “The Parkview” because it’s not far from the Coney Island amusements and you can see some of the rides from its south-facing windows. I was gleeful when I saw the photos on the cover of the large (diner-sized) menu. There were old shots of the rides and amusements at Coney Island, including the Parachute Jump. And at the very bottom of the cover… my mother and Harriet’s sailors!