What a Ride

14 Aug

Went home to New York this weekend for Mitzi and Jason’s aufruf, but that wasn’t the only excitement.

Saturday night, my friends Scott and David continued our end-of-summer tradition of going to Friday’s and Playland. Believe it or not, this was the 15th consecutive year we did this.

And who said I couldn’t stick with something that long?

Anyway, so of course, the purpose and make-up of the outing has changed over the years, but the gist of it is still the same.

In 1992, the last weekend before one of us went to college, a group of six USY friends went to Friday’s in Tarrytown (halfway between where we in Westchester and those in Rockland live) for dinner and one last hurrah.

Afterward, we headed (rather spontaneously) to Rye Playland, a historic and famous but by no means top-of-the-line amusement park, to ride some rides.

The next year we went out again, did the same things, and it basically became a traditional thing to do at the end of every summer from there on out.

Over the years, the group has ebbed and flowed, and while we’ve lost three people, David, Scott and I still go, and we’ve since added their wives and children.

And, we still hit the same spots every year: the Dragon Coaster, bumper cars, and skee ball, and we divvy up the prize tickets between the full group so everyone gets something (even if it’s just a rub-on tattoo or bouncy ball).

Most years we also go on the Derby Racers, but nowadays that either gets replaced by a Merry-Go-Round or Kiddie Land rides, or both.

And we’ve also changed the order nowadays, going to Playland first (and earlier in the day).

On Saturday, we didn’t ride the bumper cars and we stayed in Kiddie Land longer than usual (that’ll happen with three 2-year-olds and a 4-year-old), but at Friday’s I still ordered the Chicken Fingers (just as I have done most other years), and we talked about the Cup of Dirt dessert (which I’ve ordered many times before).

But despite any changes, the outing serves an important purpose now: it’s simply a chance for David, Scott and I to get together, since it’s the only time Scott and I ever see David.

Were it not for this annual get-together, we might no longer be friends with him.

So, another year down. Next year will be the 15th anniversary of this outing, our 16th time going. That first night in 1992, it’s safe to say none of us ever thought we’d still be going back year after year.

But we do, and I don’t see us stopping any time soon.

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