Am I a pre-Boomer?
When I was a child in the early fifties in NJ there was an amusement park on the western fringe of my town. It was called Olympic Park. Had a huge beer garden/ picnic grove, with a bandstand, a building where you could roller skate on wood floors, rows of carny businesses like shooting galleries, where you could win a fuzzy prize, and of course, a big roller coaster, bumper cars, bumper boats, many other thrill rides.
For decades it was the best place in the city to have fun, and what a happy place it was! It said “SMILE” at the entrance. Even had an Olympic sized swimming pool.
When we drove down Springfield Avenue I always watched for 43nd Street because then you could see at its end the big wooden arched entrance to Olympic Park. I would beg dad to turn down 43th Street and take us there, but, that was the early fifties. Because of the Polio epidemic raging then he thought it was too dangerous to be where so many people would be gathering.
It all changed when they introduced the Polio vaccine.
"A billion here, a billion there...add it all up and before you know it you're talking real money." Everett Dirkson