Rebel Yell

Everyone else was standing in line, so we did, too. My mother, father, sister and I waited for our turn to ride our first roller coaster. We had no clue what a roller coaster was. I was six years old.

This was our first trip to Kings Dominion. We went with two other families. I was the second to youngest child in the group. There was a boy younger than I who wore a suit that day, and I distinctly remember noting how inappropriate that was. My mother had dressed me and my sister in new outfits, selected and purchased for the occasion. A pair of metal studded shorts, hats, snoopy socks, brand new sneakers, and shirts cropped to show our midriffs. Many pictures would be taken to send back to family in Korea. We had to look the part. We had to look like we were living the life.

Chugging up that first hill did feel like we were living the life with the view of the amusement park sprawled out before us. I sat with my father. My sister and mother sat in the car in front of us. I enjoyed being up high, looking down at the people, and seeing as far as I could see. The breeze blew. The air felt better up in the sky. Then, we dropped. Lifted out of my seat, I gasped for breath, squeezed the metal bar with my sweating hands and pressed my forehead against it, hearing my father laugh and my sister giggle and my mother moan, aigo umma aigo aigo umma aigo. Paralyzed, I fixed my dumb gaze on my new sneakers dangling from my snoopied legs and submitted to being still and silent, unable to ask when it would all end.

Me and my sister, not looking amused.

My dad made sure to capture the roller coaster’s first drop.

The three families.

Published in: on April 14, 2011 at 3:32 pm  Comments (5)  

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. hilarious! i love how nan managed to pull up her socks to the middle of her thigh, at least in the first picture. do you remember the other families? even back then, your dad was wearing his signature hats…cool. eddie wears those now, and i know why. i bet it’s the same reason why your dad wore his.

    • Tell Eddie I didn’t even notice the loss when I last saw him.

      I do remember the other families very vividly. It was an interesting dynamic because the family to our left was from the country and the family to our right was from the city.

  2. Love this. Great slice-of-life. What it means to be “American.”

    • I think the Russians came up with the roller coaster. It’s all American now. It was kind of a rite of passage into the culture to ride a coaster.

  3. I noted how you both had on jackets in the photo with your mother (who looks so beautiful, btw). I love that she dressed you in such cute outfits with the midriff baring tops and also managed to remember to bring jackets in case of a chill. In everything she had to remember about that day, the still new-ness of the new place, she remembered the jackets.

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