Press-Republican

Grady

June 25, 2011

A ride that was all downhill

Walt Disney World in Orlando is a place where you can pay more than $100 a day for the privilege of sauteing in 90-degree heat while you stand in line 98 percent of the time, waiting for something to happen the other 2 percent.

We spent a couple of days there to celebrate the fact that the thermometer topped 90 with high humidity — ideal conditions to wait in line for a ride.

And what rides they have.

My favorite was called Thunder Mountain Railroad. My wife had gotten wind that this was tame enough for her to spend an hour in line waiting for a seat. The way she figured it, it was a piece of the Old West, wherein miners deposited the ore they'd hacked out of the mountain into a slow-moving rail car for transport down to flat land to take to the assayer's office. The ride would probably last two or three days for the entire journey, as those trains didn't travel very fast.

So we stepped to the back of a line we couldn't see the beginning of. Anything to make my wife happy, that's the way I look at it.

Come to find out, the train didn't turn out to be so pokey after all. In fact, the Thunder Mountain Railroad was ahead of its time. It was a roller coaster disguised as a train.

Old Thunder Mountain RR reached speeds estimated, by my wife, at several hundred mph. Just as you were reconciled to going that fast in one direction, the contours of the hill would come into play and you'd be heading practically 180 degrees opposite.

We had no idea there was any big hurry in getting that ore to the assayer's office, but apparently there was. If in the 19th century gold were being yanked out of the mountain and delivered to Fort Knox by this conveyance, it's no wonder our country prospered.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Grady
  • grady70.jpg The importance of 'Fore' in golf

    As the local golf season coasts to a close and golfers throughout the North Country begin to pack their clubs and frustrations away for another merciful respite, I'm compelled to report an incident that recently came to my attention involving my friend Ted and that diabolical sport, columnist Bob Grady writes.

    November 12, 2011 1 Photo

  • grady70.jpg Having a tiger by the tail

    I haven't slept in about a week, columnist Bob Grady writes. My wife's cat has taken up a new game: He slams the bedroom door into the wall as hard as he can and waits for somebody to get up and chase him downstairs in the dark. Great fun.

    September 3, 2011 1 Photo

  • grady70.jpg Another nasty chore dispatched

    I retired earlier this year. I had to. I ran out of business cards, retired editor Bob Grady says.

    July 30, 2011 1 Photo

  • grady70.jpg A ride that was all downhill

    Walt Disney World in Orlando is a place where you can pay more than $100 a day for the privilege of sauteing in 90-degree heat while you stand in line 98 percent of the time, waiting for something to happen the other 2 percent, says columnist Bob Grady.

    June 25, 2011 1 Photo

  • grady70.jpg The one item of trash you can't dispose of

    As I've already modestly reported, I've decided to devote my recent retirement from the newspaper business to helping mankind — Bob Grady

    May 28, 2011 1 Photo

  • grady70.jpg Capping off an overlong career

    I retired from the Press-Republican a month or two ago, and everywhere I go, kindly people ask me if I'm enjoying myself in my leisure, columnist Bob Grady writes.

    May 7, 2011 1 Photo

  • grady70.jpg Getting to the seat of the problem

    Somewhere this fall, probably in Palm Beach, Fla., the inventor of aluminum bleachers is lounging poolside, a gin and tonic in one hand and a fistful of large bills in the other, getting a hearty laugh over the good one he put over on everybody above the 42nd Parallel.

    October 15, 2008 1 Photo

  • A man's work is never done ... correctly The five dreaded words in many marriages: Oh, I can fix that.

    September 17, 2008

  • His ears must have been ringing The racehorse Big Brown took America by storm this year. In the process, a little rain fell on Jackie from Chicago.

    September 10, 2008

  • Warming up on a frigid Easter Another calamity for a lonely smoker.

    March 26, 2008