As part of my search for a new career, the woman I’m working with has asked me to complete an exercise to identify my “transferrable skills”. In order to do this, I’m to write seven stories from my life that will (hopefully!) make those skills clear and obvious. So sit back and enjoy the stories; I’m sure you’ll learn something new about me.
Cedar Point is an amusement park near Sandusky, Ohio. It boasts some of the tallest and fastest roller coasters in the world. And for two summers I had the time of my life there.
First, you need to understand that I was born and raised in Hawaii. I’d never been to Cedar Point before. I don’t think I’d even been on a roller coaster before. But six days after my high school graduation, with my aunt’s address in nearby-Sandusky in hand, I flew to Ohio and spent my first of two summers working there.
That first summer I didn’t know what to expect and so had no goals of any kind. I just knew I wanted to get off my little rock in the middle of the Pacific and have some fun. And boy, did I ever! Thanks to my two roommates who had tried nearly every drug known to man, I was able to use a combination of marijuana and alcohol to fuel one of the most mind-altering, fun summers of my life. We used to get drunk and/or high and go on the coasters after our shifts were over. I’m telling you, you haven’t lived until you’ve toked up, pounded a few beers, and ridden in the front car of the 200-foot-high, 72mph Magnum…in the dark!
The only thing really missing from that first summer were girls (other than the much-older, one-legged female from Nitro, WV…but that’s another story). So my second summer there, between my junior and senior year of college, I returned to Cedar Point with the goal of meeting as many girls as possible. I knew cash was needed if I wanted to mix it up with the ladies, so I took a job as a bellhop at the park’s historic Hotel Breakers. On a slow shift I’d go home with $30-40, which was still more than most people in the park were making. On a good night during peak season, my shirt pocket routinely bulged with over $100 in folded bills. More than enough to attract the kind of attention I was looking for. So I spent that summer chasing thrills of a different kind; fewer coasters, more women. I was quite a bit more sober that second summer, but I still had tons of fun!