emember when I told you that the pandemic would generally ease to a finish in March or April of 2021? I did, but that was simply based on looking up the 1918 pandemic and seeing how long it lasted. The good news is it appears that this timeline is going to be generally accurate. The bad thing is that in over 100 years of technological advances, we have done nothing to improve the ability to deal with a pandemic. Pandemics are 2-0.
But I come to you with good news. History is a vicious and glorious cycle that can accurately predict life. We are about to enter the second “Roaring 20’s” and it is going to be epic. Bring your wallets and your significant other, cause this is going to be fun.
The United States economy grew by 42% from 1921 to 1929. Before we go too far, I will remind you that the stock market crash in 1929 is what brought an end to that party, so you might keep a side eye turned on 2030 or so.
The Roaring 20’s saw most of the country defy prohibition and start drinking like fish again, new style of dance and dress were all the rage and more than one historian described it as a time when many rejected traditional moral standards. I’m not sure what morals are still standard, but they’re about to get attacked in a “BIGLY” way. Keep an eye on your husbands and wives.
Anyway, get yourself in shape. Check your bank balances and get ready for a decade of pure decadence. We will spend too much, eat too much, drink too much and have a hell of a time for a decade, let’s worry about the end at a later date.
Speaking of the 1920’s, I am a bit mesmerized about one of the key components of the early 1900’s entertainment world. The number of amusement parks in those days is fascinating to me. It appears any little puddle of water and some available land became an amusement park in those days. It’s like somebody stumbled upon a splash of water and said, “hey, lets put up a Ferris wheel.”
In this general area I know of a few that are interesting. In Kanas City the “The Atlantic City of the West” was in north Kansas City near 44th and Brighton, now known as Winnwood Park. It was then called Winnwood Beach and it was glorious place for its time with a beach, amusement park rides and a huge dance pavilion. It’s now basically a park with a Sun Fresh Market next door.
Further to the east in Excelsior Springs was Lake Maurer, little lake that was all the range in the 1920’s. The park was home to roller skating, swimming, amusement park rides and boats. It was a mile south of the Elms Hotel and it featured a locomotive train that circled the grounds during the day. It’s now a retreat center.
Kansas City had Fairlyand that is a little more well-known and to the north St. Joseph had an amusement park at what is now Lake Contrary. It had a roller coaster, horse racing track and huge carousel that I assume used different horses than the racetrack. The area is now a basic ox bow lake that needs dredging most of the time.
I’m not sure if we are going to have a new crop of amusement parks pop up in our second Roaring 20’s, but if so, be prepared. Make sure you don’t have short friends that can’t pass the “you must be this high” signs or you’ll get frustrated.
See you at the parks!
(Guy Speckman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or waiting for new amusement parks to open)