This Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio, has more roller-coasters than any place. Sixteen incredible, awesome, screaming rides. At least that's what I read in the brochure.
My dad, George, insists on avoiding thrills at all cost. Roller-coasters are absolutely out of the question, and have been since 1945.
"This thing?" he says, pointing to the coaster, "No, thanks."
"You haven't been on a roller-coaster in 60 years?," I ask. "No," he replies.
Now at the age of 80, my father would like to believe he's too old for roller-coasters.
Dad jokes, but believe me, his loathing of roller-coasters is real. In fact, it's so ingrained, I think he actually passed it on to me thorugh his genes. Roller-coasters have never exactly been my cup of adrenaline, either.
"Some guys think they need to prove themselves all the time," I tell my dad.
"I think they do, too," he agrees.
"And Hartmans aren't like that," I posit.
"And they can brag about it," he adds.
"We're not like that. ... Plus, we're scared," I say.
"Yeah, to some degree," he concurs.
My dad is nothing if not honest, and always supportive of his son, which is why, as the day wound down, he agreed to go with me on a roller-coaster called "The Iron Dragon."
"I guess that's what I'm here for," Dad said.
I promised him he would be perfectly safe ... once we got on the ride. But he told the attendant to "slow it down" and hit his head getting into the car.
Hopefully, this would be a memory we could both cherish forever.
"What happened?" he wondered, "It's over."
Unfortunately, I think the whole thing was a blur, albeit a wonderful, life-affirming blur.
"I'm still alive," Dad said at the end of it.
That's my Dad, proving once and for all that you're never too old to have your kids embarrass the hell out of you.