My “near-death” experience when I rode the Tilt-A-Whirl!

It’s interesting what childhood memories we retain. Our family lived about ten-miles from Seabreeze Amusement Park near the shores of Lake Ontario and we usually took a trip there once or twice each summer to enjoy the rides.

I started out with the slow-moving kiddie rides, but graduated to the more adventurous rides as I got older. One of the first grown-up rides I braved was the Tilt-A-Whirl. In that ride, a circular, segmented platform rotates over an “undulating” (i.e., having a smoothly rising and falling form or outline) track. Seven individual cars bolted to the platform each spins on its own circular track. As the platform rotates, the passengers in each car can shift their position to synchronize the motion of the car with the indulations of the moving platform to achieve a rapid, spinning motion.

On the occasion of my first time on the Tilt-A-Whirl, I nervously stood in line with my older sisters as we waited for our turn. The ride’s noisy, mechanical movements and the loud squeals of the passengers were thrilling as well as intimidating. We slowly advanced up the steps to the ride’s platform and when the attendant lifted the metal chain we scrambled to claim our car. We all grasped the handlebar as the platform began to turn. My sisters were “old hands” at this ride and began to shift their weight to sync the car’s rotation with the ups and downs of the moving platform. Before I knew what was happening, our car was spinning like a top! As the car spun faster and faster, I felt the increasing centrifugal force. It was scary, unlike anything I had ever experienced before. I hung onto the handlebar with a death grip, but felt my strength quickly ebbing. Why did I ever agree to go on this dangerous contraption?!?!?! I must have been a sight, like a frightened wild animal caught in a trap. One of my sisters could see my panic and leaned over and advised me to just relax and lean back into the padded wall of the car. Huh? I took her advice, loosening my death grip, and just went with the spin. Ah! Much better. This Tilt-A-Whirl experience was fun after all! Let’s go again!

Every once in awhile, I think about that moment when I had a panicky death-grip on the Tilt-A-Whirl handlebar and then relaxing and being able to enjoy what the ride was designed to do. There’s a spiritual analogy there about struggling to do things in my own power, and then surrendering to the Lord and His power and will. Ah, what a wonderful feeling it is to relinquish control, which I never really had in the first place, and submit to God. How about you? Are fretting and hanging on tightly, trying to control circumstances that are really outside of your control?

The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.” – Psalms 28:7

When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.” – Psalm 34:17

Postscript: The Tilt-A-Whirl was invented by Herbert Sellner back in 1926 in the basement of his Faribault, Minnesota home.

35 thoughts on “My “near-death” experience when I rode the Tilt-A-Whirl!

  1. I LOVED the Tilt A Whirl as a child- I’d break every bone in my body now!!
    I also appreciate the spiritual analogy! Thank you for that and I pray that some one that needs this stumbles upon Iwhat the Lord gave you to share!

    ❤️ “When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.” – Psalm 34:17
    PRAISE THE LORD! HE SURE DOES! We know this for a FACT!!!
    Have a grateful day, Friend!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Beth! Yes, I loved the Tilt-A-Whirl as well, after the initial experience. When we could sync it and get the car spinning really quickly it was so much fun!
      We’re so grateful to know our Lord is in control of all of our circumstances and that we can “lean back” and rest in Him.
      Thank you, my Friend, and have a grateful day in the Lord as well!
      p.s. At this point I have no desire to get jolted around by amusement park rides, either!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you!!

        RE: p.s. At this point I have no desire to get jolted around by amusement park rides, either!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I thought you were going to say that you and Corinne went on the Tilt-A-Whirl at Finger Lakes! Love this ride. I love any spinning ride!! Thank you for sharing this!!! Hope you and Corinne had a nice weekend. Nathan and I went hiking. Right now I am sitting in our local courthouse waiting to see if I will be selected as a juror. Definitely should have taken my brother’s advice to bring a book I haven’t started!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Mandy! Yup, I also loved spinning rides like the TAW and the “Scrambler.” We had a nice weekend, thanks, and sounds like you had a nice one, too! Argh! Jury duty is tough. Yeah, books are definitely a must-have. Hope it goes relatively quickly for you.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Brutal, Papa Tom, absolutely brutal! We had to wear a mask and a face shield. I thought I was going to rip off my face and pass out from lack of oxygen. If I would have been selected I don’t know how I would have concentrated because all I kept saying was, “take shallow breaths!” What are you and Corinne up to for today?! I am going to send you an email in a little bit.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Mandy, when you mentioned “jury duty” I thought, uh-oh, not a good time to be cooped up with 11 other people. I don’t know how people last all day wearing a face mask, but I guess they eventually get used to it.
        Our big item today is going to pick out new linoleum for our kitchen since our black and white checked linoleum yellowed badly since we bought it three years ago and it’s covered under warranty. What do you have going on today?
        Just checked my excatholic4christ email inbox and nothing yet so I will check later on. All notifications from WordPress are sent to that addy daily so it’s busting at the seams (22K unread emails in my inbox) and there’s no quick and easy way to delete them.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Nope, Mandy, you didn’t address me as Bruce. But that would be OK. I’ve mixed up names a few times myself when typing in the early morning before the caffeine kicked in.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Dropping by with a hi! Will read this interesting theme post later. Commenting from your comment I did an apologetics interview livestream and one of the other guys is from Philly and he was telling me the weather Friday was gloomy and rainy. Makes me appreciate LA weather. Hope you are not hurting with the moving of the furniture this weekend? But I’ll stand by for your full post in a few weeks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 👋🏻
      I see no sunshine forecasted until Friday. Another typical week in ROC. No pulls or strains from yesterday, thanks, but I knew I was pushing it. Dumb. After I recover tomorrow, I probably won’t feel like whining about it anymore.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, sister Crissy! I’ll I want are memories of those brain rattling machines at this point. Yup, submit and let go. Wonderful to be able to do that (albeit still imperfectly but getting better).

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Reading this reminds me of my childhood with the Merry go-around! The first time I was on one was probably at age 4 at McDonalds and these kids told me to get on but as I was trying to get on they purposely pushed it to go but my foot got stuck at the bottom and it totally hurted my ankle. man the memories of it! This is a very vivid post that made me think of that. You’re right so many things beyond our control…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s amazing the things we remember.
      RE: they purposely pushed it
      Kids can be real cruel.
      RE: control
      People crave control over circumstances and self-reliance in this uncertain temporal world but we see how hollow that is from a spiritual perspective.

      Liked by 1 person

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