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Where has all the fun gone?

Original post made by Curious, Del Prado, on Apr 13, 2012

When I was growing up in the South Bay, the fun and recreation opportunities seemed endless. We had ice and roller skating rinks within biking distance of my house, three bowling alleys in my little town of Sunnyvale alone, two indoor movie theaters, a drive-in movie theater, a Farrells Ice Cream parlour, a put-put golf course with video arcade, open fields and orchards where we could build jumps for our BMX bikes, and many parks for basketball, baseball, soccer, and whatever other games we could dream up.

Most of those activities are gone now with the exception of the indoor movie theaters (but long gone is the 2-screen second run movie house that charged only $2.00) and the put-put course.

No one is building bowling alleys or put-put courses anymore. There are no new drive-in theaters. Gone are the Farrells Ice Cream parlours where you could order up a Pig's Trough for your birthday party. No new ice rinks are being built. New development seems to involve new grocery stores, Outlet malls or apartments built over the cherished memories of our youth. Were those amusements widely profitable? Probably not, but can someone put a price tag on the joy and smiles a child receives from bowling a strike, or sinking a hole in one at put-put, or watching an ice cream laden stretcher being carried wildly around the ice cream parlour to arrive at your table with birthday candles ablaze. Maybe it shouldn't always be about profit.

I look at my children's hometown of Pleasanton and feel a bit sad they do not have some of those same opportunties afforded to me. Yes, we can travel to neighboring cities for ice skating, put-put, or movies, but they will not be able to just hop on their bikes and head over to these attractions. We have a wonderful BMX park for our kids to enjoy, but will that be around for the next generation? Just when my kids are old enough to enjoy the Rapids Waterslides at Shadowcliffs, the slides have been closed awaiting a decision to tear them out to leave behind an empty pit of rocks, dust, and sadness.

I am not so naive to think drive-ins will come back or a bowling alley will be built in Pleasanton, but we should all be concerned the amenities we do have like the Waterslides and BMX park are being threatened and may not be around for future generations. Once these amusements are gone, as I saw in Sunnyvale, there is no going back.

Comments (25)

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Posted by Joe
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 13, 2012 at 1:26 pm

I am sad to say, but for many kids nowadays, entertainment consists fo TV, computer, video games and the never ending texting.

High tech can be very useful, but I think it is also a dangerous vice.


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Posted by Curious
a resident of Del Prado
on Apr 13, 2012 at 2:15 pm

@ Joe - I agree, those activities have partially replaced some of the entertainment avenues of the past and certainly have their place. I question though, what is everyone Facebooking or Tweeting or Texting about if the actual activities that generate the comments have disappeared.

Also, those electronic entertainment activities can lead to isolation, a sedentary lifestyle, and loss of basic social skills.


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Posted by resident
a resident of Downtown
on Apr 13, 2012 at 2:58 pm

@curious - kids who text do so about nothing at all, nothing! They do it because they know nothing else. How many smart phones, computers and big screen TVs do you own? And how much time every day do you allow your kids to use them? Unlimited? Yeah, just like every other Pleasanton parent who wants taxpayers to pay to entertain their kids.
Why should taxpayers fund ice rinks (so that parents can sue over misuse by their kids) or water slides (so that parents can sue over misuse by their kids) or anything else? Teach your kids about entertaining themselves for once. Go pull some weeds. Go spend time with a senior citizen who has no family around. Volunteer some time at the food bank. But get your lazy kids off their butts and away from their tech toys. It is YOUR responsibility to figure out their entertainment, not mine.


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Posted by Michel
a resident of Beratlis Place
on Apr 13, 2012 at 7:09 pm

It's due to the myriad of lawyers who have litigated the businesses into the ground for minor issues. Follow the money back to the scourge of civilization....lawyers.


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Posted by Julie
a resident of Downtown
on Apr 13, 2012 at 7:26 pm

The Water Slides are the best deal going for taxpayers, and a fun and affordable amenity for our kids and families. The owner of the slides who built and has operated them for thirty years (at NO cost to the taxpayer), wants to renovate and continue to operate them (at NO cost to the taxpayer), but EBRPD will not extend or renew his lease.

Speak up or the slides will be lost! April 16th Pleasanton Parks and Rec meeting is scheduled as a public meeting on the topic.

April 16th 7:00 Pleasanton City Council chamber, 200 Old Bernal Ave.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by steven
a resident of Stoneridge
on Apr 13, 2012 at 8:09 pm

"It's due to the myriad of lawyers who have litigated the businesses into the ground for minor issues. Follow the money back to the scourge of civilization....lawyers." .... And the unions and union mmembers dthey support.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by M.
a resident of Downtown
on Apr 14, 2012 at 8:33 pm

M. is a registered user.

Seriously?

Did anyone even elude to public funds for entertainment venues for kids in this post? Why is it that every single topic posted on these forums has to be somehow spun into blame the unions, stop asking for entitlement moneys etc.. Honestly you guys need to get your heads out of your asses.


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Posted by Tracey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 14, 2012 at 8:43 pm

In the standard collocation of English, M., the word should be "allude." You need to buy yourself a writing class. Aside from that, I have no comment on this topic either way.


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Posted by M.
a resident of Downtown
on Apr 14, 2012 at 8:53 pm

M. is a registered user.

Yes, I noticed that after the fact. It is too bad we can't edit our posts, and seriously you needed to comment just to point that out and tell me to go "buy a writing class"? How about you go ahead find something else to do with your time?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Lucille
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 15, 2012 at 6:52 am

M, why the hostility, just because your illiteracy was highlighted? I'm sure the public schools have a remedial English class you can attend.


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Posted by steven
a resident of Stoneridge
on Apr 15, 2012 at 11:51 am

Lucielle,
Why do you take on other people's names and fill these spaces with irrelevant minutiae? I've complained to the editors, stamped my feet, and fretted until I've cried but you won't comply with my standards of decorum. I'm not going to take this s**t any longer.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 15, 2012 at 12:47 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Yes, why do you do that?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Tracey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 15, 2012 at 12:52 pm

This is why some people, like Stacey and I, should have freer speech than you. At least we're not anonymous, like you trolls, union batters and gollums.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 15, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Tracey and Lucielle and steven,

Why do you do that?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Tracey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 15, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Wh-what? Why are you turning on me? I'm on your side! I'm just like you Stacey, I'm just like you. We're TWINS


 +   Like this comment
Posted by No mockers, no more !
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 15, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Smart Axx' Tracey 'is a mocking troll, latching on to Stacey, in an failed attempt to share in her visible intelligence ....but it just won't fly ! !
Also, There is a reason for blaming unions for more than their personal greed, and that is their full-time political campaigning for everybody from Council, to Supervisors (like Nadia Lockyer), Assembly, Congress, Governor Brown who created Ca PUBLIC unions. Party-line Dem union millions in every election, bought and owns all of California, top to bottom ! ! !The rest of us are hostages.


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Posted by Tracey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 15, 2012 at 2:13 pm

Looks like gollum is back! I'm very sorry for anyone who believes such tripe. Clearly your writing education is deficient.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 15, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

"some people, like Stacey and I, should have freer speech than you"

That's your opinion, which I do not share. Do tell how being required to register to post lessens your freedom of speech and anonymity. All it does is hold a registered account more responsible for what is written, as the other 99% of websites have found.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jesse Jim
a resident of Old Towne
on Apr 15, 2012 at 3:01 pm

Okay children let's grow-up. Our state is sinking because of overpaid teachers and other pubic servants. We're crawling with illegal immigrants. Gays are destroying our moral fabric, and women are killing their own babies before their even born. How can anyone sleep at night knowing that entitlement groups are living off the public taxpayer's fat? Gene's going under is only the beginning. The new grocery going in will be unionized and that means 185% increases in the cost of beans, franks, chips, and other staples. We have so much work to do, defending California against all the freeloaders and pikers and murderers and thugs. Let's try to re-group shall we? Let's return these pages to what they're designed to do, hate on those who deserve our hatred.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 15, 2012 at 3:07 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

"Let's return these pages to what they're designed to do, hate on those who deserve our hatred."

Yes, I've always known you think that's what discussion on this site used to be like. But if you truly believed that, you'd support the idea that people should be required to register to post and support improving the tone of conversation on this site rather than resorting to bullying.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jesse Jim
a resident of Old Towne
on Apr 15, 2012 at 4:16 pm

I agree with Stacey. That's why I always use not only my first name but my middle name as well. Others post under 'concerned' and 'resident' and 'liberated libertarian'. But I don't think one can really level one's true hatred of all society's sponges without giving your first name. It's the courageous thing to do, really. I do it, Stacey does it, steve does it, Jimbo does it. See what I mean?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Michel
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 15, 2012 at 7:52 pm

So true, Jim. Which is why you should include your last name on your posts, as well. After all, if you really feel strongly enough to post here, you should be man enough to identify yourself. What's your last name....post it here and I'll post mine.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by steven
a resident of Stoneridge
on Apr 15, 2012 at 9:30 pm

Michel,

These posts are for spewing venom, not for hooking up with people. You should try craigslist if you're that lonely.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kurt Kummer
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Apr 15, 2012 at 10:12 pm

So just to get back to the original posting: what do you think Pleasanton needs most? Waterslides? Dogparks? BMX parks? Tennis courts? Movie theaters? Skating rinks? And how do we get them?

Thoughts?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Curious
a resident of Del Prado
on Apr 16, 2012 at 9:43 am

@ Kurt- That is a good question. Certainly more activities for younger kids and teenagers they can access on their own. Maybe a Community Center with a Teen Center. I was certainly not proposing the City and Taxpayers fund ice rinks or movie theaters, but the City can certainly help facilitate drawing those attractions into the city.


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