The is an image of the Paratrooper amusement ride in operation at night. The Paratrooper was invented in the 1950s by the Frank Hrubetz Company of Salem, OR. It immediately became a success and showed up in traveling carnivals and amusement parks in the US and around the world. It is visually stunning, enjoyable to ride and offers nice balance of action and fun to please a wide age range. It is categorized as a“flat ride” by amusement park geeks, indicating is is not a roller coaster or a park transportation system. Us geeks usually refer to it as just “the trooper”.
As a kid I loved the shape, movement and lighting of the paratrooper. It was usually at the two traveling carnivals that came to my area (the Zayre parking lot in Woburn and the field next to Lum’s in Billerica.). Also, it was the only ride that was at every single amusement park I went to in New England; Riverside Park, Whalom park, Lincoln Park, Paragon par and Canobie Lake park. I spent many evenings in bed cataloging all of the rides at all of these parks and came of with his single common adult flat ride.
When I visited Knoebel’s grove in Elysburg PA a few years back, I was thrilled to see they had a collection of pristine classic flat rides. I took many of photos yielding many interesting lighting patterns. This Paratrooper was originally at Palisades Park in Fort Lee New Jersey and was purchased by Knoebels in the early 70s when they closed their doors.
This painting means a lot to me because it is connected with so many warm memories of childhood. I am very grateful I was able to execute this and capture the uniqueness of a wonderful ride that so many people have enjoy over the years.