Friday, September 6, 2013

The Past Part 2: Iowa

I spent 5 months back in Michigan after I went to Kansas.  I don't remember a lot about the 5 months I was here. I had my 'previous life' to tend to and a lot of loose ends to take care of. Some, like my storage unit, are still loose ends even now. Anyway, I took the above picture when I was finally far enough from Chicago that the land flattened out, the trees decreased in numbers, and the traffic vanished. I've always been drawn to the plains. So empty and vast. They speak to me, but I've never listened enough to hear exactly what they're saying. It's good, I'm sure.
My next destination was Iowa. Just outside of Des Moines. I spent the summer working at a small amusement park named Adventureland. The pay was terrible and that summer there were about 11 days in the 90s. I was a rides operator, and a pretty good one if I do say so myself.
I operated a number of these smaller rides. The first picture being the Scrambler, which I operated my very first day. The second picture is the Der Flinger. I had more people throw up on that ride than any other ride I operated all summer. Biggest rides I operated that summer were the 'Giant SkyWheel' or whatever they call it, and the Sidewinder. The Sidewinder was a popular ride and I felt like I was running a big show on that one. Haha. Oh, but actually.. The river rapid ride was incredibly popular. They had me operating that for WEEKS.
I just remembered I even found a Youtube video with me in the background as I was operating the Scrambler, but I've long forgotten the link. Haha.

You know, it was actually a fun summer. It definitely wasn't the bounty of appropriately aged women that I was hoping for. It was mostly middle schoolers, maybe some high schoolers, and then co-workers were usually of retirement age. I met a lot of great people and had fun.

The worst part of the summer was being plagued by car troubles right from the start. My gas tank had previously had a leak and I repaired it with JB Weld and it held up great until I was in Iowa for a little while and the ethanol in the gas out there ate through my repair. Nothing I tried to fix it could stand up to the ethanol. You can see in the pictures above the gas leak on the pavement. It sucked and I hated it but I was in a bind. I was working open to close most days, doing double shifts so I could pay for things. No overtime either. On top of the gas leak, one day as I was driving back to my campsite in the campground one of my tie rods broke. Another day I was at the gas station (putting in only a gallon at a time, due to the leak) and my starter gave out so I had to be towed. Shortly after getting that squared away I got a knock on my door in the middle of the night by one of the campground security guys telling me I had to IMMEDIATELY remove my car from the property due to my gas leak. This was towards the end of the season anyway. I was going to stand my ground and wait to talk to his supervisor but I decided it wasn't worth it and parked it at the McDonald's across the street until morning. I ended up playing a game of 'where to park my car' for a week. Ranging from the Walmart a mile down to the road to the casino across the other street. But enough was enough, I told the HR guy they kicked my car out of the campground and I was leaving.

I had the new gas tank and everything but I didn't have the time to do it myself, or the money to have someone else do it. And all the shops in the area wouldn't install customer supplied parts. I wasn't going to spend another $200 on a new tank that I already had.


I could have persevered, taken care of the issues at hand, and continued on. No doubt. But I let circumstance and negativity get the best of me. Now I've been living with my parents for the last year and a half. Even with all the car problems, I do not regret going to Iowa and working this horribly paid job for one second. If anything, I regret leaving the way I did.

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