Whatever Happened to the Rocket Ship Slide? Do You Remember?
If you grew up in the 60s,70s, and even the early 80s you may have seen and played on a rocket that you could climb into all the way to the top, and about midway down you could slide out of the rocket on a metal slide. Remember?
There was hardly any local park in the country that had the tall metal-built rocket ship, in fact, if my memory serves me correctly, I believe Spring Lake Park had one and maybe a couple of other parks around Texarkana. I want to say when the Holiday Inn Fun Dome was built years ago on Highway 67, didn't they have one?
I personally remember crawling inside one at a young age pretending I was an astronaut on a mission but I learned real quickly you had better be wearing long pants because that metal was really hot during the summer months it could actually burn you.
Something else I remember about those slides is they were made of metal so they were extremely fast and you could get hurt hitting the ground if you were not being careful.
Which brings me to the question, what happened to those slides? For one, they were built in the 1960s to honor the space age era that the U.S. was going through at that time. The rocket ships over time were deemed unsafe for many reasons very limited play value, hazardous conditions that could endanger a child, and some became vandalized so most of them were all torn down to make room for safer playground equipment that featured plastic-type slides.
I don't know just how many rocket ship slides are still standing today but the City of Des Moines, Iowa has one at a local park that is being totally refurbished and should be open again in summer 2024 with its new safety features, according to the Des Moines Register and WHO-13.
The 107-foot-long, 32-foot-high structure weighed nearly seven tons and cost the city $6,200, which today would be around $42,500. A petition was filed by the community to save the rocket from being demolished years ago and this historic iconic rocket slide will rise again to keep children entertained like so many other generations in that community.
I don't Texarkana will have one rising from the ashes any time soon but how cool would that be to bring back a little nostalgia to the community? Elon Musk has brought back the fascination of rockets again and NASA is building a rocket to go to Mars in the not-so-distant future. so why not bring it back?
Would you like to see the rocket ship slide come back?