One weekend in late December, 2021, or early January 2022—the days do run together—my darling, adorable wife and I took a drive out to Lake Worth, northwest of Fort Worth, Texas, and took Watercress Drive along the north shore for a bit, with a brief stop at Sunset Park to pick up some kindling (Hana) and make a few photos (me).

Why Lake Worth? Well, long story…

Lake Worth, TX, 2022

Long before Six Flags built its first theme park (Arlington, TX, 1961), Fort Worth and surrounding areas were home, in the 1900-1920s, to 4 Trolley parks scattered around the city, and from the late 1930s through the late 1970s, a small theme park on the north shore of Lake Worth, called Casino Beach. I learned of these during a years-long stint as an avid OpenRCT2 wannabe, and took trips to visit the sites of these throughout 2020 and 2021.

Lake Erie was absorbed by Lake Arlington and the land is occupied by a big power plant now: no access. Lake Como remains a park that we’ve been to a few times, though not in years. A dam built on the site (to make the “lake”) still exists, as does the shell of one of the buildings, now a picnic pavilion (if I recall), and there might be a rollercoaster footer or two, but there’s no other sign. Rosedale Pavilion and Rosen’s White City are long gone, and now occupied by tract homes and strip malls.

The former Casino Beach is now Lakeworth Park, which we drove around some, but didn’t stop to wander. I saw no sign of the Rocket, a John Miller designed out-and-back wooden rollercoaster that burned once, was rebuilt, and then burned again.

Lake Worth, TX, 2022

If I recall, that was also the fate of Rosen’s White City, which burned in its second season and wasn’t rebuilt… more than 100 years ago now. For more than a year I worked on a sort of realistic theme park in Open Rollercoaster Tycoon 2, but never got too far. And that after putting in about 300 hours to complete every level in Rollercoaster Tycoon Classic, the re-ordered amalgamation of RCT 1 and RCT 2 that stopped working on Macintosh when OSX went 64 bit only. And then I spent 2 or 3 years hanging out in discords and watching YouTube videos about the game, imagining things I might do.

I did essentially the same thing with Diablo 2… for 15 or so years. I started playing in 2001 and just kept playing. For awhile I was (un)affectionally known as the King of A1 on the SPF. I still watch videos and hang around discords and forums about that game, but no longer imagine the toons I might build. Oh well. It’s good to know the self, even if one doesn’t much like it.

I shot these with the Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 Ai-S, the Japanese pancake version after taking my beloved E-Series 50mm in to get the focus ring lubricated and after $80 getting it back with the focus ring just as stiff as was when I started. And the sales guy at the camera shop was one of those that knows so much more than me, and let me know it, and thought I was a fool for wanting to repair a shitty E Series 50.

I told him I had the Japanese Pancake version, but preferred the rendering of the E Series and he started to scoff, but maybe thought better of it. (I am nearly a foot taller and outweigh him by probably 80 pounds, so maybe he was scared? *shrugs.) So, anyway, I decided to shoot a roll and see if I could get along with the mechanically superior, closer focusing, Ai-S.

I don’t know. I still think I like the E Series better. I’ll just have to keep shooting with the pancake and maybe get to know it a little more.

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