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Astroworld, and a huge piece of my childhood, gone

Posted by Exodus , 23 April 2006 · 1,117 views

Astroworld: 1965-2005

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My parents started taking me to Astroworld when I was very young. Some of my very earliest memories include spending time at Astroworld with my parents and my brother. Amazing memories. All the more reason to choke me up when I think about the fact that I'll never get to visit Astroworld again.

I heard rumors this time last year that it might happen. I dismissed them, of course. Astroworld had been around since '65, and was a Houston landmark. Who would have thought, right? Well, money ruins everything. The park began making less money, and ticket sales went down when prices kept going up. Then the wonderful people who run Reliant Stadium decided to ***** about a lack of parking places for their tailgaters. They wanted Astroworlds parking. The property on which the park sat became more valuable than ever before, even moreso than the parks immeasurable nostalgic value to so many people in and around Houston, and then...yeah, never saw it coming. Should have, but didn't. Took it for granted, I suppose. All these years since I graduated high school and got more free time on my hands, I meant to go back. I always told myself "well, you can't afford it now...but you'll go later, you know you will." But I never did. I guess it's because I never imagined I had a certain time before which to go or I'd never get to see the place again. I never thought the place would get strikes against it so the Houston Texans drunken fans could have more room for their tailgating parties...as if I needed anymore reason to dislike football. Many rich people tried to save the park. Several NHL owners whose names escape me, some rich attourneys in Houston...and hell, it was rumored that even Mark Cuban was willing to toss in a few bucks to help save the park. But those in charge were hellbent on its demise, and they got it. I always thought I'd take my kids there someday, and of the rides and attractions left from when I was a child, I'd get to share everything. Now, it's a flat piece of land. A couple of concrete slabs left on which the Texas Cyclone sat, but those won't last. All that's left is the bridge over 610 where I walked and rode the shuttle so many times as a child with my family and friends, and the trees and grass near the parking lot where we used to eat the lunches we'd pack and take with us.

Today, I just finished putting together a video compilation of footage my brother shot the final morning the park was open for auctioning off some old items left over after shutdown. It's the most sad footage I've ever watched in the seven years since my brother and I began compiling our home videotape collection. It would be really easy to get choked up right about now. Some of the most fun moments of my life. Memories cherished. Experiences incomparable. I'd say more, but it always find myself at a loss for words. It stuns me everytime. There is very little of such things to which I'm so connected emotionally, but that was one of them. Like baseball games at the Astrodome and the smell of the inside of the building, a mixture of nachos and pizza and hotdogs and beer, when a ballgame was being played - it's just one of those things I'll never get to experience again that was engrained into me as a child growing up.

And then, like now, I don't know what else to say about it anymore. I run out of ways to vent. And that's where I'm at right now, so for now I suppose I'm finished.

The Human Torch
April 24 2006 11:01 AM
American Tour Guide as played by Eddie Izzard
"This building has been around for 50 years."

Tourists as played by Eddie Izzard
"No!!! Surely not! No one was alive back then!"

This is tragic, Ex. I feel for you and the Houston area. One of the horrible things about this is that the park is actually being torn down for parking... just like the cliche. Terrible.
I loved Astroworld to. I live 2 hours away, so I'm sure I've never gone near as much as you. Don't they still have the Waterpark there??? Thats ignorant.

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