From the Editors: May 23, 2018
Can Anybody Find Me Nobody to Love?
I ain't got noooobody.
I ain't got nobody.
I ain't got no body either.
Throughout the decades, three beheaded picaresque skulls have been reciting these lines ad infinitum. Are they acting out some sort of Sisyphean curse for all of time, or is it just until the lights go out? Either way, it's a simple play on words, transitioning from solitude to beheadedness in a matter of seconds. The first starts with a low bellow, then the second agrees. The third skull chimes in — his voice eerily similar to Curly Howard of The Three Stooges — to hammer home the vaudevillian punchline. Whistles, air horns, and hissing smoke work in chorus create a great cacophony of that we've come to know and love. It's the Pirate's Cove, a funhouse adorned with a giant fiberglass Captain Hook on its roof. It sits in the northwest corner of an amusement park in Northwest Pennsylvania. It gives many people joy. First built in 1972, it has a sibling close by, two year the elder, called the Whacky Shack. Both were designed by Bill Tracy, the master of what's known on the amusement circuit as "dark rides." These rides live on year after year, surviving on a combination of camp, nostalgia, and a love for the quaintly bizarre. Matt Swanseger has unearthed a good deal of information on Tracy, his history, and his legacy. In tandem, Jonathan Burdick has brought you a historical overview of the park itself, our own precious "woods by the sea," Waldameer Park and Water World.
Forgoing the greased tracks of other carnival rides, the Pirate's Cove is a walkthrough attraction, bucking the most basic definition of an actual "ride." Walkability is something not only valued by pirates, but also by city planners and those giving urban critiques. There are, as it stands, only a finite number of these experts in the world and one of them happens to be Philip Langdon. Journalist and Erie City Council member Liz Allen caught up with, fresh off the publication of his book Within Walking Distance: Creating Livable Communities for All. Ease of walkability builds stronger communities, which reasons that fewer individuals will feel like they have nobody in their life.
Sadly, places that had fewer bodies in them on May 15, 2018, turned out to be polling stations. With a turnout of just over 20 percent, the primary elections decided the fate of many important races. Some are very nearly sealed, thanks to voting demographics, while some will become battlegrounds come midterms in November. Ben Speggen takes a look at these numbers, and gives a rundown and analysis of what may be to come.
Whilst May gives way to June, let's hope we all have somebody we can enjoy the summer months with. As it turns out, these lamenting pirate heads have been incorrect for years. They've each been maintaining a stable, albeit nontraditional, relationship for 46 years now. To give new meaning to the closing line of Some Like It Hot: "nobody's perfect."