Racer Dips

Gurnice Stephens, c. 1941.

Gurnice Stephens, c. 1941.

That’s 1930s speak for “roller coaster.” At least it was to my grandmother, Gurnice Stephens. She grew up on Mt. Pleasant Orchard in Harford County, but worked as a nanny and a nightclub violinist in Baltimore during the 1930s and early 1940s. Perhaps she went to Glen Echo in Montgomery County and rode the “Coaster Dips” in the photo below. Perhaps more likely, her family frequented Atlantic City and Rehoboth Beach and the term might be from the seashore. She rode the Comet at Hershey Park not long after it was built in 1946. It’s probably the only roller coaster left at Hershey Park from when I was a child as well. Read up on roller coaster history here.

About Becky Fifield

Becky Fifield is a cultural heritage professional with 25 years experience in institutions large and small. She is currently Head of Collection Management for the Special Collections of the New York Public Library. An advocate for preventive conservation, Ms. Fifield is a Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation, Chair of the AIC Collection Care Network, and former Chair of Alliance for Response NYC. She is also a scholar of 18th century female unfree labor and dress. There's a bit of pun in the title The Still Room, delineating a quiet space brimming with the ingredients of memory, where consideration, analysis, and wordcraft can take place. Ms. Fifield’s interests include museum practice, dress history, historic preservation, transit, social and women’s history, food, current events, geneaology, roadtrips, and considerations on general sense of place. Becky and her husband, Dr. V, live in the Hudson Valley.