Remember the year 1967? You could fill your car with gas for about 33 cents a gallon. You could use a new gizmo called an ATM machine – or listen to a new sound from the Beatles.
But if you were really lucky, you could have been one of the first customers at Lucy’s Amusement Park in south Minot.
“A lot of customers come back and say, ‘Oh, we’re so glad you’re still open, and the place looks nice,'” says Lucy Cork – the Lucy – who’s still puttering around at her mini golf course, 50 years after she got the ball rolling.
“I designed it then,” she says, “and did a lot of the digging and everything else. I sure wouldn’t be able to do it today!”
Lucy and her husband Norman still see plenty of customers each summer – from youngsters exploring the park for the first time, to the parents and grandparents who still love Lucy’s.
“When they were kids they were here, they brought their kids, now they’re bringing their grandkids, now there’s three generations that come out to visit, so that’s really neat,” says Norman Cork.
“We especially like to see them go down the slide,” he adds. “That first time they go down, the expression is priceless.”
The course has earned a bit of notoriety as one of the toughest 18-hole putt-putts in the region. “We’re able to watch really expert players,” Lucy says. “It’s just wonderful.”
But the most wonderful part, if you ask Lucy, is all the people she’s met since she built her dream course half a century ago.
“A lot of good people. They’re just so kind and sweet, and make you so happy that you’re in the business,” she says with a tear.
It’s no surprise, then, that the first page of the guestbook at Lucy’s opens with a wish: “May Lucy’s last forever.”
Fifty years into forever – and plenty to go – Lucy Cork is someone you should know.
Lucy’s Amusement Park is open each day through September. Just look for the big sign that reads ‘LUCY’S MINI GOLF’ along Highway 83 in south Minot.
And if you go, there’s a pretty good chance that she’ll hand you or your kids a piece of candy on your way out – she’s got buckets full!
If you know someone I should know – I want to hear from you.
I’m looking to meet interesting people from all around the region. You can email me at email@example.com.