Back to the Beach
Blast from the past.
She was a 500-pound bastion of good humor who never failed to bring a smile at Euclid Beach Park.
Although Cleveland’s beloved amusement park closed in 1969, Laughing Sal, the mechanical woman with the booming giggle, lives on. She’s among the more than 15,000 park artifacts that have been purchased over the last 25 years by John Frato, 56, of Lyndhurst and Joe Tomaro, 52, of Highland Heights.
“The day Euclid Beach closed, it was though I had lost my best friend,” Tomaro recalls.
Known around town as The Euclid Beach Boys, Frato and Tomaro –– business partners who own a public-relations consulting firm –– enjoy nothing better than sharing their finds with enthusiasts who love the park as much as they do.
“It’s all about memories,” says Frato, whose favorite Euclid Beach ride as a kid was the Flying Turns. “For some people, it means eating a hot dog on a park bench. For others it was meeting their future girlfriend or wife there.”
Through the years, the duo have become experts at recounting the amusement park’s storied history, and adding a touch of nostalgia to community parades, private parties and corporate events. Their motorized Thriller and Rocket Ship cars help passengers relive the magic. (Don’t miss Remembering Sights and Sounds of Euclid Beach Park, scheduled for September 27 at the former amusement park site. The afternoon fete features Humphrey popcorn balls and candy kisses, games and original rides.)
“We have had a real wild ride with all this stuff,” says Frato, who hopes to open an amusement-park-themed restaurant in the near future.
For more information about The Euclid Beach Boys or upcoming events, visit www.theeuclidbeachboys.com.