The following story, “The Pipe Line Picnic at Conneaut Lake Park”, is one of several by LeRoy S. Kuhn, a man I never met and who has no known surviving immediate relatives. As I mentioned in a previous blog post (Are Stories of the Past Worth Preserving?), I believe his stories are worth preserving and sharing.


Because they serve as important historical records for the area in which he resided and provide a glimpse of what life was like for a polio survivor in small-town America in the mid-twentieth century. His stories are even more poignant to me since I was born and raised in the area of northwestern Pennsylvania, of which he writes.

Note that I have slightly modified his original writing for clarity and ease of reading. In addition, I have incorporated some historical anecdotes and added relevant links to help you learn more about the topics he addresses. You can read the full, unedited manuscript here. Also, the featured image for this article is not a photo of the actual Blue Streak roller coaster Mr. Kuhn mentions in his story; actual images I found became pixelated when enlarged for this blog post.

I hope that you enjoy his story below and I welcome your feedback in the comments.

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The Pipe Line Picnic at Conneaut Lake Park

by LeRoy S. Kuhn

I was scraping the paint on the house next door when mother came out of the house and said, “You’d better quit or you’ll be too tired to enjoy the Pipe Line Picnic tomorrow.”

I had talked all summer of going to the Pipe Line Picnic, and my mother so wanted me to go and be able to enjoy the day, especially since Read More