HINTON, Okla. (KFOR) – News spread through the evening air like the smell of fresh cotton candy.
Neighborhood kids started sneaking into the Hinton Fairgrounds just as ride inspectors gave the old Okie Zip a new seal of approval.
Jim McCain was happy to seE them if only so they could polish up the slope on this giant slide.
“I’m more than pleased,” he chuckles.
He was also relieved that a 15-year project to bring the slide back to life was finally complete.
“It’s been a struggle but we got her done.”
The Zip began its life at Sky Sliding, Inc., in Pasadena, Calif., in the 60s.
Some people remember it at Springlake Amusement Park, but a lot more sliders remember its time at the Oklahoma State Fair when it sat in the Cottonwood Post.
“Before they took all the good stuff out, you know?” he states. “I wanted it because it had been there 20 years. It was a nostalgic kind of thing. I kind of like keeping the history here.”
Torn down in 2007, Jim found it online in the collection of a Wisconsin dentist.
Jim tells us, “His hobby was slides. He had four of them.”
He made a deal to bring it back, but that proved more difficult that he originally figured.
“It was a struggle,” he admits. “We even made a sign that said we’d have it back in operation in 2008. We missed that by about 15 years.”
It took he and a couple of different volunteers three years just to put it back up starting in 2019.
But this year the big slide was finally ready with no shortage of testers willing to grab a burlap sack and give it a try.
The top of the slide is only 35 feet.
Three little dips take a body 140 feet to the bottom if you’ve got enough momentum.
It doesn’t take long, just a few seconds, not nearly enough to imagine all the work it took to bring it back to life, and the work it will take to keep it zipping.
McCain doesn’t care.
He’s satisfied this piece of Oklahoma fair history is around for yet another season’s worth of memories.
For more information on the Hinton Fair, which runs Thursday, August 25 through Saturday, August 27, go to www.facebook.com/HintonFair.