As a kid growing up in Chicago, there was no place that was Paradise on Earth more than the old amusement park – Riverview. I would measure the success of summer vacation by the amount of times I'd go to Riverview. They had the best roller-coasters of those days. I was scared to ride most of them! Certain rides were a must: the Tilt-a-Whirl (which as a kid I thought was the "tilted world", which sometimes seemed to me to be the real world incognito!),  the chutes, water bugs, Aladdin's Castle and the bumper cars, where we picked up most of our basic driving habits.

One of the traditional and best things was to play "Skee-Ball". Let me take a few words to describe the game. It was like a miniature bowling lane, waist high and with a light ball, so unlike real bowling it wasn't meant to sprain your back or give you a hernia. The end of the lane curved up so the ball leaps into the air, landing on a board of concentric circles, each circle with an amount of points you'd get for landing there, with the inner circles worth more. The points you won got you prize points in the form of tickets that were like Monopoly money, and you'd exchange these prize-point tickets for a prize of your choosing, according to the number of points you won. There were wimpy prizes for the wimps and ok prizes for the amateurs. Then there were the great, big, oh-my-gosh-I-wish-I-had-wunnathoz prizes costing hundreds of winning points that only the champs and junkies of Skee-Ball could get. They'd be dangling in front of us, but we knew we'd never win enough to get close to going home with one of them.

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My anonymous brother (Avi) came up with a great idea: instead of cashing in our prize-point tickets, we'd save them every time we'd go to Riverview, until we'd have enough points for the big prizes!

Way to go, bro'! Great idea! And that's what we did, carefully saving our prize tickets from every time we went.


The big day came. It was actually going to be the last day of the glorious existence of Riverview. Some capitalist, probably Scrooge, bought the park, in order to tear it down, using the land as mere mortal real estate, instead of running an ethereal Paradise for kids on Earth. I bet I don't like real estate ever since! Money? Pheww! How can that compare to the Flying Turns or the Tilt-a-Whirl??

Anyway, it was the last day of Riverview – and we weren't gonna miss it for anything. And we know we gotta take all our Skee-Ball prize money and cash it in for one of the big prizes. It was a day I remember oh so well… I actually rode three roller-coasters, 'cause if not then – when? Then we reached the Skee-Ball tent. In we go. We play for all it's worth, since it's the last time. We go to pick up our prize-point tickets. Now – the big moment has come: the time to use all our accumulated prize-point tickets and pick put one of the big-time prizes.

As we're waiting in line my brother proudly says to me: "Give the tickets". So I gave him the tickets I won that day. He looks at them and still smiling he says: "Naw, not just this pittance. Gimme the tickets we've been saving".

I look at him with the beginning of a panic: "I don't have'em. Didn't you bring'em?"

"No. Didn't I tell you to bring-em?"

"Nuh uh!"

"Whadja mean??"

"I mean: nuh uh!" my eyes even wider. Starting to see the crumbling of all our dreams I blurt out: "Canwegohomeand get'em?"

"No! How we gonna get home and back?"

"What if we bring'em next time?" tears in my eyes.

"There is no next time! Today's the last day!" my brother proclaimed. And that's how hundreds of Skee-Ball prize points went unused by us, for ever and ever.

So now, my friends, the time has come to use your prize tickets – to go vote. Don't let it go by you. Don't let others decide for you. On election day: go and VOTE!

If not now – when??  

Vote for the Nation of Israel, for the Torah of Israel and for the Land of Israel!

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