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Summer was going full blast, not so long ago...and also was the Brooklyn Park hillside water slide

RITA A. LEONARD - Assistant Park Director Miranda Roso, in the chair, monitored kids from the top of the Brooklyn Park water slide. Portland's summer weather this year did not compare to the record-breaking 100+-degree temperatures in Europe at the same time. However, when the Brooklyn Park Water Slide made its debut on Friday, July 26, residents of all ages flocked to the park on Milwaukie Avenue in bathing suits to make the refreshing trip down the watery plastic surface on Brooklyn Park hill.

Park Director Craig Montag, in his 41st year of leading the popular summer program (now financed by the residents who formed "Friends of Brooklyn Park"), recalled that the water slide made its first appearance the summer of 1978. "We set it up just once a week, and only when temperatures rise over 90 degrees," he said. "Kids and adults enjoy the thrill and the cool-down. It's a great ride."

Assistant Park Director Miranda Roso, who herself enjoyed the activity when she was a kid told THE BEE, "Today there were up to 25 people waiting in line at the busiest times. The water is provided free by a generous neighbor, and sliders get wet in a spray at the top of the slide."

Roso sat in a chair monitoring the line, encouraging sliders to space themselves, and to do their best and have fun. "The goal is to try to reach the bottom edge of the slide, which ends just short of the baseball field," she explained. "Boys ages 8-12 seem to compete for the best strategies to go the farthest. Many take off at a run – diving onto their stomachs or spinning side to side to take advantage of the wettest spots. Many kids assist the younger ones with their first rides, or team up with friends."

Parents lounged on chairs and benches at the top of the hill, relaxing while their kids made repeat treks back up the hill, and then down the slide again – or tried out the many other activities set up on the playground. Later, visitors also enjoyed the shade and cool breezes as sunset approached.

The Brooklyn Park Water Slide is a unique treat during hot summer days, and former participants now bring their own kids to enjoy the special Brooklyn summer tradition.

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