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Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

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I Want to Go to Hershey....

I Want to Go to Hershey

Please, God. I want to go to Hershey. You know where it is. If you can't find it, just follow your nose. The whole town smells like chocolate and even the street lights look like chocolate kisses. What I really want, Lord, is to win a free trip to Hershey Park. I've already entered a contest. I want to ride the NEW wooden racing coaster, the only one in the world! It's coming soon and I need to check it out.

I know I'm too old to be riding roller coasters - but, I LOVE them! You see, all of my life I've been afraid. I rode rides with the children when they were growing up, but I was afraid. I know I promised you at Space Mountain that if you let me off that thing alive, I would never ride another roller coaster again as long as I live. You wouldn't hold me to a promise made under duress, would you, Lord? 

Besides, I never knew how much fun a roller coaster could be until I rode a wooden one. They are just different. It must be the wood. It rumbles when you ride. It gives and sways and has a different feel than the metal coasters. The wooden ones won't turn you upside down either. By the way, I'm sorry if I accidentally took your name in vain while I was on “The Hangman” that time at Opryland - but you'll forgive me for something I said while I was upside down, won't you?

I was in total awe when I saw that wooden coaster at Hershey Park. It was a giant maze of wood, an engineering marvel, almost as good as something you would make yourself, Lord. I said ALMOST - don't get offended now. I was so nervous waiting in line that I felt like I was going to barf. My teeth were chattering when we started that first climb. I knew there was no escape. I prayed for a break down, a power failure, anything to make it stop - but you didn't answer my prayer. (Were you still mad about those ugly words I said on the Hangman?)

As soon as we went over the top, and started down the big drop, the rush came, and I knew I was gonna be okay. I was screaming, but I couldn't hear my own voice because the wind was rushing by my ears so fast. I was holding on for dear life. Then for some reason (I don't know why) I put my hands up in the air and didn't hold any more. I found I didn't need to hold on, just ride and scream and feel the wind. It was magic - like flying!

I rode over and over and over that day, just as fast as I could get off and get back in line. I lost count of exactly how many times I rode after a while. Something about my life changed that day too. I wasn't afraid anymore. I learned that I could face my fear and conquer it. 

There's a free trip being given away now! I know there are lots of contests and places that I might win a trip to that are more… well, “age appropriate.” But, I want to go to Hershey. I want to ride the NEW racing coaster. It's really TWO coasters, you see. They race with each other and go through waterfalls and head toward each other in near misses. Sure, there are "racing coasters" in other parks, but what makes this one special is that it's WOOD.

Could you just put in a good word for me, or help my number get picked, or do just a small miracle of some type to be sure I win? Well, I guess you think that would be cheating, huh? I guess you are right - as always. But you can't blame me for trying. If I can't evoke the help of the Almighty, how am I ever gonna get to Hershey?

Copyright 2000 Sheila Moss


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