James Earl Williams Jr. was just 9 years old the first time he visited Busch Gardens Williamsburg.
The park was still new, and his uncle Roosevelt, a truck driver, stumbled upon it, bringing his family back for a day of family fun.
One of the first rides Williams got on was the Glissade, a twisty, steel roller coaster that sent riders flying up to 60 miles per hour, per Pilot archives.
“That was back in the ’70s,” said Williams, now 53. “We’ve been going ever since then.”