Hometown Spirit: Phenix City's Idle Hour Park

Hometown Spirit will be live in one town showcasing two schools in our Friday night football game of the week. But this isn't just about football, we're going to talk about the people and communities behind the schools.

The first matchup is between Central and Eufaula high schools. We start by telling you about one of Phenix City's pieces of history: Idle Hour Park.

Phenix City in the 1940's. Families came from near and far for the food, fun, and entertainment at Idle Hour Park.

"It had a swimming pool, with three diving boards on it, don't have no pools no more, don't think. Bowling alley, dance floor, ice cream bar, and hot dogs," said Phenix City resident Larry Sinquefield.

The fun didn't stop there. A skating rink, carnival rides and a zoo kept kids busy for days at a time.

Larry Sinquefield was one of those kids. He spent many years working and playing at the park.

"I set up pins in the bowling alley. What was that like? It was tough. I was seven or eight years old, making pennies, but it was a lot of money to me back then," said Sinquefield.

Jerry Moles also grew up in the good ol' days of Idle Hour Park. One of his jobs was lifeguarding at the pool.

"I'd come to work, and we'd open early for all the kids in town, so they could swim for a few hours before the pool opened to the public. The city just always did things like that," said Moles.

But as time went on, the fun faded and Idle Hour Park gradually lost most of the attractions that made it so popular.

The only proof of the amusement park is a painting of the past.

"You could take a good picture of it now, nothing there. Nothing like it was," Sinquefield said.

So, what happened to the good old fashioned family fun that once was Idle Hour Park?

Some say it was financial woes, other say it's a sign of the times.

"I don't know why the city shut it down, don't know if its' from finances of what. But it just took away a whole lot from Phenix City when it did shut down," said Sinquefield.

"I look at it this way: those of us who were fortunate enough to be here when it was here, are lucky," said Moles.