Joan grew up in Brooklyn and describes it as a magical place where neighborhood people all knew each other and the smell of tomato sauce was in the air on a Sunday. In the summer, her father worked in an arcade near the Parachute Jump. She recalls one day seeing Sophia Loren there and getting her autograph. Her parents met in Luna Park and she says one can go to YouTube and enter "Coney Island 1952" to see all the old rides back then, like the the Magic Carpet and the Bobsled roller coaster. Her favorite ride growing up was the Caterpillar. She recalls sneaking out of Abraham Lincoln High School and playing hooky in Coney Island. She has many precise memories, including of Feltman's, the batting range, the freak shows, the grease pole, watching people get stuck on the Parachute Jump and sneaking into the fun house across the street from B&B Carousell.