Born and raised in Hazlet, NJ, I visited Great Adventure for the first time in August of 1977. My best friend and next door neighbor was lucky enough to have visited on opening day in 1974 and it took three years of pestering to finally get my parents to take me. Although I had already visited Walt Disney World and Busch Gardens Tampa several times before my first visit to Great Adventure, there was something very "magical" about Great Adventure that still rings true to me today. After that first visit, I became a Great Adventure information geek, collecting everything I could find written or printed about the park. Having no idea exactly who Warner LeRoy was at the time, seeing the words "created and designed by Warner LeRoy" on almost every printed piece about the park raised my curiosity, and so began my drive to find out as much as I could about him and his creating Great Adventure. Warner LeRoy's sense of flamboyance and spectacle (in everything he did) was truly impressive (if flamboyance could ever be considered impressive)! For some reason, at the age of 12, I thought of Warner LeRoy as even more impressive than Walt Disney. In 1978 I wrote to Warner LeRoy to ask about his thinking behind the creation of Great Adventure. At the time, he was somewhat reluctant to talk in great detail about the park. In hindsight, at the time he was involved in several different legal matters that were related to Great Adventure in one way or another (the Switlik battle had yet to be concluded and he had a real falling out with Hardwicke Companies' founder Charles Stein, resulting in litigation involving Maxwell's Plum as well as a Hotel/Casino that LeRoy and Hardwicke were teaming up to build in Atlantic City). Nonetheless, even though he was no longer outwardly involved with the park's operations, he spoke of the park with real affection and there was a glowing sense that Great Adventure was something he was very proud to have developed.