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Jake Collier

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  1. rest in peace my friend. You built one hell of a safari park and for it to survive for 40 years is a testament to your vision. I'll never forget the building, opening and craziness of those first years at safari. Unloading leopards at 11:00 at night where the German zoo had nailed the crates shut, no doors. In that situation, which we also had many others , Butch Dring was the man you wanted watching your back.
  2. Hey Gary, I never knew that you had worked for George Grey. He was the one that got Wolfie and I to go to Japan with him. You should have gone with us, it was one hell of a ride. Spent alittle over a year there with George training the Japanese. I have pictures that I will show you sometime.
  3. This is a question for gafreak I was wondering where you got the picture of the lion standing on the car from? This is a picture of Jungle Habitat in West Milford, NJ. It was taken in 1972 as best that Dave Barnes and I can figure. That was in the Lower Lion section and had to be 1972 because the traffic was reversed in 1973. That picture is of a very well recognized cat so we would love to find out where it came from. Thanks
  4. Another name to bring up is Brian Vidor. He is Out in California and owns two resturaunts at Santa Monica airport.. I have not talked to him since 1977 when we opened a safari in Japan. I will see if I can contact him. I saw Patty Myers in north NJ back in the 80's or 90's. She was living in the same town where I worked. Have not seen her since. I'll try to come up with some more names if I can.
  5. Jake! So glad you checked in. We need to reconnect. Have talked to Leonard. So much catching up to do. Couldnt believe that Charlie died. Would love to talk to Debbie. Get in touch. echiles@chilesgroup.com 941 713 5361

  6. welcome Jake,i sure have missed my safari buddies

  7. Just wanted to say hi to all my fellow safari brothers that are comenting on here. Wow, thought about you guys now and then over the years. Gary, Donny, Lenard D., Ed Childs, and did I hear Ken Moog joined in. I went down to GA this year with Charlies widow Deb, for old times sake. My good friend George (now the manager) who worked together with me in the later 70's and early 80's took us on the tour. I have to say the park looks good. Just a little update on some of the people that I know, Woofie Chandler is living in North Carolina, have not seen him in years but hes doing well. Dave Barnes is living in New egypt, not far from the park, having worked in the park the longest of all of us. Charlie Hull died of a heart attack labor day 2000. I still see Debbie Hull all the time. Butch I know retired and went to North Carolina and I have not seen him lately. I would be really interested if we could conjure up some kind of reunion in the next year or two. I would be great to see all the original crew from 74, (or whats left). I was trying to remember the guys that were in my sections in 74. Ron Morris was lion 8 for awhile, but I remember several people as Lion 8 the first year, because of that young pride being crazy most of the time. Who could forget Ed the retired drill sargent on gate 6 with overheated cars, cats on one side and bears on the other. He later worked in the plains, with Kenny Moog. In the back bears was Steve Marshall, who later went to the Siberians. Then came the Bengal tigers who Dave Barnes handled. Another insane section. Who can forget stalker. Thanks to Dave that tiger never managed to maul anyone, not that he didn't try a few times. In the brown bears was a guy whose father was a Jackson cop. I can't remeber, but I thing his first name was Rob.Then a guy named John Brunner was in there. The bird sancuary had a great guy whos name escapes me but I can still see his face. College kid,wore glasses. sorry that is all I can Give you on that one. I saw Paul Demetri once quite a few year ago. He showed up at Charlies house one day for a nice visit. Ron and Crystal Morris were living in Virginia the last I heard. Well, I will try to remember more as I go, But there was a heck of alot of partying in those days so I'll see if I can clear some of the memory fog that exists from those days. I wish you all well and would love to have some kind of get together in the future. I'm sure the stories from those times will bring a smile to all our faces. Theres not too many people in the world that went thru what we did those first couple of years. (And Survived) Anybody remember the day it was so crowded in 74, backed up to the turnpike, and the amusement area could not park all the cars. total panic on their part. We had cars jammed in the predator To avoid a mob scene we opened the gates of safari, no charge, and pushed all these cars thru safari and back out on rt. 537 before they even realized what had happened. Of course they could not come back to complain due to the traffic outside the park. It was a true example of riot control. We had cars backed up in the predator sections for awhile till Butch took control and we started to push them in and out of the park before it became critical
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