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mayor al

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Posts posted by mayor al

  1. Had to put down my male Scottie after 12 years of "Grayfriar's Bobby" style loyalty...it was very hard on us to lose him. His companion remains, and she plays the role of the widow dog very well. We have added to young Cairns Terriers to thefamily but I don't recall it taking this long (over 6 months now) to get them to 'settle down' a bit. Maybe the Master is aging a bit !! My sympathies on the loss of your pet. The feelings can be very strong in some folks, as I well know.

  2. Wife did a r/t from Louisville to LA (ONT) Xmas morning, returning on a redeye tonite. She hadn't seen her mother for some time so we decided that she might as well do a weekend run. The ride out, thru Houston went well. To avoid the snowbound transfers in either Denver or Chicago, she will do an all nighter--- ONT to Phoenix, change then PHX to Charlotte NC change again and CHar. to Louisville in the morning, getting here about 11 AM. Makes for a long night with 2 hours plus in each transfer point....but no bad weather, and a chance to catch a nap on the long leg to Charlotte.

    Meantime the dogs and I have emptied the refrigerator and most of a bottle of Cinnamon-Jack. Sure has been quiet around here.

  3. The decade labels are a bit 'inaccurate' as far as pin-point coverage goes --at least the early ones.


    The Tiger/Balloon image went with the Englishmen when Hardwicke left the area. in 1977. The employee 'Orange and white jacket' had either the script screened on 'Great Adventure ' name or the sewn on Logo Patch. See my borrowed Operations Jacket in photo..The early ones were flannel lined, the later issue were Fleece-lined--much warmer!!


    In 1977 When the Texans invaded some of us snagged some of the first issued jackets with the "new" Rainbow Logo.during the '77 winter... It didn't get circulated til the 1978 season opening..but midnight raids on wardrobe outfited those who were present. White and Black were Management colors .


    Here is a 1975 script jacket- followed by a 1977 rainbow logo-





  4. Thanks, Dave.. Actually I am just making up a grand cover story for the next episode of "THE LITTLE CORPORAL". Starring "The Ladies of G.A." whom you met in the photo shoot above... and of course, Our leading gentleman, if we can restore a little starch in his "GetAlong" in time for the first Battle Scenes. There's just too many posts on this site rambling on and on about the issues of the Lines at some Coaster that was removed 10 years ago...we need to lighten up the place a bit !


    Does anyone have a color photo of a large operators control panel for one of G A's rides.. the more NASA appearing the better. I am working up a set of Ride Operation Orders in the Slang.. but need to custom fit it to a good graphic we can label as something from GA...doesn't have to be true, the while thing will be a set of fake rules from 1975. Just tell me where I can copy and paste the photo and start messin' with it.

  5. Took a little time, My "Pidgin Kraut" (Amish Slang) with some of our locals here gets worked over, but they mess it up with Redneck KY accents..to do MY CAPTION note Correctly you have to read it at a high volume, in a voice that mimicks Sgt Schultz from HOGAN's HERO'S "Bellowing like a wounded Moose" !


    Why, You ask?... Well I completed my third Face Surgery yesterday for those Skin Cancers. Yesterday's was a simple 16 stitch cheek and removal of an expanding growth...but the Prior two weeks saw some nasty action that I won't go into the details except to say one part was on it's way down the ear-canal looking for GREY-Matter which at this point I can't spare.... So anyway. I am now beginning my 4th week of sleeping in my Lazy Boy due to sensitive areas one 3 sides of the head... Obviously this does affect my social skills not only "ON-LINE", but DOMESTICALLY, and I have even found myself performing these sort of "deceptive Messages" will cold-call sales people ( yeah, we do get them now and then... and whoa be it when I have a complaint regardinging a medical billing process...I do a fine "Jimmy Swaggart" style preacher reminding that billing clerk that God's going to bring down "rath, etc ete...tenfold for the person who doesn't extend the "Hands of Forgiveness" rather than press for full payment for whatever my Insurances has let slide... Yes this does work.


    Lots of Painkillers really encourage attempts at Creative writing such as these short-stories, and other Sagas of our Travels throughTime and Space. All in All it takes my mind off the diffulty of current events....besides You're such an easy "little" mark !!!

  6. The Ladies are asking the Park Employee to help them locate the object they have come to America, and to Great Adventure to seek out... Let's Listen to them............









    ** RSS= Retired Salty Security


    ( Harry, Sorry, My Penn. Dutch is worse than my German. The Hoosier Amish speak a form of Olde English of the "Old Country Language" )

  7. I loved the year round calendar we were on in So Cal back in the 90's. 3 tracks of roughly 2000 kids each rotated with 16 weeks "IN" and 8 weeks "OUT". It allowed adequate space when they were'nt building new schools in our community, but the place was growing.


    I taught.. January, Febuary, March, & April. Had MAY and JUNE off, Then started again for July, August, September & October, and took NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER OFF


    No Spring Break , but the usual 3 day weekends were still there. Hard on the extra curricular activities and sports, but outstanding for vacations without crowds ! 168 school days with the kids. I taught Economics and Government- one semester courses- so carry over was not an issue. BEST WORK SCHEDULE I EVER HAD.

  8. I've gone thru a lot of pages of this forum and have yet to see much in the way of comments on some of the secondary Parks located in other parts of the country. I.m not talking about the 6 Flags parks or Cedar Point/Kings Island as much as some of those a person might run across if they were to do a real "SEE the U S A " Road Trip.


    I grew up in L A in the early days of the original Disney Park, when it was competing with the Long Beach Pike, Venice's Pacific Ocean Park, and to a certainextent at that time Knott's Berry Farm.

    The PIKE was a permanent Carnival Midway located on the Rainbow Pier (where the Aquaium and other harborview attractions are currently) It was a draw for the local Navy bases and military personnel more than local residents.

    P O P was built on a pier in Venice, and was another Midway style Carney-Ride centered Park, but focused on teenagers and with dance pavilions and music integrated into the site at various locations.

    Knotts was a whole different type of operation. As an elementary school kid I made several "field-trips" to "Knotts Berry Farm" in Buena Park. In addition to the original Fruit Stand/Grocery and Restaurant, famous for it's fried chicken and Boyensberry Pie, the Knotts built a "Ghost Town- replica of a western town with stagecoach and wagon rides, a sluicebox where you could 'pan for gold' and various other western attractions including stuntmen doing a shootout every hour.. They added rides over the years and eventually made a major leap to the Theme Park Level some time after I had left California.


    The PIKE is gone. POP is gone. KNOTTs is unrecognizable from it's roots in "rural' Buena Park, but still carries the name.


    Let me bring you to one near me today.


    HOLIDAY WORLD, in SANTA CLAUS, Indiana. When I first came across this Park I considered it a 'local attraction' one step above a County Fair' but it has really come a long way in a very short period of time. I will attempt to insert their webite link her rather than type a ton of description copy myself. My endorsement will simple be than 35 members of my family have season passes with the intention to extend those to include the 2015 season for both the Theme and the Water Parks.

    Holiday World is located west of Louisville about 50 miles , just off I-64


    Some of the fringe benefits are the freebies-

    season pass Parking

    soft drinks for all

    sunscreen " "




    I won't be riding it, but Thunderbird, but it looks like a pretty exciting addition to their Coaster lineup. Have any of you active Coaster chasers been to this Park? If so can you review the rides compared to others for me please.





  9. Well, I just took a couple of hours to review the gripes of the various members of this forum over the past 5 or so years...Some of you younger guys are by now "Married with Children", I suppose !... so remarks pertainlng to why you want to slap your Earth Science Teacher, or the Bullies in Math classes, are probably not very timely at this point.


    Harry, The member, Bullets, hasn't been heard from for several years. He is the only poster I have read who also worked in Security. Do you know of any other members who worked in Security over the years? I would like to communicate with former or current Security workers at G A someday.


    As a senior citizen, 'Pet Peeves' or 'Gear-grinders' tend to come easy for me... but here are a few, in priority order and condensed as much as I can.


    1.People who inisist on imposing their behaviors onto others who may not want to accept those behaviors.


    2.People who refuse to recognize and respect the rights of others.


    3. The failure of a person, business, corporation, or government agency to attempt to solve an issue, concern,question, or problem for a person or group asking assistance with that issue or concern.


    4. The clarification of our Justice system. . Make the Punishment fit the Crime, and enforce the laws on the books rather than continuely add additional laws with new definitions of the same crimes.


    5.Re the Theme Park Ticket System- Eliminate the extra fare- class structure multi-level passes.


    Sell GENERAL ADDMISSION TO ALL RIDES AND SHOWS FOR- One Day, Two Day, Week-long, Thirty-Day and Season-


    Also sell GENERAL ADMISSION WALK AND SHOWs (NO-RIDES)- with the same time values (for the non-rider adults with kids).


    Then enforce the line rules rigidly and if possible use an appointment system for scheduling the fast-trak...but not at extra cost.


    Having lived in California for many years I have sympathy for those who complained about the lines and treatment at the DMV. If I can offer any positive comfort... We have been in Indiana for almost 15 years now. I traded my Calif license w/ motorcylce endorsement for my Indiana license with the same when we move here in 2000. No test..just $12.00 and stop in to the empty BMV office and it was done in 5 minutes. "Good for 8 years". In 2008 I renewed on line for 6 years for $10.00 and they mailed me the license (minus the motorcycle endorsement-my choice). This year 2014 I had to go in to the office to get an eye test since I am now over 70 years old... passed it, paid $12 and got an 8 year renewal that may well out last me. So some States do provide decent service for their drivers.

    One more plus for the Hoosier State Services.. At 70 I am exempt from a fishing license , unless I want to buy one. I need a Hunting License..and both Wife and I have them for Deer. We have an Orchard that the deer love to chow down in frequently. We have a permit from the state that allows us to shoot a deer that is damaging our crops. We tend to be selective in only shooting deer when our freezer is low and the particular deer looks to be a meat producing animal, we are not interested in antlers or trophies. As a result of good game management laws we are able to take about a dozen deer a year and this helps the grocery bill a lot. Not a gripe...but we remeber when going deer hunting in New York was more of a legal hassle than it was worth 50 years ago.


    more short rants to come, I'm sure.

  10. I recall that one of the major 'arms' of the Sidewinder fell off during a cycle of operation one morning, I think that was in 1978. I don't remember if it was during the morning test runs or when it was in normal "guest" operation. but the whole arm assembly crashed to the ground. I don't recall any guests being injured

  11. A typical Midnight Shift Security activity log In MidWinter during the first few seasons... I'll "time" it for after we moved into the Modular Office building that we shared with First Aid, behind the Games area (1976 or later)


    Shift worked 1100 PM - 7:30AM (included a 30 break) A typical shift would be staffed by-

    3 Office Staff-



    Radio Operator

    Gate 1

    Gate 2






    At various locations around the park and on certain buildings Detex Keys were permanently attached to facilities or structures. The walking Park "Watchmen" and the Motor Officer carried a Detex Clock unit with them and had a fixed schedule of when they were to make their rounds of "their area" using the keys to punch the clocks to show they had checked that building or area at the assigned time. It took about an hour and a half or so for each of the inside the Park guys to walk 'their beat' and get the clocks punched early in the shift, and again before the end of their tour. Those key punches were recorded on a tape contained inside the clock unit.


    The Motor Officer had to cover a lot more area as the Keys were located all over the place... Personnel (out on 537 past Gate 1) Then At the Entrance Gates (both sides) and Exit Gates, Safari Toll Booths, Hospitality Kennels (remember them??). Maint. Bldg. by the Great Arena, Then out to the Warehouse and Water Treatment and the Commissary. During the Hunting season either the LT or the SGT would do a ride around the outside Perimeter in a very beat-up Chevy Blazer leftover from the first season vehicles, but it had 4x4. Nothing ever came of the Perimeter Patrol that I heard of, but it provided "something different" to do on long winter nights.

    Walking the Park on a winter night is an interesting experience. If the weather holds fair, it is really beautiful..If it is stormy there are plenty of places to seek shelter, Although the few times we got "real Snow" Huffing thru it from Security up to Gate 2 then to our cars at 7:30am when the Plowboys were just getting going made going home a very slow process.

    We learned how to hang an 5' plow blade on the Blazer and keep it by the Ambulance behind Security. The few times we needed it our building was totally clear while Exec Row ouside of Gate 2 ( the old tram-run) had 18" of hard crusted snow in it.

    The Motor Officer also had to haul the Relief guy around to the various posts to give the guys their breaks, so he stayed pretty busy all night. One or the other of the Shift Leaders would ride with him at times to oversee the guys, but one supervisor and the radio Op had to be in the office at all times.

    Overnight Security handled Emergency calls for the Executives, logging some on message forms, and forwarding some depending on the instructions give by the Directors (or Higher).

    The Gate Guards had to log in all non-scheduled employees, and all other traffic entering the Gates. Lots of overnight truck deliveries to the warehouse, and early morning to games and maint.and Food Service.

    Add to that servicing the four cars, two 4x4s and the ambulance (gas and oil) and a quick spray wash a couple of times a week if the weather was right, and you have an idea of a typical Midnight Security Shift in the DOLDRUMS OF MID-WINTER


    One more related item, Those first few years, the department was majority-not totally- male officer, especially on the Mid-shift, Thus my use of male adjectives and descriptors. Betsey Breeze broke the gender-barrier on the Mid-shift, I believe, then the numbered tended to grow more even. I don't think there was any reason for this bias other than a lack of desire on the part of the females at that time to want to work those hours.


    Any Questions?

  12. I do recall that Security would recive frequent calls, usually beginning in mid-afternoon from the "Train-Lead" telling us that the crew had seen "fence-jumpers" coming into the Park from the far Western end of the Train track circuit.. (There was no fence out there, just lakeshore). The train would beat the trespassers back to the Park by about 7 minutes or so which was plenty of time for a motor unit to get around the perimeter road to chase them down, while the foot unit in Strawberry Fair caught whoever got thru. The Train Operators were a big help with that sort of operation.

  13. They deserved it. Not only was there a large expansion requiring a lot of new landscaping projects,, but the Winter of 74-75 was pretty harsh with a lot of weather damage to the already installed trees, plants, (and any facilities too)


    I got a chuckle out of the comments about your recent "snow in the empty Park" photos showing bare streets and dusting of snow around the empty Park. I'll try to do an article about what it was like on a winter night shift when there was 18" of snow on the ground and walking in the Park to check buildings was a major effort. I'll put it together soon. I wish I still had the photos we shared back then of sledding down the Log Flume drop late at night when it was full of icy snow. On the mid-Shift in January and February, there would only be a dozen or so workers in the whole Park between Security , Fire, Safari, Water Treatment and maybe a Maint guy or two. (running a snow plow). That made for some interesting activities in the 'Wee Hours'....A lot of Food deliveries were made to Gate 1 over the course of those winter nights from Jackson and Cookstown Pizza and Sub stands.

  14. Some clarification points here--

    If it wasn't nailed down, or welded to something permanent guests often tried to take it with them !! Breaking off colored woodwork from a ride or uprooting a plant happened often, A favorite target were the "specie identifier signs" that Landscape put out in the flower beds to let folks know what they were looking at..those disappeared daily, usually in the evening as guests headed for the exits.

    The Parking lot crew had to be alert to guests loading their cars with traffic cones, We caught one guy with 15 of them in his back seat on the exit road one night.


    Vandalism of the pay phones, especially the ones in the Western section was an almost daily event on weekends.


    BTW- RE the doors in the Dolphin Pool tunnel, that was the pump and chemical storage "work room" The water in the pool had to be maintained at a certain temperature and chemical balance for the animal safety, and the water treatment people used their magic in that 'Lab' area adjusting the various recipes and heating elements to keep the critters safe.


    During the Operating season Security had an office assigned to the Dolphin arena overnite to prevent intrusion by other people, but once the park closed that responsibility was lifted when the animals were removed for the winter.

  15. Tip of the Hat to you, my young Friend. Enjoy the time you have in the Theme Park environment...I sure did. Even with the evolution of the corporate operation, there must be fun to be had. When I was active enough to get around K I , I found it to be a well organized Park. That was before the waterpark was added..but the College Football Hall of Fame had some kind of ticket share arrangement with Paramount so we would visit both facilities when we came up there.


    Now our prime reason to head for Cincinnati is to shop at JUNGLE JIM'S !!

  16. The comments above were posted 4 or more years ago !. I am suprised that someone from Security, or with a knowledge of the Park Security Operations hasn't given some input to describe the work of that part of the department

    Starting with the Second season...

    The First year we posted uniformed guards as a detterent in each of the tents and the Teepee...

    .....but in 1975 a squad of Security people, male and female, were recruited to do Plainclothes 'Store Detective' type of work, watching for shoplifting guests and employees who might be mis-handling cash or transactions. There was a third group of a few special officers who worked with Cash Control to insure the honesty of the transfer and accounting system within the Park. The third group got involved when Counterfeiters used the Park to spread their bad bills. The Secret Service has agents who come out with the State Police to work with the Park staff at tracking this sort of operation, and back in the 70's They actually caught some of these folks in the process of spreading the fake 'wealth' around in the Park.

    The Shoplifting squad were kept pretty busy, especially on summer weekends when the crowds were large and the stores with A/C were places to seek relief from the heat. The usual process when a kid was caught with something he/she 'lifted' from a store (under $100 value), they we brought to Security, and an incident card was filled out with their I.D. and photo (b/w poloroid). This card of record of the incident was kept by the department., If the kid was not alone we sent his partner out to get an adult-parent or chaparone to come in and sign for him and remove him from the Park. If he was alone, He sat in our holding room until a parent came looking for their lost kid, and took him out. In adult cases they were recorded, then escorted out of the Park.
    If the goods were valued over $100 (1975 prices) then Jackson P D would be notified...on weekends there might be a Jackson PD unit in Security waiting for that to happen... They would do an arrest report and/or issue a summons to appear in the city court for the shoplifting charge..meaning a second trip to Jackson for the guest from who-knows-where. The action the Jackson PD took depended heavily on the gravity of the charges against the offender. Many of the individuals resisted being detained, especially by an unarmed Security officer. Most of those who did found out that they were going to get into more serious trouble if they failed to cooperate and settled down once in the office...but not all chose that behavior and we had several outbursts by violent guests who had to be physically subdued and then handcuffed until Jackson PD could remove them.
    One of the better examples of shoplifting that I observed was an elderly lady, overweight, with several grandchildren dragging her around, begging for shirts, in one of the tents, One of the Plainclothes crew was nearby watching these kids passing the shirts they wanted to their grandmother...who put it on..one at a time soon she had 5 tee shirts on and a sweatshirt over all of them ($20@ tee shirts= $100 and $35 for the Sweat Shirt) and out the door she goes with her family following.
    The Plainclothes officer stopped her and asked for a receipt for her shirts, and she denied taking them, saying they belonged to her kids and she was just carrying the shirts for them. Lucky for us we had security video and two other witnesses to the whole scene, but thats the type of shoplifting that went on daily.


    When Employees could eat in the regular food service areas in the Park many found ways to get their friends in Food Service to "Give Employees 100% Discounts" when they rang up a meal cost on the register. That would have been O K ,except there were no Employee 100% Discounts for Food... they were stealing for each other and the Plainclothes Officers monitored that as well.

    All You all aware of how valuable some of the stuff was that was being sold in the TeePee..They had dozens of Rings and Bracelets that were priced over $3500.00 !! Now they were in glass cases, but a smash and grab was a real possibility any time during a busy day or evening...and Many nights when the Teepee shut down some little Merchendise girl would walk a cash bag full of those pieces up to Cash Control by herself.
    Later on the pick-up jeep from CC would include that bag in it's run, but for a couple of years it was a pretty easy mark.

    OK with modern technology and improved training the system must work better than it did...but That's the way it was 40 years ago. One of those original Officers is still in the Park . I don't know if he would like to comment here, or prefers to remain in the background, but I may ask him about those early days and see if he can add to my notes.



  17. Harry,

    Can you find someone in Food Service who can give us a timeline (History) for when the Commisary was taken off-line, and how they distributed food from the warehouse(s) to the foodstands after it closed---until the whole major food operation shut down and the Park converted to a contracted food vendor service. I am assuming that's what is happening today from the way the foodstands are identified.. some are run by the vendor and some by independent franchisers, including 6 Flags. I have not been there to take inventory, but I would bet that the daily count of "Sysco" System Delivery Trucks to the warehouse on typical operating days would be in the double-digit figures.

  18. Another major contributor to the Park's appearance, who I don't see mentioned thus far on this site is BASIL HANGER. Mr Hanger was one of the original Englishmen who came in to build and operate Great Adventure. His specialty was in Landscape design and maintainance. He survived the purges of Management that came when 6 Flags took over and kept the Parks beautiful appearance up from Opening Day thru the every end of the season each year. His crews would be working night and day in the early Spring making sure that flowers wer open and colorful when the gates first opened, even when we were looking at frosty nights. I never really understood the "politics" of the Maint.area.. it was not as clear-cut as Operations and Foods and Games...there seemed to be a lot of overlap of responibilities and functions...but they got the jobs done, and much of the credit for that in the early years belongs to Basil Hanger and his crew of landscapers.

  19. I wish we could get some feedback from some Food service cart people. I think--THINK-- I saw more of them in First Aid than any other job-title that I recall, due to two types of injuries. The Bee Stings were One, and the first I had every heard of "Corpal Tunnel Syndrome" was the second. The Italian Ice was much denser and harder to scoop than typical Ice Cream, and the typical cart person was a smaller than normal youngster who's wrist muscles weren't fully deveoped. Some of those kids really suffered with Popeye-like bulging wrists from scooping that Ice for hours at their carts. I wouldn't be at all suprised if they had permanent physical issues 40 years later based on the damage done back in those first seasons.

  20. First Aid- Continued-


    One of the more suprising , or rather least expected incidents that began to happen on an ever-increasing basis was the number of yellow-jacket Bee Stings received by employees (and guests also), but mainly by the Italian Ice Cart Operators who scooped cups of the Ice for guests at certain locations inside the Park. At times the Bee's seemed to overpower the kids and force the carts to shut down and move to avoid serious injury to the people in the area. First Aid and Food Service both issued MSG packs to those employees to apply immediately to a Bee sting for relief--it worked-- but multiple stings could be serious and some folks had strong reactions to the the Bee Stings. We made several ambulance runs during the Summer for Bee Sting reactions...usually for a guest, but sometimes it was for an employee.

    The Carts would be pressure washed over night to help get rid of the ice-residue, but by noon, the Bee's would be back, at the Gingerbread end of the Park and spreading East as the day wore on.

  21. NO- It was Not employee dining.. Food Services used a centralized food prep area as a distribution facility between the Warehouse and the individual foodstands in the park...The Comissary. It was located out next to the Water Treatment facility behind Gate 4 for those first few years, before the expansion of Strawberry Fair into the "New Rides area" in that far Northwestern corner of the Park. I don't recall if they moved it, or changed the concept of warehouse to foodstand supply--it might have happened after I left in 1978. I do know the smell from the water treatment plant made wanting to eat anything in the comissary area not very pleasant, when we had a call about fence jumpers out there.

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