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  1. I was at the New York State Fair in Syracuse, NY at the end of August. Ran into an old friend. New version, but still looks the same.
  2. Anybody still have these laying around. The are from 1979.
  3. I found this in with some old graduation cards. I knew I was there for the night.
  4. I agree it was one of the only Disney type rides, so it always had one of the longest lines. But this is what happened to almost everyone. After standing in line for an hour, you make it up to the doors only to have the attendant stop you and have the doors close in your face. UGG Another 10 min till you made it in.
  5. One of my best stories while working at GA in the “70”. The pond is always full of change guest toss in, people love to toss money in water. Working on the night crew for Grounds – Dream Street, at the end of the night we would meet at the Frog Pond to all walk up to the lockers together. One night we were looking in the pond and one of the guys says he is jumping in and getting the money guest threw in. I was a few years older than most of the High School crew and said if we show up at wardrobe soaking wet, we would raise suspicions. Let’s wait for a rainy night when we are wet anyway to pull off our crime of the century. Deemed a criminal master mine by my fellow workers, the plan was set and we waited for a rainy night. Of course, it doesn’t rain for a few weeks. Finally our night comes with a big thunderstorm. We all pass the pond dozens of times to plan the best place to retrieve our bounty. The park closes and we are alone. OVER THE WALL…into ankle deep mud and scum as nasty smelling as it looked and felt. We fill up our pockets with as much as we can carry and slosh off to the lockers to change. We hurry out to our cars. Gas and beer money for the summer. By the light of our dashboards we count out our loot. I had about $7.20, one guy less than $5. The most was about $9. Bubkas along with soaking wet sneakers for a week. So when you see a fountain or pond full of change and think it would be worth it to dive in and claim your fortune, it’s only change, and not worth much.
  6. On the left is my dog tag made by the wood carvers who had a stand in the Fort under the Runaway Train. It says my name, Worlds Greatest Lead, Western Dumpster, Summer “77”. Who knows what is on the right? It’s a garbage can key. The original garbage cans came from the 64-65 World’s Fair (some still had stickers on them). They were replaced in 1977 and the new cans had a lock on the door needing a key. By the end of July, all the keys were lost, but all you had to do was reach in between the door and liner and pull the locking bar, which turned out to be faster anyway. I think this is the only key in existence.
  7. We would go the first trip to the park when we got our seasons passes at lest twice more. My wife hated it. It would really drive her nuts when I would drive on the grass to get around slower cars and "pretended" to "nudge" some of the animals out of the way. The kids always liked it even into their teen years. We would pack a lunch and at mid day we would eat while going through the park. The lions always were sleeping. I was mad when the closed off the baboons.
  8. Does anyone have anymore information on this? June of 1975 the park had it's first Graduation Night. The Park closed at 10:00 PM and then reopened for the "Grads" at 11:00 PM till 6:00AM. The tickets had to be purchased at your High School. The cost was about $65 for two. All the rides and restaurants were open. I remember watching the sun rise from the top of the Giant Wheel. In 1976 it was moved to regular park evening hours 6PM to 11PM. It may have lasted till 77 or 78.
  9. I agree, yearbook section is the best. My first job was on grounds in “Fun Fair”. Everyone called it New Rides section and we never found out it was Fun Fair till mid- July when new maps came out. We all called it New Rides for the next 5 years anyway. We kept all our brooms and pans behind the hot dog stand. Had a bench and a little “camp” set up. Would commander 5 gallons of ice cream from Gingerbread and eat it all night. Coming from the Giant Wheel, you take a spin on Schwabinchen, Enterprise, then the Rotor and you will be guaranteed to hurl. We went through cases of Z-Goup ( treated sawdust to absorb almost anything). The new bathroom had air-conditioning, none of the other bathrooms in the park did then. Employees from all over the park would come to use it (and sneak a quick cigarette). In July the park stayed open till midnight on weekends. The first night open late, at 10:30 every rabbit, squirrel and even a deer came out on the path between the bathroom and Gingerbread to eat. I guess they were used to the park being closed then. The first 3 years there was no employee dining, so we just ate in the park. If you look at the crowd at the Pizza stand, you can see some of the employees eating at a table in the middle.
  10. My first year in new rides and I saw it go up and come down. The story we were told was that GA leased several rides that year. The company derived all of them before the leases were finalized. The others were all executed, but GA and the owners could not agree on the lease for the Jet Star, so they took it back. They did test run it one day, but I don’t think anyone ever rode it.
  11. The tigers liked to bit car tires. I saw a bear dry himself on the hood of a VW Beetle, Beetle lost. Elephants bumped into the cars all the time and were the first to be corralled off. Vinyl tops on cars in the 70’s were attached with a banana oil based glue. You could remove and replace them with a heat gun. Hot day + hot banana oil glue + baboon = “ I smell a banana here somewhere, just have to keep tearing.” People would get out of their car in the big cat section all the time to get a better picture. It is truly amazing that no one was ever killed in the years that the cats roamed free.
  12. My sister worked opening 1974 and was assigned to the “Boats”. She spend the year as a breaker since the boats never opened. The story we were always told was when the park brought the land from Switlik, he claimed he never sold them the lake. So the boats and all the vegetation from Bandstand to the Aqua Stadium were left untouched, hiding the lake. Once G.A. won the lawsuit, approximately 1983, they took over the lake, cleared the brush, built Great Lake Grandstand, and finally put in the boats. The original boats were electric and stored at Camp Wanda for years and deteriorated. New two person paddle boats were used along with the original dock. A buoy-fence was strung along the flume supports on the left so people could not paddle out into the full lake. I believe the boats did cost extra.
  13. The area between the parking lot and the fort was the original picnic area. All the trees were there and you could only see the top of the fort. The area was flat cleared for Rolling Thunder and the picnic area moved to the south side of the parking lot.
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