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sfotadmin February 24th, 2005 12:33 PM

Ride Operations entries from old sfot 3
Alan Cochrum

Seasons worked: '78-'80

Funny story or happening:

First off: a tip of a 1980s Official SFOT Employee Western Style Straw Hat to Alan R. and Davis for this page. I can't decide if this is a great idea or if they're the equivalent of pushers for those of us with a mild (or sometimes not-so-mild) Six Flags nostalgia addiction. OK, I'll opt for the "great idea" thing.

Funny recollections? I'll let y'all decide. Anyway, I remember ...
  • Working double shifts. LOTS of double shifts: 12- to 14-hour days all the time. Ah, the energy of youth.
  • The canned music over the loudspeakers. Since I spent a lot of time in the Texas section, the tune I remember most is the theme from "Bonanza."
  • The smell of sun-warmed asphalt, which still brings it all back.
  • Restrooms cold enough to store meat in.
  • Being part of an all-spoon Flume II crew. (Once I was asked by a new worker -- I think it was Tom Vacanti, future foreman, scholarship winner and supe -- why new hires were called spoons. Beats me, I said; maybe it's because that's how you had to feed 'em.)
  • Calling the Rides office every hour during evenings from Flume II. Unlike most places, we were a contingency ride: We usually opened about an hour after the rest of the park, and only went home after the in-park count dropped below a certain level -- 10,000, I think. No night-shift relief! (We did run a regular two-shift system on Saturdays.) This made for some weird hours; the shortest shift I remember was either two or four hours, and the longest was almost 11 -- a loooong day for a single set of people. So naturally as the evening wore on, we kept calling the office so we could shut down and go home. On the other hand, if things weren't too horrible and other rides were short-handed, sometimes the office would just shut us down and send us to other places. It was almost like being in Pool.
  • Cleaning the Flume II reservoir. The crew got to put on old uniforms and wash out the sludge on the bottom. Unbelievably nasty -- if all those guests who splashed each other could only have seen what we did ...
  • Climbing down from the Flume II dock into the queue house to divert guests to us. For several reasons, people tended to gravitate to Flume I: (1) They could actually see Flume I's dock (ours wasn't immediately visible from the back of the queue house; (2) the old queue house was dark, and I suspect that the sign pointing the way wasn't that obvious; and (3) there was a foul and slanderous rumor abroad that you got wetter at Flume I.
  • Sweating like a pig while loading and unloading logs. At least Flume I had a little more shade! I shudder to think what it must have been like for the 1980 crew. (Bob Jordan and Co., you have my respect.)
  • Trying to work loose a log that was stuck on a brake. I crouched low behind it, shoved and fell right into the trough in front of a full line.
  • The camaraderie on the Flume II crew that year. I remember having a sort of picnic in the old Missle Chaser space, and another time we cleaned up and went to a fancy dinner at the old Luminarias in Fort Worth (now defunct). I have to credit Marty Wieder, the '78 foreman, with running a pretty good ship. Several of us went on to become foremen: among others, Jimna Barnett at Chute Out, Robin Fillip at GT Cars, and myself at Astrolift/GT Cars (OK, so maybe all the results weren't that good ...).
  • Cutting up fish to feed the sea lions at the Zoo. These were smelt (and they certainly did) that came in frozen cakes that must have weighed at least 5 or 10 pounds. You set them out in the back room to thaw and then chopped them up -- four pieces of fish to a little paper french-fry basket, and 50 baskets to a cafeteria tray. The baskets were sold to the guests for a quarter apiece. (The money we must have made off of that!) Once I got inventive and filled an entire tray with nothing but fish heads. We had to wash our hands with mustard from those little restaurant packets; soap would not cut that smell.
  • The time that one of the Dolphin Show's dolphins died, and it was brought to the Zoo compound for an autopsy. As you can imagine, Zoo crew members weren't sissies when it came to odors, but when you opened the door to go into the building that particular night, the stench just about blew you away.
  • Mixing up several gallons of dry milk and animal feed to slop the piglets in the compound. And you thought the employees ate enthusiastically ...
  • Getting chewed out big-time (by a supervisor, no less) during a shift at Texas Lift for not checking the car locks. (Yep, pretty dumb. I strongly suspect that the foreman that day was our own gracious Web site host. Sorry to mess up your day, Alan.) Made me so skittish that I didn't work there again for a LONG time. Then I turned around a couple of years later and not only became a permanent crew member but eventually was named night foreman. Go figure.
  • Surviving the heat wave of 1980. (That was one nice thing about Texas Lift; at least you were out of the direct sunlight most of the time -- unlike Modern.) For years I still had the souvenir gimme cap that the employees received toward the end of the year, which said, "We beat the heat. Six Flags 1980," or something like that.
  • Opening Day, March 1980, It was too windy to run the Astrolift, so the crew was sent to do crowd control for the opening of Judge Roy Scream. Unfortunately, it was so bitterly cold that practically nobody came to the Park. The Apache Belles (from Tyler Junior College, I think) rode the coaster as part of the publicity, and I heard that they were so frozen that some of them were actually in tears. I could sympathize.
  • Trying to drive Crazy Legs and failing spectacularly. (This was back in the golden days when, except on roller coasters, everybody was taught to do everything.) Joni Baddorf, the foreman that day, finally had to take the controls so the poor guests could get off. (Years later I ran into Joni at a reunion for my high school band; she had married a friend of mine, one of the percussionists. Fortunately, she had forgotten this episode.)
  • Sending a Mini-Mine train around three times before I was able to line it up correctly and let the guests out.
  • The wonderful coolness and wind inside the Rotoriculous. And the voice just before the ride went backward: "This is Cyrus Cosmo, speaking to you from Master [Control?]. Soon the Rotoriculous will lurch forward, onward into the stratosphere ..." (One way to "date" employees: Ask if they know who Cyrus Cosmo is.)
  • Using the Log Ride line as an in-park indicator. If you came in the employee entrance and the line was back to the Watermelon Patch, it was going to be a bad day. If the line was doubled back to the Kandy Kitchen or farther, it was going to be a REALLY bad day.

    (Until the late '70s, there were actually two employee entrances by the Flumes: one by the Watermelon Patch, which went under the train track, and another just to the south that had a bridge that went over the track and through a covered walkway to come out by the Flume II exit. I still have a 1979 map of the Park that shows this one, but it was torn out sometime around then.)
  • Going to do a double at the Spinnaker and reporting to the girl in charge, who looked at me and said, "What are you doing here?" (A number of the foremen with whom I worked probably thought the same thing at some point. Not exactly the reception I was expecting, though.) It turned out that one of the crew members that day, who had just gone on break minutes before, looked so much like me that she thought I was him. There really was an eerie resemblance.
  • Selling parking tickets at the Toll Gate during the odd-even gasoline rationing (remember that?) and telling guests that we were admitting only cars with certain license plate numbers. (Fortunately, everybody got the joke.)
  • The laughing skull in the electronic Buckeye Gallery just on the other side of the Operations office. Every time somebody activated it, you could hear this maniacal laugh inside the office. It must have driven the Operations people crazy, not to mention the employees who actually worked the gallery.
  • Doing costume characters. I did this exactly once, and I have had a healthy respect for such people ever since. The perspiration was litterally dripping off my face.
  • Manhandling the flag during the 1980 fireworks show. At one point during the festivities, a huge U.S. flag would be unfurled from the Tower. I was warned while helping with this once that if you weren't careful, the wind could catch the flag and pull you right off your feet. I didn't get the full effect that night, but they weren't joking.
  • Those ubiquitous plastic sipper containers. They came in three shapes, I think -- oranges, grapes and something else -- and they were EVERYWHERE. I think the three most common pieces of trash at the Park were Pink Thing sticks, cigarette butts (one of the banes of my existence, even as a Rides employee) and sipper containers. I once came up with a Night-of-the-Living-Sippers scenario in which sippers chased an employee around the Park. I shudder to think what the Grounds Quality people thought of them.
  • The "gum tree" outside the Runaway Mine Train queue house.
  • Almost killing Big Bend. After the trains were loaded, the front loader had to release the brakes by holding down a big red button (about the size of a large doughnut) until the train got out of the station. I was sending the train when somebody asked me what time it was; I turned my left wrist so they could see my watch, inadvertently releasing the button and engaging the brakes. The other workers had to quickly shove the train out or there would have been Big Trouble.
  • Hanging onto the dead tree branch by the Cave exit and sending tubs one way and another, and sitting lift by the rotating barrel inside. Actually, I think I came across more people indulging in a quick whiff of pot than a quick moment of passion. (Marijuana seemed to be a popular guest pastime on the Astrolift, too.)
  • Stroller Patrol. In '80, I think, the Park started providing strollers to guest from a stand near the Front Gate; if I remember right, the guests paid a dollar deposit and could get it back by returning the stroller to the stand. Naturally, a lot of them didn't. Three night foremen -- myself, Ben Shub at Shock Wave (I think) and somebody else had to round up the stray strollers in our respective areas at the end of every night. These were not lightweight cloth-and-plastic jobs, either; they were sturdy metal contraptions, and you can imagine what it was like having to hunt them down wherever the guests had left them and then herd a dozen or so to the Front Gate.
  • Almost causing a Railroad wreck. Well, not exactly. It was a two-train day, and I was at the Good Times Square Station. The person at the Texas Station mistakenly (OK, the false impression was my fault) sent that train before we were ready. (This was still when trains were running south from the Texas Station.) Next thing you know, we hear the train whistle at the Big Bend/GT Cars crossing, and we were still sitting at Good Times Square. Not for long, though.
  • The graffiti inside a Good Times Station closet: "At Good Times Station, no one can hear you scream." If you ever worked Railroad on a slow night, you know exactly what they meant.
  • Becoming "Foreman for a Night" at Merry-Go-Round. I was planning to work a double shift that particular day but hadn't signed up for a specific shift yet. I made some snotty remark to my girlfriend to the effect that wherever I ended up, it sure wasn't going to be MGR. Being a former MGR person, my girlfriend took exception to this.

    (She eventually dumped me for a fellow employee whom she would eventually marry; in computer language, this would be referred to as an "upgrade." I don't have any hard feelings, because (1) she dumped me pretty nicely, and (2) to be perfectly honest, I DESERVED to be dumped. To save her the embarrassment of admitting that she actually dated me, I won't mention her name here.)

    Having made that remark, OF COURSE, I ended up going to MGR that evening. As the day shift got ready to leave, it soon became obvious that NO ONE on the regular crew was going to be working that night -- no foreman, no assistant, no black tags, no nobody! Last one out the gate turns off the ride, folks! So I named myself temporary foreman (I think I was the only person there with foreman status), and we soldiered on. You do what you have to.

    (To top it all off, the phone rang at one point and I answered it -- "Merry-Go-Round, this is Alan; may I help you?" -- only to be greeted by peals of triumphant laughter. It was my girlfriend, who was working 258 and had called for the hourly ride count.)
  • Being around for the opening of the new canteen. (Quite a contrast to the old one.) For a while, it was "serve yourself" on the chicken strips. You can guess how long that policy lasted.
  • The Riverboat. If there was anyplace that, for me, epitomized the whole Six Flags experience, it was the River and the zany people who worked there.
After an initial crash-and-burn at Casa Magnetica, I always loved spieling, so I did lots of doubles at River. At one point, Brian Joyce, who was the lead foreman in '80, asked me about joining the crew. (Brian went on to win a Park scholarship that year, but you do have to question his judgment.) I opted against it -- you had to be TOUGH to work River five or six days a week.

On my first time there, my boat died in the middle of the treasure cave. I had no whistle, so we had to wait until the boat drifted close enough to the exit to trigger the doors. Then the guests and I yelled until the dock crew heard us, and the foreman (Kirby?) put on some waders and towed the boat in.

Then there was the war with the Canoe Indians. This particular year, Games was giving away these orange-red, Frisbee-like disks from Keds, about the size of a large saucer and shaped like UFOs. The River Rats had stowed dozens of these things in some lockers in the crew's back area.

I was doing an extended stint at the River (I think the office had shut down Flume II for a while), and one day we loaded up a boat with the disks and went for the morning test ride. Sure enough, the Indians showed up, and there was a vigorous exchange of fire that left the water full of bright plastic disks. Obviously, we couldn't leave things like that, so throughout the morning the foreman sent us back with a swimming pool net to fish the disks out.

At one point I came around the corner in a boat, spieling away; I looked around, and there were two of my female colleagues waving cheerfully from inside the bear cave. Being more quick-witted than nice at that time in my life, I didn't miss a beat: "Now these are four grey-legged timber wolves attacking a bear and two dogs in the back of a cave ..." The girls may not have heard me, since they never did whack me about the head and shoulders for what I said, which was certainly not accurate.

Let's see ... then there was the time I spieled for a boat with exactly two people in it (it was a very slow morning) while wearing a large straw hat that I borrowed from one of them. And the time that Steve Aydt and I regaled the girl at 258 with a rendition of Gary Numan's "Cars" over the phone.

Many crazy times with crazy people, several of whom Dan Whittington mentioned in his entry. Like him, I remember them and other SFOT alumni with great fondness (and maybe trepidation -- considering what they (or we) were up to then, who knows what they're doing now?).

The 1978 Southern Palace revue was called "Good Times, Good Music, Good Friends." If I had to find a phrase to sum up my Six Flags experience, that might be it.

Areas worked: Flume II, Zoo, Astrolift, GT Cars and zillions of other places during doubles.

email: Alan Cochrum

Other information: In 1985, I married Jennifer Frazier, a former Games employee (although Six Flags wasn't where we got acquainted). We have four children and live in north Arlington just a few miles away from You-Know-Where. I work as an editor and writer for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Scott Hayley

Seasons worked: 1986 -

Funny story or happening:

The best story I can think of right now is...

Back in 86', SFOT still hosted Senior Night's. One Friday night during Senior Night I was working fire watch 2 in the Cave (Back when it was GOOD). The park was virtually empty do to the fact that it had been raining all night.

The phone at Fire watch two rang and woke me up from a much needed sleep and I was asked to watch out for tub no. 22 (Don't recall if this is the actual number, but will us this number for sake of this story).

There was a couple, Male & Female asking to keep riding the ride and not get out of the tub upon reaching Dock. Well, with the park dead and no line, the loader said sure.

The question was, "Why in the world would someone want to keep floating around in a circle in the cave."

Well, I saw why. this couple had made the cave ride there, "Own personal Honeymoon Suite", at Six Flags over Texas, the FAMILY park, or should I say place to start your family.

Needless to say upon seeing me step out of the darkness and a yelling "Hey" they decided not to ride through again.

The funniest park of this whole thing, was they never stopped there act of "Family Making" when I stepped out and yelled. I don't think he ever missed a stride.

Areas of park: Rides 86', Shows 86', Freeze Frame 90'-91' Security 97'-98'

email: Scott Hayley

Other info: Working at SFOT has been a great learning and growing experience for me. I have meet many wonderful people. So many I will not list them all as to not upset anyone for leaving them off. But I must mention the One very Special person I have met at SFOT, my current Girl Friend and Total Love of my Life, Robyn Foreman (Corp. Security - Front Desk)

Robyn, if you see this, know this one thing... I LOVE YOU.

That's it for me, please feel free to e-mail me. I am out of here.

(In this world of pain, greed and aggression, Love is nice to see....-Alan)

Other depts: Shows and Attractions, Security and Other areas

Tony Hernandez

Seasons worked: 1997 - now

Funny story or happening:

wussup??!! i am Tony, still work at this place, i work at Skycoaster and also Mr. Freeze. the funniest thing i remember was when the shockwave crew of this year was all fired for jumping over the track in the station when the train was not docked! the entire crew was fired immediatly and guess who caught them?? the president of PREMIER PARKS! he was in line at the time. i think it was the entire day shift! the all of the area supervisers had to run the shockwave for the following week until a day shift crew was found for them! that had to be the funniest!

Areas of park: SKY COASTER

email: Tony Hernandez

People to find: noone they are all mean to me! but e-mail if ya want.

Other info: remember the cute little Mexican (me) at Sky Coaster

Lesley Hunt

Seasons worked: 1968 - 1973

Funny story or happening:

Tried to get a reunion weekend and work on log ride 2 years ago, but it didn't work out. Clare Ceaser,Julie Douglas,Chase Almond,Susie Tappe. Would like to try again sometime!

Areas of park: log ride, porpoise show, operations office

email: Lesley Hunt

People to find: Carol Cox, Margie Robinson

Other info: nurse/massage therapist. Married to Gary Golden, now divorced, but still friends. He lives in California

Kristen Schnellenbach

Seasons worked: 1982 - 1983

Funny story or happening:

While working at the Southern Palace in the Fall, I watched the male members of the troup do the entire show in drag because the park was empty and no patrons were filing in...Hysterical. I worked backstage and I'm sure we popped a lot of snaps and buttons trying to get those guys into the girls costumes.

Areas of park: Games (arcade by gunfight) and Shows (Chevy and S. Palace)

email: Kristen Schnellenbach

People to find: Lisa Marks

Other info: I live in Ft. Worth and work in Dallas

other depts: Shows and Attractions, Games

John Calhoun

Seasons worked: 1976 - 1978

Funny story or happening:

I was a fireman on the train. I was training my first day on the train. There were four of us in the cab, Charlie Patton was the engineer that day. David Mosby was firing for Charlie. Lance Kite was on the battery box with me.

There was a concert in the park that day I think it was KC and the Sunshine Band, but I'm not sure. We were coming from around the Mine train and going back toward the Music Mill Theater. We were moving at a pretty good clip as I recall. As we got to the crossing the employees were trying to hold the guest back as we crossed the crossing. Suddenly a guy jumped out of the croud and into the line of travel of the train. All i saw was the guy jump in front of the train. Charlie hit the big hole and was trying to stop the train. It took us almost 100 yards to get stopped it seemed.

When the train stopped David, Lance and I jumped off the train and started looking under the train for the guy. We looked forward and the guy had his leg caught between the cattle guard and the front wheel on the train. We must have bounced that guys head off of about 50 or so railroad ties. When we got to him he was conscious and asking us what had happened.

We couldn't pull the guys leg out from between the wheel and the cattle guard. I remember David running to the round house for a jack so we could lift the train off of the guy. I also remember Charlie Patton saying "let me try to back off of him, I couldn't hurt him any worse than he already is". Finally the supervisors agreed to let Charlie back off of the guys leg. He cam right out. The guy only had a few scrapes and scratches. Come to find out the guy had a bag of dope on him and didn't feel a thing happening to him because he was so high.

I always thought what a way to start your job on the train.

Areas of park: The Train

email: John Calhoun

People to find: Susan Lonan, Katrina Fitch

Other info : I married another Six Flags Ex. Lucy Peel she worked on the Spinaker. We live in Grand Prairie and have two boys. One works at Six Flags today on the G Force. I work for the US postal service in Arlington and Lucy works for an attorney in Ft. Worth as a legal secretary.

Shane Blair

Seasons worked: 1985

Funny story or happening:

Too many...many of which are not fit to print, but there was one day in particular that stands out. I was working a double (remember those, God the things you could do at 16 that seem impossible now), Cliffhanger day and Flume night. My good friend Robin Covington was foreman over at Flume so as a help to her I stayed on, plus I thought it'd be fun. The problems started almost as soon as I got on the ride. She put me at unloading first, cuz it was easy and it had been a long day. There was just one hitch... I had to operate the swing gate as well. You see, it had a habit of getting stuck and catching logs and unsuspecting passengers (and ride operators) by surprise. Anyway, needless to say I just wasn't quick enough and this log jumped the gate and got stuck. I thought for sure it would roll. The people were screaming and logs were still coming down. I pushed the "panic button" hidden in the rock wall, and eventually the log righted itself...whew!

In an effort to remedy the situation, or more accurately save the guests, Robin moved me to Lift 2 for the rest of the night. Seems easy enough, just sit there, watch people go by, make sure they're seated and most importantly stop the lift if logs jam at the bottom. Well, I eveidently got a little too comfortable, because half way through the night Robin call up from the control panel screamin' for me to STOP the lift. It seemed that a few had gotten stuck down below (probably that damn gate again), and I was too busy wacthing the people come up instead of going down. Once again, Bobin (as she was affectionally known in those days) bailed me out...literally. She came up to lift and held back logs so they could feed properly onto the belt, and for those who have never tried to hold back a log full of people in rushing water with 10 other logs pushing it along have no idea how grateful I was to my pal. Anyway, that was my first and last stint at Flume. Of course, after Cliffhanger went Code 7 for the season, I took my string of bad luck to many another ride throughout the Park.

Areas of park: Cliffhanger plus most of White & parts of Red/Blue sides

email: Shane Blair

People to find: I've managed to stay in touch w/ a number of the people I worked with, e.g. Robin, Terri Buck (Swaim), etc. But would welcome a message from anyone that remembers that crazy summer, especially Scott "a.k.a. Bob" Crosier or Chaz.

Other info: Working on Wall Street for Citicorp (NO it's not as comfortable as it sounds). Would like to thank Stephanie for letting me sing in the tube at Chute Out, and for keeping me stocked with a summer's supply of Dot's (remember her?) Also, like to thank Stacy for letting me work the Train for a day...luckily it went much better than my Flume experience. And hats off to Bob Bennett for never running me over in his golf cart as he "toured" the grounds. AND though I couldn't say it then, I'll go out on a limb and say it now....Steve Warner had one of the cutest butts in the Park that season!

Troy Cunningham

Seasons worked: 1969 - 1971

Funny story or happening:

Working on Skull Island, sinking the barges and getting in the green slimy water to push the barges to the side so maintence can work on them. Parties, flag football , snipe hunting at Randol Mill park, AAAAAAHHHH so many memories so few pages. I think everyone that has worked at SFOT, has a fondness in their hearts with the rides, & people and the fun they had while working there.

Areas of park: Modern Astro lifts '69' Skull Island '70 & 71'

email: Troy Cunningham

People to find: Debbie Eason, & Jackie Eason ( bro & sis), Gary Whalin, Mike Blanchard, Mary Ann Roberts, Randy Plemons, Patrice Fagan, Bob Wegner, Roberts (Bob) Olds, Chris Hart, These were the crew in 1970.

Other info : I'm married with 1 daughter, still live in Roanoke,Tx. even after all these years. Hey I like the country. Work in Desoto, Tx for Solar Turbines.

Bill Bilyeu

Seasons worked: 1981 - 1986

Funny story or happening:

Sending new empolyees around the park looking for squegee sharpeners. Worked at Cliffhanger when it first opened. In fact, the ride opened before all the bugs were worked out it. We opened the first time around 8 at night and because of breakdowns, didn't run the line out until close to 4 am the next morning. The ride didn't reopen for another 3 weeks or so.

Areas of park:

Flume, Canoes, Cliffhanger, Roaring Rapids, Shockwave

email: Bill Bilyeu

Other info: Had a great time working at Six Flags

Chuck Wood

Seasons worked: 1979 - 1993

Funny story or happening:

I've heard this once happened in the games warehouse, but I'm really not quite sure. Apparently there was an assistant foreman of the warehouse who could always find trouble. Back then operating supplies for the stands(baseballs,darts,balloons,etc.) were kept in the front of the warehouse. This particular person allegedly threw a ball into one of the cardboard merchandise boxes. His co-worker, a somewhat impressionable sort, decided that would be a cool thing to do also. With all of his might, he heaved the baseball into a sprinkler head. The head began spewing rusty water within the prescribed 10'radius, and merchandise began to get damaged.

Thinking quickly, after laughing (allegedly) for what must have seemed hours the two decided it was time to move the merchandise out of harms way. The two moved, with help from other warehouse crew members, moved the stuffed animals outside.

Mike Apple issued a department wide memo thanking the two for their quick thinking, and saving the department from a huge hit in cost of sales dollars. I think, as the story goes the instigator came clean about his part in the mishap.

Areas of park: Skeeball Palace, Warehouse, Supervisor, Operations, Etc.

email: Chuck Wood

People to find: Lori Brewster, Bob Abbott, Bob Hatton, Rob Lunde

Other info: Currently serving time as Games Manager at Six Flags Fiesta Texas. Married Cheryl Grummer, and after 10 years, yes Harvey Smith, I still have the ball and chain. Just remember my exit from the church the night of my wedding Harvey. Same message xxx-ooo's

other depts: Guest Relations, Grounds Quality, Games, Security

Susan Dubois

went by: Susan Vartdal

Seasons worked: 1978 - 1983

Funny story or happening:

My season on Chaps was probably the best...we had a lot of good times. One night when we closed late, Terry Benton followed me out of the back gate. It turns out he had hidden a hood ornament in my purse, so I could smuggle it out for him. No problem until 3 years later when I had to take a lie detector test so that I could sell tickets. When they asked if I'd ever stolen anything, I said no and the red lights and buzzers went off big time!

Best memories include Halloween when we all dressed up at Chaps. I was Sylvester (long before loney toons!), Gail Trostle was Minnie Mouse, and Robert Reagan showed up as a bag of Purina Cat Chow.

Worst memory: Trying to run around the park in those STUPID company store cowboy boots!

Areas of park: Chaps, Railroad, Merry Go Round, Toll Plaza

email: Susan Dubois

People to find: Gail Trostle, Cathy Crites

Other info: I married Paul Dubois(also a SFOT alum)on April Fool's Day in 1989. We live in Morgantown, WV and have two boys, Ethan and Ben.

Chuck Alcedo

Seasons worked: 1969 - 1978

Funny story or happening:

Oh where oh where do I begin...And Just How much do I reveal!!! There were the times we tossed things off the tower(after hours of course), Or..body surfing on the log ride, the bus ride to Six Flags over Georgia (ENOUGH SAID), How about the 6-Flags Frat and House, We had some good parties there!! Speaking of parties, what can I say? The years I spent at Six Flags were some of the best years of my life!!!! Oh by the way I certainly will be there...Thanks for the invite!

email: Chuck Alcedo

Other info :

The last job I held was in the Promotion Department....I had just graduated from college and was offered the position...It was great, Company Car, gas key, expense account, I could even drive in the back gate with as many frat buddies the car could hold but I quit after 6 weeks because of a job offer in my B.A. field. I currently own my own Telivision/Video production company. After college moved to Longview, Tx. where I worked as a sports anchor for a local TV station...I actually moved 4 times in 5 years to different parts of Texas working in the TV Broadcasting field! Moved back to Arlington in 1993, I'm married with 2 beautiful girls!

other depts: Shows and Attractions, Office Staff/Group Sales, etc., Maintenance, Other areas

Mindy Dickinson

went by: Mindy Hickman

Seasons worked: 1972 - 1979

Areas of park: Tower, Front Gate Foreman

email: Mindy Dickinson

People to find: Larry Grigsby, Debbie Messing, Shirley Hobbs, and anyone else that knows me.

other depts: Security

Other info: Married to Gary Dickinson for 20 yrs. 2 kids, Jason 18, Jennifer 15. Live in Nashvill, TN for 13yrs.

Lisa Knight

Seasons worked: 1970 - 1979

Areas of park: Railroad

email: Lisa Knight

other depts: Ride Operations, Food Services

Mitch Reitman

Seasons worked: 1975 - 1980

Funny story or happening:
  • In 1976 I had come in to work on a weekday afternoon in the spring. They called a bunch of us from our rides to report to the Chute Out. The wind was blowing really hard and they asked us to simply sit in the chairs to try to hold them steady. After about three hours, maintenance people came by and put sandbags in the seats and we returned to our rides. At the tender age of 17, I had been automated out of a job.
  • Lots of memories of deep night shifts in Security in '77, '78, & '79, especially someone who will remain nameless following a skunk to the area where some of the Grounds Quality crew had fallen asleep and then shooting it.
  • when working the front gate in '76 getting a counterfeit $20 bill from a woman who bought a season pass (got her picture and address).
  • in '76 being just 4 hours short of my bonus hours in Operations and having to work night shift on the last day of the month at - the kennels. I still know the dancing tamale tune by hart.
  • in 1977 we were asked to take a woman to the hospital. She had a bulging belly and was screaming in pain. I, assumed that she was pregnant and ran into the ER at Arlington Memorial and told the nurses that she was in labor. Well, it turned out that she was having stomach cramps and was, well, just large.
  • not so funny, but happy ending, I was working traffic at the toll plaza in August 1979. A woman had a heart attack in her car. Her daughter gave her mouth to mouth while I gave her CPR compressions, when the ambulance got there she was breathing. I later found out that she had made it.
People to find: Alan Bell, Glenda Gilbert, Rhoda Hampton, Ysleta Youngblood, Alan Parker, Christy Umphenour, and Greg Brewer.

Other info:

I'm married - 9 years, and live in Coppell. To all of you looking for Sami Felix, she was at my wife's high school reunion this summer. She is a happy mom and living in Oklahoma.

Areas of park: Food and Bev, Rides, Front Gate, Security

email: Mitch Reitman

other depts: Ride Operations, Food Services, Security, Maintenance, Cash Control

Mike Mead

Seasons worked: 1976 - 1979

Funny story or happening:

When we worked on Modern Lift and were shut down during high winds, we would go to the entrance and throw cherry sours at the Happy Motoring Cars as they drove by.

We also used to set the trash in the air conditioning vents on fire.

We grabbed hold the bumpers of the cars on the Lift as they left the station and dropped off before they got too high.

Areas of park: Modern Lift, Mine Train, Foreman-Mini Mine Train

email: Mike Mead

People to find: J.W. Moore (maybe I'm not the only one that's interested in finding him...)

Other info: I work for an advertising agency in Dallas and I live in Mesquite with my wife Lori.

Larry Cox

Seasons worked: 1968 - 1972

Areas of park: Canoe's, Tower/Slide, Shooting Gallery, Cash Control

email: Larry Cox

People to find: Larry Vaughn

Other info : Married Pat Clarkson (met at SFOT). We live in Arlington.

other depts: Shows and Attractions, Maintenance, Cash Control

Pat Cox

went by: Pat Clarkson

Seasons worked: 1969 - 1972

Areas of park: cave,happy motoring, puppet theater

email: Pat Cox

People to find: TERESA FARMER

Monty Jasper

Seasons worked: 1973 - 1979

Funny story or happening:

In 1977, the girls on the Cave Crew all begain see ghosts in the ride and refused to sit on the lift and watch the barrell. Since my entire crew was girls, it made it hard to get anything done while I spent the whole time in the dark. They eventually got over it. It was tough for a few days.

Areas of park: Cave, Rotoriculous, El Sombrero and the Dog House.

email: Monty Jasper

People to find: Bob Perry, Marge Robinson, Bobby Grubbs

Other info:

I currently live in Ohio and work for Cedar Point.

Bill Bozeman

Seasons worked: 1970 - 1972

Areas of park: Modern Lift, Runaway Mine Train, La Salles River Boat, Canoe

email: Bill Bozeman

Jane Moore

went by: Jane Beckett

Seasons worked: 1972 - 1978

Funny story or happening:

I loved working at SFOT! Some of my favorite memories include: sitting in the compound doing time cards, attending flings, climbing the tower after hours," mis"-spieling on the spiel rides, doubles (and then some...), "vapor-lock" keys, cash control pick ups, the frat house, spoons, and those wonderful bus trips. I met Tom while on one of the trips to Six Flags Over Georgia (we have been married for 23 years now).

One of my most embarrassing moments began early one morning in late August of '74. Most of the experienced ride workers were back in their college classrooms (at least until lunchtime) and many of us were spoons on the rides we were assigned. I had been assigned to Skull Island. I think Chris Hart scheduled me as foreman that day just to see if I could handle it, knowing I had never driven the barge. I was opening alone and pushed for time getting the Skull Slide cleaned and dried off. Two uniformed guys came slowly walking up. Panicked that the slide was still wet, I asked them to slide down the muddy, wet ramp to dry it off. They did, and promptly had to go back to wardrobe to change clothes. I had been in Food and Beverage until the week before when my transfer had finally been approved. I did not know all I should about the personnel of Ride Ops. Little did I know that the two guys I sent down that slide that morning would become my supes: Alan Bell and Larry Grigsby. They both had recently returned from the service and became supes immediately. They were good sports about that morning and always supported the decision I made for the guests safety.

The friends made there share memories that transcend time.

Areas of park: F & B (Colonels); Rides- Shooting Gallery, Front Gate, Office

email: Jane Moore

People to find: Margie Robinson, Alan Bell, John Bement, Gary and Mindy (Hickman) Dickinson, Austin Jeter, Dwight Thompson, Chad Bates, Jim Brothers, Jack and Julie DeMont, John (Ace) and Jeanette Cocharo, Sam Calvin and the movies, ... the "old" crowd

Other info: Tom and I live in Richardson with our children (ages 16 and 12). We still see many of our Six Flags friends at least yearly at Christmas.

other depts: Ride Operations, Food Services

Michael Bausch

Seasons worked: 1996 - 1997

Funny story or happening:

Here are a list of memories that I remember :
  1. Falling in the trough of Flume I in front of the hottest girl I've ever seen.
  2. Working with James Taylor, Paul Alegria, and Jessica Hill at Runaway Mountain and singing that damn Jewel song.
  3. Taking 2 hour breaks with Brandi Vaughan.
  4. "Raising the Roof" with Scott and Michelle at Mr. Freeze.
  5. Filling all those damn sand bags for weight tests on Mr. Freeze.
Areas of park: Flume I&II, Bobsled, Runaway Mountain, Mr. Freeze

email: Michael Bausch

People to find: Erin "happy" Gilmore, Davis George, Hollis ,

Other info: I am currently a freshman at The University of Arkansas in Fayetteville majoring in Spanish. I work at Hurricane Harbor in Cash Control.

Jeffrey G Little

went by: Jeff

Seasons worked: 1982 - 1995

Funny story or happening:

The most bizarre thing that I remember in all those years is the "thong man". I am not sure what year this occured but I was a supervisor at the time. Anyway, I got a call about a height requirement problem at Roaring Rapids. When I got to the dock, I noticed this little man with a red beard. He had a young girl with him who was clearly not tall enough. The man had purchased several pairs of those old thongs with the rainbow colored soles. You know the ones that are about an inch thick. Well, he glued about 5 of these soles together and put his little girl in them. He insisted that she was tall enough. I insisted she was not. We did not let her ride and the story is too long to tell but the final resolution to the story is that his season pass was eventually revoked and he was banned from the park foreever. Everyone from then on joked about "thong man".

email: Jeff Little

People to find: Everyone. Don't want to hurt feelings but there are too many to name. After all, I was there for 13 years. Anyone can e-mail me.

Other info: After leaving the park at the beginning of 95, I went to work for Harvey Hotels. They transferred me to Jackson, Mississippi where I now live. I have since left Harvey and work for KLLM Transportation Services in Jackson. I like living here believe it or not. After all, New Orleans is only 2 and 1/2 hours away.

other depts: Grounds Quality

Robin Covington

Seasons worked: 1984 - 1988

Funny story or happening:

I ripped out several pairs of knickers when I worked on the Conquistador, then would have to call Lance Harcrow at El Hat to come watch my ride while I went and changed. The carnage stopped when my mom came out to the park and told me to get bigger knickers. Thanks mom.

Met a lot of fun people, many of whom I still keep in touch with, like my best friend Terri Buck Swaim, Eric Swaim, Stephanie Perrill Vacanti, Tom Vacanti, Rene Sternfels Grimaldo, Zac Grimaldo, Stacy Snegon Geiser, James Geiser, Shane Blair, John Poskey.

I miss Lance Harcrow, Joey Isaacs, Chaz Clark, Alan Reno.

Areas of park: Cliffhanger, all of Mexico/Spain, Operations Office

email: Robin Covington

Troy Cunningham

Seasons worked: 1971

email: Troy Cunningham

Janie Kern

went by: Janie Brice

Seasons worked: 1971 - 1976

Areas of park: Texas Shooting Gallery, Front Gate, Operations

email: Janie Kern

Other info: I work for American Airlines as a Supervisor in the Ticket Delivery Service Dept. I have a 13 year old son and a 9 year old daughter.

other depts: Office Staff/Group Sales, etc.

Karen Trammell

went by: Karen Sullivan

Seasons worked: 1969 - 1971

Funny story or happening:

I was working on top of the tower ( I think 1970 ) and my foreman was Jim Reisch. I had a change belt, to give change to guests for the telescopes. Well, I had been LEFT up on top FOREVER without a break. Finally Jim called up to tell me that he was sending a replacement for me. I was in such a hurry to go back down that I gave the change belt to a guest and told him to give it to my replacement when he got to the top. Can you believe it!!! I thought Jim R was going to KILL ME!!

I also had a big fight with Pat Boyd (my supposedly boyfriend) I had found out that he had been seeing Norma who worked in Uniforms (laundry) Well, I went down to the canoes (remember the canoes? Indians and all?) where he was working and took off his ring that he gave me and threw it in the water. Made a pretty big scene because he chased me back to the tower where we had a big fight in front of guests (Again, my poor foreman, Jim was pretty mad at me!)

Areas of park: Puppet Show & Tower Crew

email: Karen Trammell

People to find: Mike Glennan, Karen Stephens, anybody who worked in 1969-71

Other info : I met my husband, Sam Trammell, at 6 Flags ( he worked on the Astrolift) and we are celebrating our 25th anniversary this year. I am a registered nurse and work for Harris Hospital System. Sam has his own document destruction (paper shredding) company, File*13.

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