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SFoT memories If you have a special story about the park, a fellow employee, or just working there, enter it here.

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Old December 21st, 2004, 04:45 PM
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Location: Austin, Texas
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Default From the old site... the memories page. cont...3

Wow. What a great page. I'm sitting here awash with nostalgia. Thanks for destroying my productivity for an hour or two.

Lessee, what memories?
  • I remember when I was applying for the job (I worked in Gifts and Souvenirs for 2 months during the summer of 1985), they had the list of checkboxes at the bottom of the application. And one of the checkboxes was much bigger than all the rest and said something like "ANY DEPARTMENT" or "NO PREFERENCE." It occurred to me that this was probably where the Grubbies came from, since I couldn't imagine anybody in their right minds actually volunteering to be in "Grounds Quality." I cleverly did NOT check that box.
  • Speaking of general Arlington memories, I too remember Wild Kingdom and White Water and Wet-n-Wild. I remember seeing ads for Hawaii Kai and Seven Seas, but those were torn down before I ever had a chance to go. (I lived in Fort Worth from 1977-1979, and lived in North Richland Hills from 1979-1990.) I remember eating at a restaurant called "The Cafe," which later changed to "Bobby V's." I remember it because it had deep fried strawberries with chocolate sauce.
  • My favorite restaurant to go to in Arlington, though, was Bobby McGee's (and I actually ended up working there in 1988, right before it closed). This was a restaurant very near the entrance to SFOT, where the wait staff all dressed up in costumes (I was a doctor when I worked there). Bobby McGee's was right next to Lace, which was a popular strip club in the area. Never went there, but the dancers would often come to Bobby McGee's for dinner.
  • More specific to SFOT, I remember working the night that New Edition was playing in concert there, and they just decided to go walking around the park without telling anybody, which caused all sorts of chaos. I also recall that even when they WEREN'T walking around the park, people were shouting that they were. "OMIGOD! BOBBY BROWN! HE'S RIGHT OVER THERE!" etc., at which point the mob would rush that direction. I was working at my usual spot (Map cart directly beneath the tower), and after I closed down, I (along with damn near everybody else in Gifts and Souvenirs) was asked to go up front and help out with the crowd that just didn't wanna go away. I think the shoplifting stats went through the roof that day...
  • I was hired into Gifts and Souvenirs. My first couple days on the job were spent at one of the "buy a hat and have your name stiched on it" stores near the front of the park. Then I got moved to what would now be called a "Karaoke Booth", but was called something else back then. It was a place where you could record yourself singing songs along with the original music (i.e. just like Karaoke). I worked there about a week, and really fell for this gorgeous black girl that worked there. But alas, it was not to be. I eventually got moved to the map carts, and staked my claim on the map cart at the very back of the park, underneath the tower, right by the Skee-Ball palace. At the time, there were only 4 map carts, and 3 were located near the front of the park. I was the only one that was located at the back. This is where I stayed for the next 6 weeks before I got fired for being a rebellious little punk. =) One of the things I LOVED about the map carts was that they were the first ones out of Cash Control. No receipts. No register tape. No spending half an hour trying to reconcile the money you had with the info on your tape. Just bag your money up, count it in Cash Control, fill out the little slips, and go home. * A couple friends of mine started working there at the same time I did. They got jobs in Ride Operations. One of them occasionally ended up working the "Sit in a chair in a darkened part of the Spelunker's Cave with a flashlight so in case there's a fire you can show the guests to the emergency exits" job. He said that they would only let you do that job for 2 hours at a stretch, presumably because it was mind-numbingly boring. He *claims* to have seen lots of sexual activity of varying stripes during these 2-hour stretches. Dunno if I believe him or not.
  • For some reason which now eludes me, it became a tradition that the first ride we would ride on after entering the park was the Sombrero.
  • To the fellow who suggested that nickels were in the arcade games accidentally because they were the same size as the tokens, allow me to put that to rest. It was well known that nickels would work in the SFOT arcades, and no trip to SFOT was complete without a couple rolls of nickels precisely for this purpose. =)
  • And speaking of arcade games, I remember that the Journey stand-up arcade game (based on the rock group Journey) was really popular at the time. As was Dragon's Lair. (Remeber that? Animated arcade game with Dirk the Daring?) I also remember that one of the gals that worked the arcade near the tower caused some controversy when she came in with a mohawk. It wasn't dyed or spiked or anything, but it was clearly a mohawk. (Looked good on her, too.) They apparently let her stay.
  • The last time I visited SFOT was in 1986, the year I graduated. I remember (with considerable sadness and disappointment) how nasty and dirty the park was. And I'm not talking about vandalism and litter, either. When I was a kid during my first few trips to SFOT, the blue water under the log flume splashdown was always clean. The last few times I was there (including when I worked there), the water was stagnant and icky, with a thick head of greasy, nasty bubbles floating on top. Standing in line for the Spinnaker was equally distressing. I actually saw a snake slithering through the bushes near the line. The last few times I was there, the park just gave off the appearance of being decrepit and uncaring. I RILLY hope this has changed with the new ownership.
Thanks for the walk down memory lane.

Afterburner <>

Springfield, VA USA - Friday, April 14, 2000 at 08:00:19 (CDT) <HR>THE WATERMELON PATCH!!! After going thru the park with 2 kids, a 10 and 8 year old in 1968 FOR ABOUT 7 HOURS. Hot, tired we came upon the watermelon patch. BEST WATERMELON I EVER ATE IN MY LIFE. DON

Don Carlson <>
freeport, tx USA - Monday, March 27, 2000 at 15:28:15 (CST)

<HR>I think web site is great. I grew up in OKC and we would visit SFOT in the 60's. I remember a ride which nobody seems to remeber and I'm wondering if I just dreamed about it. It was a ride near the gate which consisted of 4 or 5 jets which climbed to the top of a pole. Then you could tilt the jet at the top. I later worked at SFOM as the Screamin Eagle supervisor....what fun!

Dave <>
st louis, mo USA - Friday, March 17, 2000 at 13:28:28 (CST)
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