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Old February 24th, 2005, 12:58 PM
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Default Ride Operations entries from old sfot 1

Alan Simpson

Seasons worked: 1968 - 1972

Funny story or happening:

So many things happened that ONE thing is really hard to pick out. Many friends made and a few lost during that time - some of the friends are still a part of my life to this day.

Some of the most vivid memories are:
  1. The parties and having to baby-sit Larry Grigsby's glasses;
  2. The trips to Atlanta and St. Louis
  3. The GREAT ZORK and the rest of "The Wild Bunch"
  4. Working on the Railroad track crew during the winter
  5. Canoe races ( and a few sunken canoes )
  6. Scooter races ( Wardrobe's was fastest )
  7. The incredible workload of a permanent double schedule one summer and the great fun of doing it
  8. One girl, on her first day at work, while cutting through the the Canoe loading area, looked at my name tag. She took two steps past me, turned around, looked me straight in the eye and said "Alan Simpson? I've heard about you!" and walked off.
  9. Of course, the many friends (and a few enemies) during those great years.

Areas of park: Canoes, Mine Train, Spindletop, The Mini, Big Bend

email: Alan Simpson

Scott Smeby

Seasons worked: 1976 - 1979

Funny story or happening:

We had a new employee one night named J.W. Turns out he didn't have a place to stay. After a few days we heard that he was sleeping underneath the Mine Train. Mike Mead and I went back to the Park one night after closing and sure enough we checked in the mechanics shed under the ride and there he was sound asleep on the ground.

Areas of park: Ride Operations

email: Scott Smeby

Here's a picture of Scott....(courtesy of Sands Weems ) Scott Smeby taking gum (off?) the Mine Train gum tree

Barbara Underwood

went by: Precious

Seasons worked: 1996 - present

Funny story or happening:

My Co-Worker was picked up by one of the Chutes at Chute Out. He went up about 10 feet without screaming.

Areas of park: GOODTIMES ( CHUTE OUT)

email: Barbara Underwood

other depts: Grounds Quality

Rob Saiter

Seasons worked: 1983 - 1988

Funny story or happening:

Using the back areas/maintenance tractor, in pouring rain, to push a stranded check-cashing van out of chest-deep water on the bridge near the employee entrance. Getting beaten-up by angry concert attendees while working adouble as concert security. Observing the goings-on of our fine guests while working fire watch in the Cave.

Areas of park: Good Times, Modern, Texas, The Cave, Back Areas (GQ), etc.

email: Rob Saiter

other depts: Grounds Quality, Security, Maintenance

Steve Holland

Seasons worked: 1977 - 1984

Funny story or happening: Tripping the water fall on River.

Areas of park: R I V E R!!!, Southern Palace (sound tech / stage manager)

email: Steve Holland

Other depts: Food Services, Shows and Attractions

Davis McCown

Seasons worked: 1974 - 1977

Funny story or happening:

My wife [the Former Lu McDaniel] and I met at the Park. It was 1977. She was working at Flume II and I was working night shift at Flume I. We actually meet, however, the night Elvis died (August 16, 1977), at a "Fling" in Front of the Southern Palace. We have been married now for seventeen years and had a daughter born on August 16th.

We collect Six-Flags stuff. We have an original map from 1962 framed hanging in our house. We also have approximately 150 different post cards from the first season on. Some include people we know, such a Margie with an Elephant and some children at the petting zoo and Margie and Bobby waving from a chaps car. Some are the old 3D cards that they sold when we worked in the park.

I have one of the old burro ride, the sky crane, the first taco train (the mexican hat train), the indian dancers, the stage coach ride, and other stuff that I remember from when I was a kid.

We also have a lot of pictures that we have taken over the years.

I worked most every ride in the park that was there then, but I was mostly at: Train (74); River (74/75); Texas Lift(75); Tower Slide (75); and Flume I (76/77).

Lu was at Flume II; Marry-go-Round (Foreman); Spiniker (foreman); Shock Wave; and other stuff, you would need to ask her about all of that.

Areas of park: Train, River, Tower, Slide,

email: Davis McCown

Lu McCown

Went By: Lu McDaniel

Seasons worked: 1977 - 1979

Areas of Park: Flume II; Marry-go-Round (Foreman); Spiniker (foreman); Shock Wave; and other stuff

email: Lu McCown

Bill Jordan

Seasons worked: 1981 - 1983

Funny story or happening:

Worked as assistant on Railroad the morning my foreman (Caroline Aydelotte) & I picked up the clipboard and supplies from the office. On the clipboard was a note from the night foreman (Steve Aydt) that they had found a wounded bunny, put it in the large trunk at the station and would she mind going by the canteen to get some lettuce to feed it in the morning. She was so excited - we got some lettuce and went to the Texas train station. The look on her face when she opened the trunk to find, not a cute little bunny rabbit but a large snapping turtle, was worth all the money in the world.

Either that story or the time I chased Caroline down the track with a beheaded lizard...

Ah, so many stories...

I also had the privilege of working on the last River crew and heard Mr. Aydt give the "final spiel" on the last trip out.

Areas of park: GT Cars, Railroad, Spindletop, Conquistador, Chapparal cars,

email: Bill Jordan

James Stiebing

Seasons worked: 1981 - 1990

Funny story or happening:

When I first registered here I left this field blank, but I could not stay silent forever, so I am re-registering. I worked at River during its final season, and as the final day drew near, strange things began to happen. My favorite was the time that, as I rounded the bend for the Indian Village, I (and all the passengers) suddenly became aware that someone had disrobed all the Indians; they had even placed a broomstick in a 'prominent' position between the legs of the young male indian (a.k.a. the 'Mazzola boy'). I froze for a moment, made some comment about the 'shameless natives', then continued my spiel. When I returned to dock I rushed to the phone to call the ride in Code-2 due to 'nude Indians', but it took forever for the office to take me seriously since I was laughing so hard. Eventually, the operations manager came down and loaded for me so that I could go to the back-area and re-robe the Indians.

Areas of park: Confederacy, Texas, River, Flume, Southern Palace.

email: James Stiebing

Other depts: Shows and Attractions, Grounds Quality

Robert Garland

Seasons worked: 1985 - 1988

Funny story or happening:

I came across this website by chance via and it brought back some fond memories, but I'm having trouble thinking up a funny story or happening.

I can't remember the years I worked exactly. I had to guess. When I started, the kiddy area was still Pac-Man Land but Bally was thinking about selling. I was with the Cave for one season, Looney Land for one season, then I did everyone's laundry for a season. I also was there the first year they did Holiday In The Park, and did Looney Land for that as well. I almost got to play "Argyle the puppet" one year, but I chickened out of doing an audition for J&J.

I have a lot of weird memories, but I can't think of one funny story. I could talk about the ghost in the Texas and Confederate section, but I never actually saw her, so it wouldn't be that interesting.

I could talk about the FireWatch in The Cave, where we were supposed to insure that no fires started inside the ride.

We spent more time cracking up at all the couples floating by making out with each other. My girlfriend worked there on swingshift, and when she would come by to replace me in the FireWatch I always seemed to get to my next post a little late. I recall the unofficial "Gay Days" would always cause a stir, but I don't think anyone ever died or lost a finger when I worked there, so I might bore you.

I could talk about the night my dad (who worked concert security) introduced me to Gloria Estefan. She's a short little thing, but that was very uneventful.

Or maybe the time I almost got fired because my eyes were killing me after three days straight running double shifts, and I refused to take off my mirrored sunglasses at the Looney Tunes buggy ride. I was doing the Cave in the morning, then after lunch I worked Looney Tunes until close. I was never able to catch any sleep while working, because even in the FireWatches at the Cave there always seemed to be something happening.

I can't remember the assistant foreman's name, but she was really on a power trip all that season, and the last thing I needed from her after so little sleep was an attitude. The foreman was a friend of hers who took her side, and I got a written warning over it. However, I didn't get fired over it because they needed people so bad, and I didn't fall asleep leaving dozens of screaming children riding around in circles forever until the ride blew up, so that's probably not worth talking about.

Maybe the time me and Robert Burns were doing the employee laundry, and some old guy came in and threw a bag of 'civilian clothes' at us. "Who's this for?" Burns asked. "Debbie Gibson" the old guy said and left. We stood there with this stupid bag and we both said in unison "Who's Debbie Gibson?" I pulled out one of the pairs of panties that were in there and said, "I dunno, but she sure has a big butt."

Of course we were holding in our hands the dirty clothes of the famous singer, who had a concert that night. In hindsight, I should have pocketed her panties, but I didn't know who she was at the time. So that's rather anti-climactic.

Sorry. I guess I just don't have a good funny story. =)

Areas of park: Spelunker's Cave, Looney Tunes Land, &others.. Laundry

email: Robert Garland

Other depts: Other areas

Beck Martin

Seasons worked: 1985 - 1986

Funny story or happening:

The water in the Spelunker Cave would stain your white shoes and sock blue. I also remember that one of the boats were stuck. i got in the water to move it and it pinned my leg between the wheel on the side of the boat and the wall. I got about week off for that. One last thing. One of the crew members. I think his name was Will was crossing one of the boats to get to the other side, while a guest was in it and hit her in the nose. Yes. it was bloody and broken. Good Time.

Areas of park: Park services in 85/Assit. Forman Spelunkers Cave 86

email: Beck Martin

other depts: Grounds Quality

Jeremy Stroop

went by: Strooper, stroopster

Seasons worked: 1986 - 1999

Funny story or happening:

Update: After a long and semi-distinguised career which included multiple promotions, one demotion and a layoff, I have finally severd my ties with SFOT. As painful a decision as it was at the time, it was the best move I have ever made. I am now very happily employed by the City of Arlington as a 911 Emergency Services Dispatcher. To all my friends, it was a heck of a ride, but it is time to get off the roller coaster and walk down the exit ramp of life. Update: As much fun as I have had in my career at Six Flags, sometimes things happen that you will remember forever - and not because they were fun. I will never forget March 21st. A few minutes after 5:00 pm, I received a call that there were guests in the water at Rapids. I sprinted from the Safety office to the Rapids, where I learned that a boat had turned over and guests needed help. Myself and eleven others employees were very involved in the rescue - regardless of what Wendy Crown, self appointed Rapids Ride and Theme Park expert has to say. To: Barry Anderson, Donnie Sawyer, Chris Ulrich, Sean Lynch, Scott Cunningham, Elliot Porter, Tom Haggard, Jimmh Hudgins, Joe McDaniel, David Looney, and Kevin Crump: guys, you are without a doubt the finest group of people I have ever worked a crisis with. If, God forbid, we ever have anything similar happen, I would not change a person who was there. As far as myself and the safety department is concerned, everyone did just what they should have. I am proud to call you guys my co-workers and my friends. I am proud to have such a great group of guys that I can count on in a crisis. It could have been a lot worse if not for our efforts. Thank you!

Looking back, I see that I have to change my entry to this otherwise wonderful page. Mainly because one who until this moment I considered one of my best friends. I am not the worst fireman in the world. Eric Bunch only thinks that because he was my trainer and it wasn't until he quit that I was able to full realize my potential. If it wasn't for him, I may have been the fastest ever to become a full engineer. (Just kidding, Eric.)

I consider my best friends in the world to be the ones I have met at Six Flags. Including Ray Kendall, Chris Ulrich, Eric Bunch, Brandon McDaniel, Chris Barron, Rob Karper, Darin Niederhaus, just to name a few. Many girlfriends against whom only a few I hold a grudge.

I remember well the Giant Freeze-frame Newspaper incident. I believe I still have the picture somewhere. I remember fire hose wars at Splash with Zeke Taylor and Paul Allegria. Riding in the suicide truck (with power steering by "Armstrong") during Snow-blowing for HIP. Somebody dropping a box of ice on Copeland Road. Brad Hart taking out the fence at gate 4 with the Lift-master. pulling up countless trashcans full of sludge out of Flume 1 because whoever the genius who designed it forgot to put a drain in it. Many debates with Brad Juergens about how a certain situation should be handled. Always being the last person to leave the day before the park opened. Scaring the crap out of people at the haunted house, back when it was in the Texas Arcade, and still good. How much easier it was to pick up girls in the Engineer's overalls than at any other time of my life. Can anyone tell me why that is? Learning that roaches will pop if you step on them right. Seeing the biggest snake I've ever seen in the Texas Giant Queue line pond. Shooting it with a pellet gun, thinking it would do any good.

Chris Barron hitting a possum with the train and cutting it clean in half. More than one incident of somebody getting down in the Roundhouse (never me, though - unfortunately.) Consecutive Softball Championships for operations (94, 95). Trips to Rian Nance's house in East Texas (Kansas City, here I come!) I've met many friends and have seen many come and go. I can say that this is the most interesting place I have ever spent time in my life.

Areas of park: Railroad (conductor and engine) Ops supe, safety, security

email: Jeremy Stroop

People to find: Ron Stephens, Robin Dunton, Leigh Ellen Key, Chris Cunningham, Jennifer Bufis, Chris Cannon, Jennifer Wynn, Heather Rangel, Danny Applegate, Tim Keefe, Erica Lewels

other depts: Shows and Attractions, Security, Other areas

Alan Stiebing

Seasons worked: 1984 - 1994

Funny story or happening:

Ahh, the memories. Well I guess my best stories would be from the Southern Palace. Alot of them involved late nights setting up for the next seasons shows. But most of those are probably too wierd. Others happened during the run of a show. One that stands out was the "Stars and Stripes Salute" show. It was the big ending of the show. The entire cast was on this large set piece, marching slowly and singing "God Bless America". I had just reached top speed on the control, when I saw an entire rail of lights about to hit the back wall. Well, I did all I could do. I hit the E-Stop, bringing the wagon to a screeching halt. Of course the entire cast went flying onto the stage. Luckily they found it as funny as the tech crew did.

Areas of park: Flume I & II, Engineer, Music Mill, Southern Palace

email: Alan Stiebing

other depts: Shows and Attractions

Craig Heenan

Seasons worked: 1978 - 1982

Funny story or happening:

River seems to be the place with which I associate most of my best times. Having the waterfall start up again before your boat was through is a lot funnier in retrospect, but it was more fun to be behind a slow boat and make it happen to somebody else.

One lasting effect the river had on me was to produce a continuing affinity for stuffed bears. Marvin the Wonder Bear, who could throw his voice into a nearby bush, is the kind of thing you just don't see in an amusement park anymore. Animations in various states of undress and rearrangements are also lasting impressions, as are Sunday afternoons in the Fall, sitting in the back area while my boat was being loaded, listening to the Cowboys game on the radio.

Railroad was a good place, too. I don't get out to the park too often anymore, but it throws me now to see the trains going the "wrong" way.

I think that the best memory I have of my time there was being able to be on the last ride on the River at a private gathering of old River Rats. If anybody out there has a recording of the final spiel, I'd love to hear it one more time.

Areas of park: Big Bend, River, Flume II, Bumper Cars, Railroad, Security.

email: Craig Heenan

other depts: Security

Steve Aydt

went by: "Danger"

Seasons worked: 1979 - 1982

Funny story or happening:

I remember capturing a grounds quality employee (known derisively as a "grubby") inside the LaSalle's treasure cave. While operating the light board at the Music Mill, I would perform special hellish lighting effects for Fundamentalist Christian musical groups who were wailing about eternal punishment and would use "Sympathy for the Devil" as exit music. I was part of the conspiracy that replaced the Roto Disco reel-to-reel tape of endless "Boogie Wonderland" with bluegrass music. At River, we celebrated Christmas on August 15 each year with ride-to-ride carolling and a bamboo-bush Xmas tree decorated with chicken fried steaks which had been flocked with Airwipe. I wrote and performed a nasty version of the Riverboat spiel ("The people in that Spanish Fort don't have the balls to fire on us!") and had the honor of performing the very last spiel at River before heartless bureaucrats obliterated the ride to make room for more impersonal people-mover rides.

Last year, I had an essay published in the MOORISH SCIENCE MONITOR about the ritual nature of endlessly repeating this circular quest for LaSalle. My perspective on the LaSalle Riverboat ride was largely shaped by the fact that APOCALYPSE NOW opened the year that I became a River Rat. Once, when teen heart-throb Leif Erickson was performing at the Music Mill, we told all of the teen waifs who rode the River that Leif would be signing autographs at the Chute Out at 6 p.m. This caused them to have a 3 hour wait time at 6 p.m.! There are many, many other stories (Steve Holland pretending to be blind while operating El Hat, for example) but I don't want to abuse your hospitality. Looking back at Six Flags, I can only say "Viva la France, we have survived!!"

Areas of park: Roto Disco, El Hat, Railroad, Concerts, Puppet Show

email: Steve Aydt

Adam Driver

Seasons worked: 1989 - 1993

Funny story or happening:

  1. * The smell of Mine train at the end of the night.
  2. * Singing the entire "Eagles Greatest Hits" with Clint Armstrong in Dispatch tower of Rapids.
  3. * Taking Anne Hillman on a tour of "the island" at rapids.
  4. * The Operations Cup!! ( Damn that park service )
  5. * Jamie Cavazos's parties and the entire flume experience.
  6. * Enjoying a cold beer in the overflow parking lot after a long day in "HELL WEEK".
  7. * Any of the great Tubing trips to the Guadalupe. (Thanks Stefan and Claus Henning for all the comic relief even when we were freezing our ass off )
  8. * Amy Knox's she came up with the things she did...and how I teased her mercilessly I may never know.
  9. * ALL MY crews throughout the years, I'll never forget my second families.

Areas of park: Rapids, Shockwave, Mine Train, and just about everywhere else

email: Adam Driver

Vance Cope

Seasons worked: 1997 - now

Funny story or happening:

Well, I had one entry on the page, but that's when I worked at Bumper Cars, and realized my funny story wasn't that funny. No the funniest story is when I dropped all the keys and magnets for Chute-Out into flume. It's a long story, but basically we shut down Chute-out and went I went to flume to work, I had the box containing all the keys and magnet and dropped them all. I did manange to save one of each, but a bout a week later Chute out got push buttons so...

Also... I am looking for any and all info on Railroad. Old speils, jokes, stories. I'm the lead there this year and would like to know what it was like.

Areas of park: ChuteOut,BumperCars,Judge,Right Stuff,G-Force,MineTrain,Flume email: Vance Cope
-Alan Reynolds - SFOT.NET site admin (Food Service 76, Ride Operations 77-79)

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