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  #61  
Old April 6th, 2006, 02:57 PM
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Jason Garrett Jason Garrett is offline
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I still have my shirt from the Batman fling and my shirt from the Mr. Freeze fling that never happened that summer.

I thought Greg might be referring to some of these other flings I've read about here on this forum that included alcohol.
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  #62  
Old April 6th, 2006, 05:11 PM
Greg Pogue Greg Pogue is offline
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Default Alcohol at a Fling? No way!

Yeah, right. My little makeout session I bragged about in a previous post at the park-sponsored fling involved moderate, surreptitious alcohol use (wine coolers, of all things)! To be honest, I really was never in the 'in' Rides crowd, so I wasn't privy to some of the wilder, less publicized events. I did go to a party at a crappy apartment complex somewhere in Arlington when I was about 17. Mike Apple and some other administrator-supervisor types who were too old to be hanging out with teenagers were there. The party escalated into a drywall-breaking, beer-can throwing, furniture demolishing idiot-fest. Of course most of us were underage. No sooner had I uttered the words "Let's get out of here," when a khaki-clad APD officer announced, "None of you are going anywhere right now." Now I had a problem, because I had recently altered my driver's license with a tiny printed number from a phone book to make it appear that my birth year ended in "2" instead of "4". Of course they confiscated all of our licenses and threatened to call the parents of every one of us under the age of 18. Officer McGruff examined mine by shining a flashlight through it and announced that I had just lost my driver's license. Fortunately, the little number had fallen out, leaving just a divot in the plastic. I claimed that my license had been stolen from Wardrobe at Bad Old Six Flags and that when it was returned to me, it looked like the thief had tried to alter it so he could buy beer. Shame on him! So Deputy Dawg said, "For cryin out loud! You can go over to the DPS office and get a new one for five dollars. Do it tomorrow," and tossed it back to me.

There was a rumor about something called the "Derrick Lounge" while I was there. The lore was that 'blue tags' would gather on the roof of the mechanical room on top of the Tower from time to time and sip liquor confiscated from guests who tried to smuggle the contraband through the Front Gate. Somebody please comment.
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  #63  
Old April 6th, 2006, 06:06 PM
JStroop JStroop is offline
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most of the flings that went on while I were there were similar to what you described... the bungee things were special apparatus that events companies installed when we started hosting 'Spring Breakout' in the employee parking lot during spring break weeks... and they'd have a fling so employees could enjoy the various extras like said bungee, they also had sand volleyball courts, various other sports things... stuff you see at things like the NFL Experience.

Usually, flings were of the sort where there were a couple rides (or the pool) open, burgers cooked, etc. Later on in my career, I started to DJ at a lot of them, which resulted in my second job as a disc jockey which I still do today.

Firewatch at the Cave was still done to some extent, on really crowded days, or when the guests were expected to be extra unruly that night.. senior nights, fright nights (fire watch was combined with someone dressing up in a costume to add extra frightening 'flavor') to the ride.
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  #64  
Old April 9th, 2006, 01:25 PM
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I know just what your talking about Greg! My first season was in 1992. I think 92 & 93 were probably the last years the park was really fun to work at. When I first started most of the supervisors and foremen were people who had been at the park since the mid to early eighties, and they still had that easy going out look on things. Days were filled with horseplay, pranks, jokes ect. All of the rides had huge staffs, so there was lots of time to mess around. Parties were a daily event after work, and yes many of the supervisors were in attendance. The pool canteen and the softball fields had not been destroyed. After about 93 many of the older supervisor and foreman, who were now finishing school or getting better jobs left the park, and things started to go down hill. Starting in 94 staffing was cut dramatically, which really put a hurt on the fun! For example in 92 we had to have 8 employees just to open Giant, now they can run with 3! With such small crews how can you have fun? The park now also has secret shoppers, who go around spying on employees. If they had that back in the day I don't think any of us would have lasted a week! Now as an adult I can see that things were probably out of hand, but as a teenager it was the perfect experience. If I was a teenager working there today I don't think I would enjoy the job, it just will never be like it was!

Oh and yes, I do remember quiet abit of pre-fling drinking in the parking lot.
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  #65  
Old April 9th, 2006, 05:20 PM
Greg Pogue Greg Pogue is offline
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Default I Beg to Differ...

I really don't think things were 'out of hand' when I was there. Some of the best 'supervisors' were really our more experienced peers--red tag assistants, foremen, etc. They guided us and gave us subtle clues as to when it was appropriate to let loose and when it wasn't. In short, it was a good learning experience that benefited me for the rest of my life. Most of us really took pride in our work and the ones who didn't usually did not last long. They simply didn't fit in, and found work elsewhere better suited for slackers. I personally pursued the termination of two fellow employees. One was a dope-head. The other was a good-for-nothing airhead who on more than one occasion outright defied the foreman's and my authority, so I just called the 'blue tag' for the area and had him deal with it. The horseplay and hijinks were done, by and large, during downtime, which is unavoidable in a place like SFOT. I remember being meticulous about safety whenever I worked on rides. When I was at Front Gate I took care of my till and cash register as if it were my own money.

At the risk of waxing back into the philosophical realm again, it has been my observation everywhere that it truly is good to find good help. I rarely get good service at a store or restaurant. The idea of taking responsibility for one's own work is pretty much dead.

This really doesn't fall into the 'accidents' category, but this thread has already gone far astray. The doper mentioned above was a guy named 'Brian' who was assigned to my shift at Roto Disco. He took forever to load and unload the ride, because he was always searching the seats for lost change, electronics, and, as I found out, drugs. One day he disclosed to me that he found a bottle of "black mollies" and for the rest of his shift he kept blowing his nose and asking to go to the bathroom. That was an eye opener for me. Now I see idiots like that everywhere.

Another guy named James, who is now dead, also worked under me at Roto. On his last day of work I returned from break to find him and the other black tag in the control booth, laughing. No one was at the exit to make sure some guest didn't walk in while the ride was going. I smelled the faint odor of pot. Sheesh! That ride must have been a freak-magnet.

P.S. I don't know how the 'thumbs down' icon got in the topic line. Don't take it personally. I don't know how that happened. Moderator? Am I on some kind of double super secret probation or something?

Last edited by sfotadmin; April 10th, 2006 at 09:04 AM.
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  #66  
Old April 10th, 2006, 04:02 PM
JStroop JStroop is offline
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Chris, I agree mostly - 93 was the last year that it was fun (in general) for me. I still had fun working in Safety and Security and on the Engine, but I deemed that to be more of being in the right place at the right time... but in the late 80s/early 90s, I felt like I could have fun anywhere... as evidenced by the great time I had working Holiday in the Park at Looney Land in 89, and again when I was foreman there at the end of the 92 season... I generally considered that a place where I would only go if I HAD to... and I never liked being sent there from other rides. That being said, it was still FUN.

Beginning in 94, with the area lead system, and later on with the zero base staffing (a truly idiotic staffing idea, wherein standard staffing was the minimum amount required to operate each ride... which left NO flexibility in staffing to cover for call ins - someone tell me when the last time EVERY ride had EVERY person show up for their shift.) That fun little policy is what led to me demoting myself... we, as supervisors were held to increasingly rising standards of performance, both in rides and park services, but were continually being asked to do so with no staff. I decided that was no way to live, so that's why I became an enginner (a move that I had begun ... ummm.. .engineering early in the season when I saw what was going on.)

Anyway, I don't think that 92 and 93 were the best of times... I suspect that our predecessors had much more fun than we did... but it was certainly not the worst of times, seems like that was to follow in the mid 90s.
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  #67  
Old April 10th, 2006, 06:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JStroop
Anyway, I don't think that 92 and 93 were the best of times... I suspect that our predecessors had much more fun than we did... but it was certainly not the worst of times, seems like that was to follow in the mid 90s.
It did help that we had big crews...



This pic I believe shows both day and night crews at Cave so you'd at least have 7 and a couple of swing shift (11-7pm) workers to come in and run breaks. So, 9 in all for each shift. Sweet. Notice the happy faces too.
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Last edited by sfotadmin; April 10th, 2006 at 06:55 PM.
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  #68  
Old April 10th, 2006, 08:02 PM
CGWallace CGWallace is offline
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I canít remember if I have asked this or not. I saw the name of Charlie Rose (spelling?) on the cave in a year book. Is this the same guy that is on PBS late at night, who does the talk show with a black background? Someone told me once that he might have been on channel 5, etc?
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  #69  
Old April 10th, 2006, 08:39 PM
Greg Pogue Greg Pogue is offline
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Quote:
=Anyway, I don't think that 92 and 93 were the best of times... I suspect that our predecessors had much more fun than we did... but it was certainly not the worst of times, seems like that was to follow in the mid 90s.
I'm just glad I didn't have to see the demise of the old Park culture. Of course all of us think our own seasons there made up the 'golden age' of 6F. It really seems that there was kind of a peak in the fun in the late 70's, early 80's. It may just be coincidence, but from reading this forum it seems that the emergence of the high-tech super-rides seems to coincide with the decline. Six Flags, after about the mid to late 80's became less of a 'theme' park and became just a big collection of fast thrill rides. Not that there is anything wrong with thrills, but c'mon--did ANYONE feel good about losing LaSalle's Adventure to the Boring Rapids? What was wrong with the Speelunker motif for the cave? I could go on and on about that! Yeah, the ample crews probably made it easier on us. One thing that could happen every so often is that an area supervisor would come around and send a bunch of people home. I liked working there, but every now and then it helped morale for a few tired schmucks to get to go out early and hit the Wet-n-Wild scene. For you youngsters, Wet-n-Wild was what Hurricane Harbor was before it got swallowed up by SFOT.
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  #70  
Old April 10th, 2006, 09:03 PM
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Alan Cochrum Alan Cochrum is offline
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Post It's all about the people

A few examples of what staffing used to be ... Here are a few head counts from crew pictures in the 1980 Park yearbook:

Flume I -- 14 people.
Cave -- 14.
Shock Wave -- 16.
Mine Train -- 14.
Judge -- 12.
River -- 19.
Chute Out -- 13.

And here's the kicker: These may not actually reflect the FULL numbers, because people weren't always there on picture day. (Great example: The Modern Astrolift crew picture only shows four people, which would have represented about half the full crew -- day, swing and night shifts -- of that time.)
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