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  #61  
Old May 30th, 2007, 04:48 PM
Greg Pogue Greg Pogue is offline
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Default Love In An Ele-Vator, Livin' It Up When You're...

When I was exiled there there was a recording that started when the elevator got to some 'limit switch' thingie. You know, the point where you could release the handle with the big knob on it without the elevator coming to a premature stop--it made some kind of 'klunk' noise when it was tripped. I remember a male narrator saying something like, "...The Tower rises 300 feet...On a clear day, you can see almost 40 miles...Dallas is to the east; Fort Worth to the west (Duh)..."

Over and over again...

I didn't really like guests that much anyway. So having to spend two minutes in an enclosed area with a bunch of them fifty or sixty times a day was excruciating. I did smile and wave at the 'crossing' as the train went past. Usually muttered something insulting through my teeth that no one else could hear.

I dunno. Standing or sitting somewhere for 10 hours at a time, trying to be friendly with people who throw their trash on the ground and smoke in line and complain that the whole park isn't air conditioned was not my cup of tea. But I did enjoy those moments at the top. You really could see about 40 miles and there was almost always a nice breeze. So, when things slowed down I would stop the elevator and get out on the deck and make a show of cleaning up some trash or something and just sort of turn my mind off.

...That is, until some abnoxious guest would ask when the elevator was leaving because the Chevy Show was starting in 10 minutes and they would close the doors once the show started and there wouldn't be another show for an hour and fifteen minutes. Shoulda thought about that 20 minutes ago, bubb.
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  #62  
Old May 30th, 2007, 06:30 PM
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BogeyGirl BogeyGirl is offline
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I worked Tower once. One of the many duties of the Costume Characters was that we were sort of 'on call' for any rides that needed someone to work them. One day that asked if I wanted to so I said sure, it'll be a change of pace. I mainly did the duty of sweeping up trash and rr xing chain hanger-upper, but I did get to run the elevator for a bit. I had fun with it. There was no spiel for me to say so I mainly interacted with the crowd and said the basic safety stuff they told me to say. There were, if I remember, some buttons on the panel that did nothing. Some kids were being obnoxious and asked me what everything did. I gave them the runaround but they asked about the dummy buttons. I told them that they were used to disconnect the cables holding the elevator for maintenance and one of them (trying to be a smart ass) told me to press it. I said I couldn't cause it would make the elevator car fall down the shaft, unempeded by the cables. They kept up, thinking I couldn't do it. I finally said, "Do you really want me to do it?" They, of course, said yes so I said, "Ok!" and pressed it. They yelled and braced themselves, then realized that it didn't do anything. I said, "Hmm, I guess it's offline for now. Ah well" The look on their faces was priceless.
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  #63  
Old May 30th, 2007, 10:24 PM
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Alan Cochrum Alan Cochrum is offline
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Default La belle dame sans merci

... thereby fulfilling the dark fantasies of many a ride operator weary of dealing with youthful season-passers ...

It reminds me of the scene in Jurassic Park in which Sam O'Neill's character "tests" the apparently dead electric fence, pretends to be electrocuted and scares the little boy senseless.
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  #64  
Old May 31st, 2007, 10:53 AM
Greg Pogue Greg Pogue is offline
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Default ...Livin' it up when you're goin' down...

One day the foreman was standing there talking to me at the 'crossing,' probably reprimanding me for failing to sweep up some cigarrette butts in the queue line. She suddenly looked up with a surprized look on her face and said a curse word. When I looked, there was a boy, about age 11, walking down the stairs, about 2/3 of the way down the tower. Apparently, he had climbed over the locked gate at the top. Just thought it would be fun to walk down instead of riding the elevator. Or maybe was trying to get to the Chevy Show in time for the next film and couldn't wait until I changed places with the foreman at the crossing, swept up eight or nine cigarrette butts, loaded an elevator full of guests, asked them to step as far to the back of the elevator as possible, shuttled them to the upper decks, and started loading the guests waiting at the top, asking them to step to the back of the elevator...well, you get the picture.
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  #65  
Old May 31st, 2007, 11:33 AM
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PocketWatch PocketWatch is offline
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Default Mine Train collision

Back in MY day during the late 70s (mind you, this was when disco was king and rocks were still soft) two trains collided in the tunnel on Mine Train.... yep, that first train didn't quite make it out of the tunnel on that cold morning and the maintenance folks were "overiding" the trains over lift 3 to save time. As I remember it, they salvaged a few cars from train number 3 and a few cars from train number 1 making, you guessed it... lucky train number "1-3"
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  #66  
Old May 31st, 2007, 09:42 PM
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Alan Cochrum Alan Cochrum is offline
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Arrow The original stair master

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Pogue
... When I looked, there was a boy, about age 11, walking down the stairs, about 2/3 of the way down the tower. Apparently, he had climbed over the locked gate at the top. Just thought it would be fun to walk down instead of riding the elevator.
Actually, you have to wonder why this didn't happen more often. I never went up or down the stairs myself, but at least from the top, it didn't look like there was much to keep you off of them.
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  #67  
Old June 1st, 2007, 07:35 PM
C Heenan C Heenan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Cochrum
Reminds me of the not-so-long-lived Sensational Sense Machine, which was a late-1970s precursor to the movie-with-moving-environment stuff like today's SpongeBob attraction (formerly known as "Escape from Dino Island," if I've got the name right).

The SSM was in a small space at the front of the Park once occupied by the Missile Chaser; the entrance was around what's now the photo stand near Looney Land. From what I understand, it was Code 2 A LOT.

One of the reasons that Alan R.'s beloved Astrolift was torn out at the end of the 1980 season (not too long after I was night foreman there -- a COMPLETE coincidence, I'm sure ) was that you had to shut the thing down for X number of minutes after the wind hit a certain speed (and we had our own personal set of wind-o-meters). We had so much down time that I made sure that the crew picture that season included our "Closed Due to Un-Favorable Weather Conditions" sign.
As usual, I'm coming to this discussion WAY late, but reading this comment made me aware that I may be among the VERY few people walking arounbd on the planet who actually rode the SSM on one of the occasions when it actually worked the way it was supposed to. Not, bad, really.

I believe Linton Davis was an early foreman there and those of us who knew him through the connection he had with River began referring to it as the Orgazmatron, after the Woody Allen movie Sleeper, which some of us had seen at a midnight movie. When I saw the refence to its real name I had to think for a moment to remember which ride it was.

Big Bend was the first place I worked at SFOT in the summer of '78, and I seem to recall that when it had problems it was often due to the falure of traction between the rubber drive wheel on the trains and the strip of metal on which it ran on the lifts. The most spectacular failure I ever saw was one morning while I sat on the lift and a train that had almost made it to the top lost traction and came down the lift backwards. The surprised look on the guests' faces as they passed me for the second time will always be with me. The train continued backwards until it stopped in one of the little valleys over the stream near where it crossed the railroad. When I called in the problem, the driver didn't believe me and a great deal of equipment had to be brought in to get the guests out. The problem shut down Happy Motoring and the railroad for quite a while.

Craig
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  #68  
Old June 3rd, 2007, 03:57 PM
JStroop JStroop is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Cochrum
Actually, you have to wonder why this didn't happen more often. I never went up or down the stairs myself, but at least from the top, it didn't look like there was much to keep you off of them.

I saw it a few times during my season there. Usually security was pretty good about keeping people from climbing over, but with two platforms to patrol, it was impossible to prevent it every time. There was a gate that was locked, but it wasn't too tall to climb over for an average height pre-teen.
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  #69  
Old June 7th, 2007, 11:21 AM
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PeterKaraganis PeterKaraganis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JStroop
heh.. I remember a couple times having to climb up onto the Giant track to push a train, especially the first season it was open - I was assistant at the Conductors and frequently in Texas Depot when it got stuck, and got recruited for muscular induction motor power.
I remember the first season it was open when we were training drivers before opening day, we had cycled the thing and it stopped in the valley before brake 1. That took some serious muscular induction motor power to resolve. Actually, I think you might have been there for that, but I can't remember for sure.
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  #70  
Old June 7th, 2007, 11:24 AM
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PeterKaraganis PeterKaraganis is offline
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I also remember the day that the lift chain came off the sprocket on Giant. I was in charge that night, and was training a new driver. Jay Thomas was the supe over that side filling in for Joe. The train dispatched, hit the lift and the chain popped off when the train hit it. It made a wave up the entire lift. It was pretty amazing to see really. The guy in the front seat was completely covered in grease from that. The ride was closed for several hours while they rectified the situation. After everything was fixed we were doing our safety checks to reopen and we couldn't get those danged electric lap bars to work properly. Well, Jay had the brilliant idea that perhaps the pigtails were loose on the train so he turned each of them. We then dispatched the train and when it came back into the station, it didn't have any pigtails at all because he'd loosened them and they all flew off during the ride. We had to park that train because they didn't have enough stuff to make new ones that night so we finished off that busy day with only 2 trains.
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