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Ride Ops 1976-1978

Share your memories of working at Marriott's GREAT AMERICA in Santa Clara

Greetings GA Alumni

Postby simonp » Wed Jan 02, 2008 6:31 pm

Bryan, Mike, Hoop,
What up with you guys? It is great reading about all of the old times at GA. What a great job it was for me. My first real job and 30 years later, still my favorite. Obviously not because of the money we made, more to do with all of the good people I met there, the non stop fun even when working and the tons of available women, a true smorgasbord of beauty. Some of things that stick out in my mind include:

- I remember going to Fargo's every Wednesday to hear the sounds of Joe Sharino. If I remember correctly, Hoop getting thrown in the air to the chant of G-L-O-R-I-A.

- I remember all of the great make out parties at Isengard (and elsewhere, there were parties every night) with hosts Larry (Dad), Mike (I still use Mike F as my online ID especially when I am on those questionalbe sites), Bryan, Kevin and the guy who lived in your garage, Steve Worth (Who lives in Pleasanton now and is buddies with a friend of my brother, Malcolm. We always laugh when we see him). I also remember those big spools and the owners, what was her name again? She wanted me so bad! :-)

- I remember hanging out with my female partner in crime, Mary W. She was like the sister I never had. She really liked Mike, he would blow out his cheek and Mary would always kiss it. It was hilarious to see but she responded everytime he did it.

- I remember Vesuvio's, bowling, Grease, Steve Wriggleworth shouting out "Games is Gay" at the opening of the IMAX, "Blazing Saddles", Tidal Wave opening, losing my virginity, derailing the train, trips to disneyland, show girls, Bryan Malone, Mike Fruge, Mark Hooper, Chris Johansen, Mary Whitehead, Nancy Pearson, Jeff Whilworth, Bob Shea, Bob Garner, Craig Biehl, Larry Resendez, Steve Worth, Kevin Anderson, Lisa Dummet, Red "HEAD" Carol, Melinda (Her Niece was gorgeous),Russ, so many people, so many memories. I could go on for days but I won't!


I like Hoop's suggestion to hook up, let me know when.

Simon
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Postby hoop-loop » Fri Jan 04, 2008 6:42 pm

Hey Si-moan!
Good to hear from you again! I've put up a few more pictures in my gallery (hoop-loop) including a few b & w's of the Arrow co. "loop" testing in the fall of '76. Fun! But I'm sure glad MGA went with the Schwarzkopf S.L.C.! I have a few more pictures that need to be prep'd before I can post them and I think I have one of Mary W. somewhere, I'll have to dig it up!
Luego,
Mark
Mark Hooper, 1976-1979 Santa Clara Ride Ops.
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Postby Bryan » Fri Jan 04, 2008 8:11 pm

Si,

Great to hear from you! I had forgotten about Hoop at Fargo's, lot's of good memories. BTW... the landlady's name was Roseanne.

I think we got those spools from Melinda's dad or brother, I seem to remember he worked at an electric company. I just remember our neighbors hated us on Isengard.

Hey Hoop, I just saw you posted some more photos, they are great. The Boyz of Lobster, I think it is Brad in the back and Rick in the front. Nice shot of me and my good buddy Chris Ortega AKA 'Fluff', Anthony in a classic Anthony pose. The B&W group shot is pretty cool... many familiar faces, Laura G, also Curt in the back. I just can't put a name to some of the other faces.

Simon and I are long overdue for getting together for lunch. How about we all meet next Friday at Maria Elena's in Alviso at say 11:45 (assuming it hasn't been washed away in the latest storm).

Best,
Bryan
Last edited by Bryan on Mon Aug 25, 2008 4:53 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Bryan Malone, 1976-1978 Santa Clara Ride Operations
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Postby hoop-loop » Mon Jan 07, 2008 8:07 pm

Hey Bryan,
I've put up a few more photos and yes Simon, I did find a picture of Mary! ;-) Lunch sounds good to me I'll email you later "off-site".
Luego,
Mark
Mark Hooper, 1976-1979 Santa Clara Ride Ops.
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Postby Mike » Tue Jan 08, 2008 2:03 pm

What I'd like to know is:

A) What exactly does Simon consider a "questionable" site.
B) Why is Simon using me as his ID
C) Why is Simon on a "questionable" site and does his b/f approve?

Mike
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Postby hoop-loop » Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:32 pm

Hey Bryan,
A while back you posted; "Here is a little trivia question... in the Logger's Run station photo, you can see the mast of a sailboat that sat in the lagoon. I don't think it is there anymore. Does anyone remember the name of that sailboat?"
Well, I still can't remember the name of the boat (Curt would! ;-) but I found another picture of it, with crew! Yes, the boat was "off limits" but... O.K. so tell me, who really pushed Peder in? ;-)

Luego,
Mark
Mark Hooper, 1976-1979 Santa Clara Ride Ops.
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Postby Bryan » Thu Jan 10, 2008 4:24 pm

Mark,
You know I am not one to kiss and tell! Maybe over lunch I might spill the beans on Peder's dunking in the lagoon. I will send you an email offline to confirm.

I remember one time Peder wanted to pull the logs off the ride into the holding pond. As you recall, you had to put on these huge waders and get into the pond. Peder was about 5' and weighed about 100 lbs. He grabbed a log and it pulled him down. His waders filled with water and he couldn't get up. Luckily someone stopped the turntable, otherwise he would have been toast.

I think the name of the sailboat was Donna Mae.

Mike,
When Simon refers to questionable sites, I think he is refering to any website of the Democratic party.

Best,
Bryan
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Questionable Sites

Postby simonp » Fri Jan 11, 2008 11:21 am

Mike,
Too funny! I setup Mike F about 15 years ago, after you of course when I was playing around with Yahoo Personals. Now I don't know how to change it? You should feel honored that I chose your name as my alter ego! Hoop suggested hooking up, let's do it, maybe for a beer sometime at old Vesuvios?

Late,
Simon
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Postby Mike » Sat Jan 12, 2008 12:48 pm

Hey guys, not so easy for me to make lunch, I'm in Sacto now but hopefully sometime soon, or if you guys are your way to Tahoe, stop by.
Simon I completely forgot about that whole blowing the cheek out thing,
way too funny, and if Bryan is right and you're putting my name out on some commie liberal agenda site, I'll have Dick Chenney take you on a hunting trip.
Hoop, great picture of Mary. Thanks for putting the pictures up, they're fantastic. I'm smacking myself around for tossing out everything from MGA during one of my 20 or so moves.

Mike
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Postby Bryan » Tue Jan 15, 2008 10:19 pm

Mike,
Sounds good. I'll give you a heads up if I am heading that way, but only if you agree not to play Journey's "Lights". I heard enough of that song in 1978. Hoop and I met up for lunch the other day, we had a really good time talking about the good old days, we will definately getting together again soon. Speaking of the good old days, do you remember that time we crashed out at the beach and you brushed your girl friend's car against that Mercedes coming home in the morning on highway 17? That guy was pretty cool about the whole thing.

You mentioned in an earlier post that Oh and Para passed many years ago. I am a bit of a loss as to who they were. On another sad note, Kevin's mom passed away a few years back.

I am at a loss for remembering big Paul's last name. He worked on Barney O and I was in his wedding party. But I cannot think of his last name. Do you remember, or stay in touch with him?

Best,
Bryan
Bryan Malone, 1976-1978 Santa Clara Ride Operations
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Postby Mike » Thu Jan 17, 2008 1:01 am

Bry,

Paul Renstrom. He almost killed me in the Orleans Theater while we were watching Porky's Revue. Porky and Petunia were doing a duet. Porky sang, "I'm Popopopoporky", then Pentunia would sing, "I'm Pepepepepetunia". I sang. "I'm Papapapapaul", he choked me. I've never seen Larry laugh so hard.
Sorry to hear about Kevin's mother, she was very nice. I remember spending the day with her at the hospital when Kevin broke his shoulder at one of our football games. If I remember right, that was the day Moscone and Milk were assassinated.
Take care, talk to you soon. Mike
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Postby Bryan » Sat Jan 26, 2008 5:10 pm

Mike,
Good stuff on Paul, I can visualize that whole scene. I remember taking Paul out for his 21st. He ran out of gas at about the 5th bar. We tried to take him into another bar, and he grabbed on to a tree and wouldn't let go. We went in for a beer, and when we came out he had passed out, but was still holding on to the tree!

Hoop,
I just saw you posted some new photos. Please keep it up, they bring back so many good memories. The 'Beach Trip' kind of sums up the whole experience. Load the car up with a bunch of friends, sleeping bags and liquid refreshements. Spend the night at the beach, come to work the next day and do it all over again. Great stuff!

Best,
Bryan
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Postby hoop-loop » Wed Feb 06, 2008 7:29 pm

Hey Brian,
I've put up a few more pictures. Same as before, just more...
I was thinking about something you said in one of your previous posts about the time Craig E. shut down "Clipper" when Elvis died.
As I remember it...
I had gone out to the turnstiles to get the hourly "numbers" (NO spinning please, you'll pay for it later!) and check the queues "cleanliness"... Suddenly I noticed water overflow at the chute! The ride had shut down (OH NO!) and back then they actually cared (rode you!) about the ride attendance numbers so every minute counted! I'm thinking, what's going on? That's when Craig came on the loud speaker and announced that Elvis had died (CRAIG!) and asked for a minute of silence in his honor. Usually the guests get pretty cranky when the ride(s) goes down but instead it was dead silence, hats came off, the line stopped moving and parents were shushing their kids. Huh? Then the ride started back up just like it was S.O.P. Oh well! ;-) Were you there that day Bryan?
Luego,
Mark
Mark Hooper, 1976-1979 Santa Clara Ride Ops.
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Postby Bryan » Thu Feb 07, 2008 2:06 pm

Hoop,

I wasn't working on Clipper the day Craig announced the passing of the king. But you know how it was, if you wanted to get the word around, all you needed to do was tell someone in Ride Ops. Before long EVERYONE would know about it. And sometimes the story would grow as it got passed along!

I used to hate that capacity issue. It's 100 degrees, people have been standing in line for 2 hours, and you have to say... yes sir, 7 people will fit perfectly fine in one log... RIGHT. One day I was grouping on Loggers and I couldn't fill a log if my life depended on it. I had a party of three and I sent them to the back of a log. I finally got a party of two and sent them to the front of the log. This little kid from the first party of three is sitting in the front of the log. After I yell at him a couple of times to get in the back of the log, I lose it and scream at the top of my lungs .. "WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH YOU ARE YOU DEAF OR SOMETHING!", his mother then replied... "he is deaf, he can't hear you!". Well that was the end of my pushing for capacity.

The pictures are GREAT, please keep them coming! You have Jeff Willwerth in one of them. I ran into him several years back at a pony and dog show. We were looking for a tape backup solution, and he worked at the provider. I can't seem to remember the name of the company though. Good shots of Jerilyn and wardrobe, it was always the gathering place at the end of the shift to find out where the party was. Also some good shots of TOC and crew. When I worked on TOC, each car of the train had a kick pedal in the rear that you had to depress to unlock the safety bar. So if there were seven cars, you had to kick seven pedals. It wasn't S.O.P., but we used to stand out at the end of the platform and try to kick each pedal as the train came into the station. It's a wonder we didn't get dragged and killed.

Best,
Bryan
Bryan Malone, 1976-1978 Santa Clara Ride Operations
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Bryan
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Postby hoop-loop » Wed Mar 12, 2008 6:53 pm

Hey Bryan,
I was just looking out the window, here at work and I noticed that they're doing ride training and running some of the rides. Ahhh, it sure brings back the memories, running the ride after a long winters break or even for the first time, anticipating opening day!

Luego,
Mark
P.S. Good to see you again and the rest of the old rides gang for pizza and beverages this past weekend!
Mark Hooper, 1976-1979 Santa Clara Ride Ops.
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