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What a great site and wonderful memories

General discussion about Marriott's GREAT AMERICA

What a great site and wonderful memories

Postby RichPPPSC » Sat Apr 10, 2010 6:04 am

Thanks for taking the time to build this web site. I've really enjoyed my stroll through the different discussion forums and well as the photo albums. I worked at the Santa Clara Park between 1978 - 1981 or 82. I have to say that working at the park resulted in some of my most fondest memories. Looking back, I'd also have to say that the work experience I received from my time at the park helped to build my self confidence and become a more responsible individual. I'm hard-pressed to find something in my earlier years which has had a more positive influence on me then my time at Great America.........Thanks

I worked exclusively in the food service side of things starting off at Penny P. Patrick’s, where I spent most of my time. I also worked at Captain Morgan’s, the burger place in the Orleans area (had the rotating wheel that customers picked food from), Sticky Fingers and the burger place at the back or the park (can't remember the name). I then became one of the many section managers, primarily working in the front left side of the park (area covered Orleans and Yankee harbor).

Does anyone remember the half hour TV show they shoot at the Santa Clara Park with Jonathan Winters and Joyce Dewitt? I was hoping this site would have a copy of this half hour special in the Multimedia section (By the way, love strolling down memory lane watching the old commercials and hearing the old radio ads :). I was in this special :-) I have an old VHS cassette take of the show but the quality is really poor and I no longer have a VHS player. Since I can't seem to find it here I may try to take the cassette over to Kinko's or somewhere to have it converted to a DVD and then up-load it to this site. If you like this kind of nostalgia stuff you'll enjoy watching this show shot totally in the Santa Clara Park.

Guess that's it for now......once again, thanks for creating this site. Your time and efforts are greatly appreciated.

Rich
(Penny P. Patrick’s alumni)
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Re: What a great site and wonderful memories

Postby MGA1 » Sun Apr 11, 2010 12:17 pm

Hi Rich, I didn't know there was a tv show shot inside the Santa Clara park. I knew Beverly Hills Cop III was filmed in the Santa Clara park. More recently (circa 2006), there was a Star Wars fan film called "'77" that was partially filmed in the Gurnee park. Unfortunately, that film still has not been released commercial.

BTW, the names of the burger places you mentioned:
Orleans - a la Burger
County Fair - Burgers on the Run

The revolving carousel that delivered the burgers from the kitchen to the serving line was the best thing about those restaurants. I never cared much for their burgers.
"...and enjoy the rest of your day here at Marriott's GRRRREAT America"
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Re: What a great site and wonderful memories

Postby RichPPPSC » Mon Apr 12, 2010 5:18 pm

HI MGA1 -
Thanks so much for writing back and jogging my memory about the burger places.

The half hour special was call "Family Fun time USA" (I think that's what it was call). The show had Jonathan Winters and Joyce Dewitt performing comedy skits in different areas of the park, along with Joyce singing a few songs. I was in a skit with both Jonathan and Joyce which took place in Penny P. Patrick’s. Jonathan played a French chef training Joyce, his apprentice, the fine art of making taffy. The segment turned out pretty funny if I do say so myself :-) I still hope to find a way to convert my VHS tape to DVD so I can add the show to the web site if possible.

Did you work at the park? If so, which one? I live in Chicago now and have been to the Gurnee park a few times. My first visit to the Gurnee park was back in 1979. One of my Santa Clara park colleagues and I flew out to Chicago and visited our counter parts in Gurnee. It was a great trip and we felt right at home the moment we arrived. The folks at the Gurnee park were so welcoming and the park itself was almost a carbon copy of the Santa Clara park....what a great trip :-)

Rich
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Re: What a great site and wonderful memories

Postby steven » Tue Apr 13, 2010 4:03 pm

Rich,

Welcome! Thanks for your kind feedback on the site. Did you know that Penny P. Patrick's was named for the wife of Gene Patrick? Many names throughout the parks referred to Marriott employees associated with the parks.

Thanks for mentioning the television special. All I have are some black-and-white publicity shots for the show. I've never seen it. How "bad" is the quality of your VHS tape? I could digitize it myself. Figures, though, that now you're near Gurnee and I'm near Santa Clara! Anyway, we'll figure something out. Would love to see the show.

There was also a television special done at Gurnee that featured actress Lisa Hartman. I never saw that one, either. But I do have a short snippet from it where she's seen dancing near the Yukon/County Fair bridge. I'd like to finally see that one, too.

Thanks for sharing your memories here!

Steven
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Re: What a great site and wonderful memories

Postby RichPPPSC » Sat Apr 17, 2010 5:50 am

Good morning Steve -
Hope all is well in California. The weather is just starting to turn nice out here in Chicago.....spring seems to have arrived (of course, now that I've said that, it will start snowing tomorrow).

The quality of the VHS tape I have of the Great America show is "fair". I'll try and find a place this weekend who can convert it to a DVD. If I'm successful I'd be happy to send you a copy. I'll keep you posted.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend and thank for all you work in maintaining this site (I'm assuming this is your creation).

Rich
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Re: What a great site and wonderful memories

Postby steven » Sun Apr 18, 2010 12:26 am

Thanks, Rich!

I hope you're enjoying the spring out there.

Thanks for you efforts on getting that VHS transferred to DVD. If you can't find a place to do it, I'll see what I can do to help out. I know that there's a lot of interest in seeing this program. Whenever I run across those black-and-white publicity shots again, I'll post them on the site.

Yes, I created the site. But contributions from others really make it so much better. Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Steven
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Re: What a great site and wonderful memories

Postby forddude1416 » Wed Apr 21, 2010 12:07 pm

Rich, I have a vhs to computer converter that i can use for you no problem. I live in the south suburbs (near 159th and halsted). If you want i can convert it for ya. PM me if you want more details.
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Re: What a great site and wonderful memories

Postby RichPPPSC » Sat May 08, 2010 5:54 am

Hi forddude1416 -
Thanks for the offer. Sorry it's taken so long for me to reply. Had some family issues to attend to in the SFO bay area. I was told by friends that Wolf Camera can convert the VHS to DVD for me so I'm going to try that this weekend. Hope we can get this GA tv special uploaded to this site soon. I pretty sure everyone who visits this site will get a kick out of watching it.

Thanks again,
Rich
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Re: What a great site and wonderful memories

Postby steven » Fri May 14, 2010 10:19 pm

Hi, Rich!

Thanks for the update! It's great to hear of your progress. We are all eager to see this!

Steven
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Re: What a great site and wonderful memories

Postby RichPPPSC » Sat May 15, 2010 6:51 am

Hi Steve -
I didn't have much luck with Wolf Camera as they said that they couldn't convert the VHS to DVD since the TV show was copy written. I'm going to try and contact the producers of the who, Lee Mendelson Films (Burlingame, Cal) to see if I can purchase a copy of the show. Here's a link to their site which lists the TV special in their show list (http://mendelsonproductions.com/showlist.html). The TV special title was "Family Fun Time U.S.A. Great America 9/1/79 Independent 14". I have copies of the Great American Bulletin that was published back in SEP79 which covered the shows production in the park. I'll try and find someone with a scanner so I can upload it on the site.

Rich
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Re: What a great site and wonderful memories

Postby steven » Tue May 18, 2010 11:27 am

Rich,

Thanks for the update and information. We may have some wiggle room under "fair use". Also, I believe that you are entitled to make backup copies under copyright. I think that applies to videos that you've purchased, though, rather than taped off the air.

In any case, please let us know what you find out from the producers. Thanks!

Steven
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