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Santa Clara - The Great GoBot Caper of '83

General discussion about Marriott's GREAT AMERICA

Santa Clara - The Great GoBot Caper of '83

Postby wingwalker » Fri Nov 15, 2013 10:13 am

In the summer of 1983 I was 10 and my cousin was 12 and we were looking forward to another boring summer when we were surprised with season passes courtesy of our parents. We lived in Santa Clara and would take County Transit to the park around 10 or 11am every weekday. What a summer that was riding the Demon, Tidal Wave, Whizzer, The Edge, and the water rides. We would sustain ourselves with french fries in a cup and 25 cent Ramblin Root Beer at the Saloon. One of my favorite attractions was the Atari technology demonstrator in which you could touch various parts of cylinders and they would light up where you touched them and play different noises. My cousin and I actually performed the first half of "Beat It" on those things. One of the best summers of my childhood by far.

Unfortunately, my cousin was going through a bit of a kleptomania phase that year. He was obsessed with GoBots (you remember, the K-Mart version of Transformers) and would get them any way he could. Which included theft. Any store he went to (Remember Gemco? Zody's?) he would be working on ways to move GoBots from the shelf to his pockets without being seen. Eventually, whether his motivations were the GoBots themselves or the thrill, he started doing it while we were at Great America too. We would pretend to be looking around the souvenir shops and he would open the the box of the big GoBots and let the figure drop into his hoodie pocket then close the box and put it back. I knew the shop workers were on to us because not long before he was caught, we could see them through the window rush to the GoBot area to look for empty boxes after we would leave. I was sick one day toward the end of the summer and he went with some friends while I stayed home. About halfway through the day I get a call from my Aunt asking if I knew that my cousin had been stealing GoBots from Great America. They had busted him in the act. Amusingly, it was the last day he was going to be able to use his Season Pass and the only punishment from the park was taking away his Season Pass. They were probably very aware that he had much more to fear from his mother than they could ever do to him.

And that's the story of the Great GoBot Caper of 1983 at the Santa Clara Great America.
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Re: Santa Clara - The Great GoBot Caper of '83

Postby steven » Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:59 pm

That's too bad that your cousin went down that path. I hope he got better.

Best regards,
Steven
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Re: Santa Clara - The Great GoBot Caper of '83

Postby wingwalker » Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:09 pm

Oh he did. That cured his kleptomania. He's now in the finance business. So... :lol:
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