bigdaves
  •  bigdaves
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Monday, March 24, 2008 4:55:09 AM
I once posted regarding my visit to the Royal to work with Ronnie Guttermuth and his Himalaya crew. We had purchased a himalaya and my dad sent me to Ronnie to learn the operations. Of all the Himalaya operations I had ever worked with, watched while in operation, or ever heard of, this operation was by far, the epitome of ride operators. However, one of the key men on this operation not only was one of crew that setup, tore down, sold tickets when necessary, did everything associated with the ride, and was the ultimate Mike Man.
This dude was the closest, next best thing to a rock star as you could be. Someone once told me that if he was working the mike, and there were 500 people on the midway, he would have 40 of them riding the himalaya, 450 of them in front of the himalaya waiting to ride, 8 of the 500 would still be in line buying a ticket for the himalaya, and 2 of the remaining 500 were 97 yrs old and deaf. He had the best music, all the right verbage associated with operating this ride, and fantastic sound, lighting equipment, bells, whistles, sirens, fog, etc. Back in that day the sound system they had was approximately 10K dollars. Equivalent to 100K dollars today. Sorry, I forgot to mention this was back in the 70's. This not only was the most popular ride on the midway, however the best show on the midway also.
Can anyone tell me whom this person is/was?? Where did he go, what did he end up doing? Does anyone remember this person?










DL
flamo
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Monday, March 24, 2008 6:10:37 AM
Dave, I heard of that but can't give you a name
I'm there, Old, Tired, Broke and Henpecked
thumper7973
Monday, March 24, 2008 6:55:40 AM
Hi Dave,

Did he have great big "pork chop" side burns? If so I think his name was Tony. It also could have been Pal Fontana, he was was a master on the machine as well. My grab loc was in front of the SH just about every spot. As a teenager it was like having my own personal jukebox and goon squad. Those guys watched over me like a hawk !

I have no idea what became of "Tony". But if anyone can get a message out to Pal he may have the answers you are looking for.

Thumper
GO GATORS ! 2008 BCS National "Chomp-ions" !

It is better to be defeated on principle than to win on lies- Arthur Calwell
RRSHOW1
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Monday, March 24, 2008 8:18:22 AM
The man who moved the ride for Ronnie was Curly Morehouse. I left Winnipeg one teardown night & slept for a couple of hours on the way to Calgary. When I got there, the Himalaya was halfway up, all by itself on the midway!
Bill P
  •  Bill P
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Monday, March 24, 2008 3:13:06 PM
Floyd & Baxter had a Himalaya guy like that too in the early 70's. Smooth, deep disk Jockey voice and a master of the mike. He'd play a slow record to load the ride then crank it up. he'd get the crowd wound up, blow the siren, flash the strobe [in the tunnel for the best effect] and the song would end, the timing was perfect every time.
F&B had those big Altec Voice of the Theater Speakers, the size of refrigerators too.
Ryan
  •  Ryan
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Tuesday, March 25, 2008 5:52:10 AM
one of the chicago guys used to move that hiimy, I have heard lots of good stories about that ride....

Quote:

quote:


Originally posted by Bill P

Floyd & Baxter had a Himalaya guy like that too in the early 70's. Smooth, deep disk Jockey voice and a master of the mike. He'd play a slow record to load the ride then crank it up. he'd get the crowd wound up, blow the siren, flash the strobe [in the tunnel for the best effect] and the song would end, the timing was perfect every time.
F&B had those big Altec Voice of the Theater Speakers, the size of refrigerators too.



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boltz
Tuesday, March 25, 2008 3:56:25 PM
Ronnie always had a Great crew back then. The stories they told me while i was young..Man they were good ones. Kinda made me wanna be a ride guy when i got older. The thing about Ronnie was that he worked like a machine and made work fun and his guys loved him as well as respected him.

Pal was and still could be the best mike man i ever saw. Hands down. Everyone knows he can talk but put him up in the Box and he is even better.You wanna talk about keeping a tip just ask him to go up there on a slow night and watch what happens.

Tony Burke was the other guy and he was also good. Have not seen him in a very long time.
Stop complaining...Nobody cares anyway!!
FUN BUNCH
Saturday, March 29, 2008 5:43:44 PM
Hi Dave,
I guess I would be the guy you are looking for, so let me set the record straight. Ronnie Guttermuth's ride was never moved by anyone but Ronnie. Curly Morehouse was the ticket seller and helped set up and tear down the ride. Tony Burke was the other mike man and always my favorite. The rest of the guys on the crew were Mushy, Fernie, Emal, and two other guys I just don't remember. Ronnie perished in a fire December 26, 1975. After that I moved the ride for one year for his wife Debbi on the Royal American, then went on to be a paramedic for a short time, and then returned to the business on the Royal American. When I returned to the Royal American I was a shop superintendant "white hat" and was proud to be. Then I returned back to Reithoffer Shows where it all started in 1969 where I was working for Ronnie. I guess all that answers the question of why my son's name is Ronnie. Ronnie Guttermuth was my best friend in the whole world and remains so today, he is impossible to replace. I was with Reithoffer Shows for about 27 years and recently moved to Wade Shows, where i found something I had been missing since December 26, 1975....a guy to work for that when you ask him a question, he gives you the answer, never backs up, and is a true man of his word. I'm happier than ever and as soon as I find someone to work this computer properly I will download some sound tracks of the time you visited for you to hear. I never thought I would be apart of trivia, RAS was truly the greatest show of all time...here is a picture of me and the Himalaya. Visit me on the web at www.fontanafoods.com 

P.S. thanks for the complement Dave, Thumper and Boltz.
[:D] -Pal Fontana aka "Master of the Machine"

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IF WERE EVER GONNA SEE A RAINBOW WE HAVE TO STAND A LITTLE RAIN
with-it
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Saturday, March 29, 2008 6:44:38 PM
jimb
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Saturday, March 29, 2008 7:38:41 PM
Pal, Was very nice to see you in Lexington, KY last year. You have
outstanding looking equipment. Best Wishes for a most safe, successful & prosperous 2008 Season. Keep the photos and stories
coming. Most entertaining.
lotman
  •  lotman
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Sunday, March 30, 2008 3:54:22 AM


wow..... rock star status!!! lol
did we really dress like that back then or was that a publicity shot?
pal,we would twist an ankle falling off those heels today...
Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform.
Mark Twain
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin
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Pinetar
  •  Pinetar
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Sunday, March 30, 2008 4:57:19 AM
I was always impressed with the ride & crew when I saw themin the 70's at various locs. I recall an older crew mem.,tall,slim,whom I believe I ran into on a punk ride on JCJ.

I don't recall if we discussed the above or not.
UserPostedImage
unclewallyjr
Sunday, March 30, 2008 7:44:23 AM
Hey Pal ! Is that you or an old John Trivolta photo ? Those were were the days. Lots of fond memories. And like you I have fond memories of Ronnie. There was nothing he wouldn"t do for a friend. I remember having my Muligan Space Shuttle booked at the Florida State Fair but my truck was broke down. I went to Ronnie and asked if he could help me. When he reached in his pocket and handed me the keys to the brand new KW hood truck he had just bought I was a bit stunned. I tried to give the keys back but he wouldn't have it saying " it's only a truck " . As I was just a kid at the time and used to driving old rattle traps it was quite a thrill for me to drive one with AC and a radio that actually worked. When I returned with my ride all heads turned to see who was driving Ronnie's new truck and there I sat in all my glory, hair down to my ass and lookin cool. [:D]

I still miss him.
bigdaves
  •  bigdaves
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Sunday, March 30, 2008 10:05:19 AM
Side-stepping the original topic, however, looking at Pals picture answers some of the questions many of us have asked.

While at the gator nationals one year, myself, Larry Sivori, Bruno, and a couple of others were just kicking around a few jackpots about Pal. And it always seemed to bring up the same question everyone asked, how in the hell did Pal get hooked with such a beautiful lady? Well, we have our answer now, he was a closest, next best thing to a rockstar. Sharp dressed man in deed!!
DL
lotman
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Wednesday, April 2, 2008 3:08:44 AM
pal, after further review of your publicity photo, i noticed the pressed pleats in those pants. wilbur cooke would have been proud of those. how much starch did you use? how bout the long collar on the leather jacket? bet is was hard to look cool standing on the front platform with the ride in high gear. the wind from the ride had to get those things flapping. lol
Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform.
Mark Twain
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin
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