back40
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Sunday, April 11, 2004 8:58:12 AM
OK, I got to thinking about what bossman had written about what carnies are, so my question is... how do the carnival people of today compare to the ones say like in the early 60's and 70's ? money , friends, travel, family, party, music, safety, show owners,concerns
do ride guys still put on a show to get riders? or is it just about getin them on and off ? do Joints still flash that big stock only to carry it all season... do you keep a guy or girl around only because you know they have no other place to go ? Any thoughts?
it's never 'DANGEROUS' being who you are
LuckyStar
Sunday, April 11, 2004 9:51:40 AM
Quote:

quote:


Originally posted by back40

OK, I got to thinking about what bossman had written about what carnies are, so my question is... how do the carnival people of today compare to the ones say like in the early 60's and 70's ? money , friends, travel, family, party, music, safety, show owners,concerns
do ride guys still put on a show to get riders? or is it just about getin them on and off ? do Joints still flash that big stock only to carry it all season... do you keep a guy or girl around only because you know they have no other place to go ? Any thoughts?



OK...I was not around in the 60's or early 70's but I can tell you what I know about today and you can compare it to what you know about back then. I still see some ride guys putting on a "show" to try and get more people to ride their ride and this is mainly with the music they choose to play....each spot has a different crowd which might require different music. The only time I can honestly say I have heard a ride guy talk about getting the people on and off the ride is during POP which of course are more and more now a days. As for game operators I am sure there are still a few which carry the big pieces around since the birth of their first child, but most of the people I know like to blow stock(even the big stuff) as long as the person is willing to play for it! Of course they don't like giving out the big stuff on the first game played, but yes sometimes that does happen...especially in a long range basketball(people do get lucky). My old man works in a balloon store and when he gives the customer the biggest piece he has, but they wanna know how to win one from the machine gun next door...he shows them how and keeps playing them until they have won it.(the guy in the Machine Gun hates it when his stock gets taken by the balloon store...lol). The people that I have worked for in this industry have never carried big stock all year..they would receive a good amount of shipments of the big stock also.
Every once in awhile you do see people out on the midway who just can't seem to cut it, but everyone feels bad for them because they do have nowhere else to go. Usually this person gets put on all different kinds of jobs hoping that the show will find something that they can do, but also help the show. Unfortunately, sometimes it doesn't work out and eventually even this person they need to send down the road. It is a sad site to see someone who tries so hard, but just can't make it in the business...I have seen it before.
Just my observations from when I was on the road last year.....
Sixcat
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Sunday, April 11, 2004 12:44:51 PM
I could write all day about this subject. However, I'll keep it short since I have to go drive a joint trailer over the road tonight.

When I was growing up every ride had 3 men on it, 2 on the kiddie rides. There was no spectaculars. There was the foreman, the number 2 man and the number 3 man. Never saw a female ride help until the 70's. They were for the most part proud of the ride they called their own. Every week bets were made at the cook house on who got down and up first. Remember, all rides were ground models. The first ride I saw that was trailer mounted was the Roundup some time in the 60s. I'm not saying there wasn't one before the Roundup but it was the first one I saw.

In those days every ride had it's own ticket box and usually the foreman's wife sold tickets on it. Rehashing was not a big problem back then. I remember the ride guys called the people in like a joint. That kind of stopped late in the 60s. I have no idea why. I saw a Himalaya a few years ago that had all 50's music on it and had girls in poodle skirts calling them in and that ride killed. It was booked into Perry, GA. and always had a line. IMHO, the regulations and general BS that goes into running a show nowadays such as trying to lay the show down and all that takes so much energy away from today's show owner that he has no time for things like that anymore.

As for games, you are right. I had big stock for so long I thought about getting them SS numbers. The joke was, "I see you lost a piece, did it fall off the truck leaving the lot?" Now I have no more big stock. I only flash stock that moves. I lose more pieces in one day on one joint then I used to in 12 joints all season. That's no lie either.

What changed the carnival people and the country as well is, Drugs, liberalism, lack of pride, and fast food. In the old days the ride help were for the most part drinkers. If they got drunk they would sleep it off and make call. When you have a druggie working for you, all he cares about is his habit. That's all on that sore subject. With the passage of all the liberal bills during the 60s it made it so people could make more money living off the government then getting a job on the road. Then the MacDonalds of the world hired the rest of our work force. What we had left wasn't exactly the cream of the crop.

I could go on but it all means the same thing. Times they are a changing. And, they always will so don't get comfortable, life is going to throw more curves.

Believe it or not, that was short.
Sixcats have nine lives
back40
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Sunday, April 11, 2004 1:24:12 PM
thanks six good luck ! see you for that drink in the winter
it's never 'DANGEROUS' being who you are
Bossman
Sunday, April 11, 2004 1:31:12 PM
Very interesting thread, wish more would post to it. Sixcat, the things you and others like you remember will all be gone when you all are gone. Wish you could put it down so the future generations can know what it was all about.
Sixcat
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Sunday, April 11, 2004 2:53:39 PM
Quote:

quote:


Originally posted by Bossman

Very interesting thread, wish more would post to it. Sixcat, the things you and others like you remember will all be gone when you all are gone. Wish you could put it down so the future generations can know what it was all about.

Sorry to disappoint you. [:(] I ain't going anywhere. [:o)] My life is just starting.Woo Hoo! [;)][;)][;)]
Sixcats have nine lives
Sixcat
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Sunday, April 11, 2004 2:54:18 PM
Quote:

quote:


Originally posted by back40

thanks six good luck ! see you for that drink in the winter

Promise? [}:)]
Sixcats have nine lives
jokerkat
Sunday, April 11, 2004 3:06:05 PM
I remember when I first started out 8 years ago. I worked in kiddie land and I would put on a show for the kids. If they was having fun and not crying I was happy. The pay stunk, but I was having fun. When I left my foreman I had no money to get home so some of my friends would hide me so that I wouldnt get dq. Then I got with my now husband and we ended up working together and we made an wicked teardown and set up team. Ahh those days were fun! When we ran the rides we would get the pops on and off. And the tickets we would try to make the people have fun so the would use all of their tickets on our rides. I dont know how it was in the 60's or the 70's, but I do know that my first couple of years I had fun it was a blast and I also know that these last couple of years its changed for me. The times are changing and so are the people. The joy I had is gone for me but for others it is still there. I wish the others good luck and have fun. If you cant injoy what you do then life is boring and dull, but if you are having fun and doing what you love then you are one of the lucky ones.
Enjoy life its the only one you have so make the best of it.
Bossman
Sunday, April 11, 2004 4:10:25 PM
Sixcat, I didn't mean it like that. My father has been died almost 25 yrs and I find myself wanting to ask him questions everyday. Do you understand what I mean?
pinkfluff
Sunday, April 11, 2004 4:24:28 PM
Pop has changed alot of things. When you get 2000 kids on and off a ride and made sure they are bucked in safely I don't think the ride guy is all that happy to put on a show and get even more riders. (lol)Also if everyone is riding because they have that arm band and want to get their moneys worth, than they aren't playing the games or spreading their money around.Yes arm bands do bring more people on the midway, that is a plus, to get them to play your game, you must have them there to work to. So I guess its 6 of this and a half dozen of the other. Meaning there is pro's and con's for the arm band.
Sixcat is right, I have seen his operation and its a good one.
He puts prizes on the midway and his games are always busy.

sweet baby
Sixcat
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Sunday, April 11, 2004 5:22:00 PM
Quote:

quote:


Originally posted by Bossman

Sixcat, I didn't mean it like that. My father has been died almost 25 yrs and I find myself wanting to ask him questions everyday. Do you understand what I mean?

Yes, of course. I'll be happy to answer any questions you might have as long as you don't call me Pops. [;)] BTW, I lost my Dad in the spring of 1980 and I still miss him. He was my go to guy.
Sixcats have nine lives
mamma teena
Tuesday, April 13, 2004 8:40:30 PM
Hmmmmmmm then and now.... The one thing thats sticks out in my mind is how much easier todays carnies have it as far as living situations..
Back then (the 70's) u slept whenever you could find, and pray it didn't rain..Jointies could sleep in the games... ride jocks mostly under the rides..food consessions slept wherever... If you were lucky you could afford a tent...and if you were a foreman you either got the truck or a make shift LQ.. Showers??? hahahaha most of the time you got a wh*&^ bath in a sink in some bathroom...If 4 or 5 of you got together you could get a motel room for a few days.. Now that was luxury..[:D] Well just the way i remember it when I first started... And why with all the hardships did I stay? Because it is in my blood and it is in my heart...
Always, Mamma

Always,Mamma
"With It...For It... Love It...Live It"
mjcarniegirl
Sunday, April 18, 2004 11:25:18 PM
the difference between the carnies of the old days and carnies of today .MMMMM i agree the living conditions are much better today on most shows .I can remember back in the early 80's when i first started with shows that you didn't have nice bunkhouses . You sleep in trucks , under rides , inside joints or where ever you could find to lay your head down . I did my shere of sleeping under rides and under trucks and hoping it didn't rain!! And showers >> they were scary if you were lucky the fair grounds had showers other wise it was a water hose outside and you had wear a bathing suit or shorts to take a shower in . Or find a near by truckstop to get a shower. But back then , your fellow co workers seemed more like family . In the early 80's out on a small show we would all sit around a camp fire after show closing and drink a few beers and just talk . And you had a mixture of people from all walks of life and no matter what you looked like or what your background was or where came from didn't matter everyone was treated like family . And yes it was low pay alot of times back then but you could feel like you belonged . Now adays ... is so much different to many drugs like it is everywhere , all you see is a bunch of bunkhouses, hardly any one sleeps in trucks or under rides any more. And it seems the help in general does seem to take pride in their job. And it seems like the close family feelings you would get is gone now . It's a hard life but so much easier now adays then it was back in the day. you had to man handle everything , now they use forklifts and power winchs and stuff to help set up and tear down rides.
TheMover
Tuesday, April 20, 2004 9:48:17 AM
I can remember back when the we moved the carnival around that used to play our town.

Now a days everything is hydraulic and uses power wenches and other equipment that makes it so much easier.

But when I was little back in the late early 70's I went with my dad when he first opened up our second trucking company...the tilt from today compared to the one we hauled for Majik Midways back in 72 is a lot different.

Wooden bull plates that were hand lifted and carried to the trailer...unlike the ones today.

Mosdt of the guys we talked to today say that the tilt is still the worst ride to put together...I tell them try a Music Express...or one of the other multi trailer rides..that require 7 or 8 guys.


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fan04
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Thursday, April 22, 2004 10:59:27 AM
Hi everyone. I am a new member here but have been checking out a lot of the postings here lately. I grew up next to a fairgrounds as a kid in Dutchess County. I worked for a couple of food vendors when I was younger but eventually went away to college and got caught up in jobs and stuff. I guess I always regretted not getting involved more back when I had the chance. Anyway, I have grown over the years super passionate about carnival rides and really all things carnival. I have worked for a while in the entertainment industry in the hopes of reaching a point where I could work on a project of my own, that is really important to me on a personal level. So I have finally reached that point and I am beginning to work on a documentary style project that is kind of following the history of the american midway as a huge historical part of our country and one of the longest standing positive influences in our nation (surviving wars and even the Great Depression) Anyway, I really want to also talk to people about the personal and human side of things. I think over time, people who work on the midway are sometimes given a bad reputation or misunderstood, etc. What gets lost in some people's misunderstandings are the real stories and passion of people who have built their life around this great historical venue...and have really become a part of americana and are so passionate about what they do. When I stumbled onto this conversation it just really struck me as exactly what I would want my film to say. I know that you mentioned that it would be great to have another venue to discuss this and I thought this may be exactly what you are looking for. It would mean a lot to me if anybody was interested in talking to me and I could tell you more about what I really want to do with this film. My e-mail is below and, thanks for reading this long msg. And also thanks for the postings. Even if nothing comes of this, I will continue to read what you guys have to say- just for me.
Laura
(E-mail murph400@yahoo.com)