Skywheelrider
Monday, November 15, 2004 7:17:28 AM
Okay, here is another show that I remember from my youth, more vividly than the previously mentioned Happyland Shows, but still would like to know more (remember, I am a huge history buff). I recall this show from the Wayne County Fair in Belleville, Michigan, as well as a few other spots. They used to play St. Simon and Jude church in Westland, which still is a few minutes from my house, and they did play here in Wayne a couple of times, the last time being May of 1985. The last time I recall seeing this show was in May of 1987 in Westland, around Memorial Weekend.

Rides I recall seeing at various times included a yellow Eli Wheel (later white), Scat (although I admit I did not know what it was at that time, lol), Spider, Rock-O-Plane, Rolloplane, Loop-O-Plane, Trabant, Twister, Paratrooper, Swinger, Tilt-A-Whirl, t/m Scrambler, dark ride, M-G-R, moonwalk, Hamptons, one time an open-top Himalaya at the Wayne County Fair, various kiddies I do not recall. The one thing I do remember about this show was the look of the show was usually very dirty, not very well lit, rides broke down quite a bit (especially at the Wayne County Fair). In fact, one year at the fair I can only recall the Twister, Scrambler, Eli Wheel and a few kiddies actually running, while the rest sat, the Paratrooper open but then something happened to the motor, stranding people on it (not sure how they got them all off).

Anyways, I know they were around in the 1960's, I saw an old route listing from AB from the late 1960's and they were listed, one spot listed was Taylor, Michigan. I am just curious to know if anyone has any info and/or stories they could share about the show. Wasn't Frank Cook and owner at some point? Just curious.

"Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first." -- Mark Twain
kiddie ride red
Monday, November 22, 2004 2:47:59 PM
At one time J.J.Frederick owned Motor State Shows.[8D].
babyhughie
Friday, November 26, 2004 2:50:41 PM
JJ Fredrick was my moms uncle.Joe died i beleive in '70 or '71.My mom took the show out for I beleive 4 seasons then moved on.My aunt Mary made a go of it for another season before she died.Frank cook bought the show, winter quarters, and most of the rest of the estate.Charlie Caleel???I belive is how it was spelled, was partners somehow in the venture.That is about all i can help you with Chris i can ask my mom for some more details if you want.Interesting side note joyce brady of PLAYWORLD fame is frank cook's daughter.They live about 10 minutes from me.
tamadachi76
Saturday, November 27, 2004 9:19:08 PM
Yep Chris, Frank Cook was an owner of Motor State Shows. They may have been known as Cook Shows? I last saw Frank at Gibtown this year. I remember playing gigs with them back in the day. We used to take our "Star Striker" movie simulator out with them. On the unfortunate note, I was there on that fateful day at Michigan International Speedway when they had the accident on the ferris wheel. We were there with MSS and Regehr Enterprises. It was a real cool set up in the middle of the race track. I remember seeing them in Belleville a week or two after that.
Have you paid your dues Jack? Yeah I paid my dues. The check is in the mail.
Skywheelrider
Sunday, November 28, 2004 8:37:19 PM
Thanks to all that replied. I can still picture the show at spots I saw them. Mike, that wheel accident, what exactly happened? I don't recall hearing about that. As for the name, it was always Motor State Shows, and then in the 1980's was called "The New Motor State Shows." Cook Amusement Company was owned by Frank Cook in the 1970's then sold to Chuck Kaleel (sp?).
"Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first." -- Mark Twain
tamadachi76
Sunday, November 28, 2004 8:49:44 PM
A young girl fell out of a seat and landed on the trailer. I recall hearing she landed on the drive cables, don't know how true that was. Not a good day for them there. [:(] I hate anything bad that happens to any show, no matter what their reputation may be, after all, we're all in the same business.
Have you paid your dues Jack? Yeah I paid my dues. The check is in the mail.
Skywheelrider
Sunday, November 28, 2004 9:19:47 PM
Thanks Mike. Yep, I agree, not good when things like that happen, no matter what show, because it reflects on the industry as a whole.
"Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first." -- Mark Twain
itsapartytx
Wednesday, July 28, 2021 12:06:50 AM
i have some info on Happyland cuz my family traveled with them which is why it is so difficult tracking family on Ancestry. would you share any information you have if any on Happyland please?
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