Flying Coaster
Thursday, May 12, 2005 6:10:07 AM
I'm curious how some of you folks got started in the ride, game or food businesses that you're in. I was offered the chance to buy the Skywheel from Forest, but at the time, I was wrapped up in a growing tent & awning business...(that sounds funny) Repairing his Flying Bobs top was how I hooked up with him. I figured that I should stay with what I was best at. I eventually sold the business for a great price, but still do the canvas work. Shortly thereafter, the Skywheels started going away. Sure did meet some good people along the way though.
All Skywheels should be yeller.
  •  bigeli
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Thursday, May 12, 2005 7:35:54 AM
I got into the business hitch-hiking through Colorado . A "kook" picked me up , convinced me to give it a try, and we both got holes on Murhy Bros. lot in Rosenberg Texas . ( BTW Rosenberg is my mother's maiden name)
So, in a few years, if you're walking down a midway and see a Sixcat or a Swinger or a bucket, look around. You might recognize an old man with a smile on his face. Especially if he's saying, "Hey Buddy, can I ask ya?" -sixcat,circa. 2007
Boils The Clown
Thursday, May 12, 2005 8:44:53 AM
I'm part of the breed.
I was born into the biz.
It's in my blood.

Come See My Fun House ,  & My Fun House Photo Gallery  
~ By All Means.....When In Doubt .....Jump On The "Blame Boils Bandwagon" ! ~
  •  lotman
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Thursday, May 12, 2005 12:45:41 PM
i ran away at the age of 14, tore down a zipper (xtra help) for al riesinger on dell and travers shows at groveton sub station in alexandria paid six bucks. big money in the early seventies.went to work the next week for tommy bear in a glass pitch. it was a nickle in those days.been with it ever since.
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
monkey boss
Thursday, May 12, 2005 1:07:00 PM
left N.Y.C. at 15 with king Bros. circus shoveled elephant crap and worked the canvas crew, they saw I was able to stay awake most of the day so I had to work on the prop crew during the shows too! got a big 36 bucks a week, half of that was held back till the end of the season. If ya made it that long ! Still here
Thursday, May 12, 2005 5:23:00 PM
My Aunt was a ticket seller on Wade Shows for years and they always played the spot in Michigan where im from for the 4th of July. I loved spending the time with her for the week and eventially(sp) went to work for them myself for about 12 years.Now me and my husband are off the road, I miss it something terrible but he says hes cool with being home.
Thursday, May 12, 2005 6:45:10 PM
Let's see....the carnival used to come to my town for a fundraiser for the local first aid squad(which I belonged to). I was volunteering my time in the games and I started talking to some of the ride jocks...we hung out after hours and I became a 40 miler. Every once in a while if they needed help I would work a kiddie ride or I sold tickets. I was like a kid sister to many of the guys out there.

When I was graduating from HS I tried to run away with the show but my parents stopped me....I went off to college but still followed the show every summer that they came into the area. When I graduated college one of my friends was telling me how her sister was dating a guy who owned games....that summer I went out to work for them and I was hooked(lol...always told my parents that if they let me go when I finished HS I probably would have come back crying as it was tough on the rides back then..being in the games was a MUCH easier lifestyle).

I always wished that someone in my family was in the business because I feel like I belong out there...but currently I am in my own house in my little old town and I still go out and get a hole when they come into the area.

Once a carny always a carny.....never leaves the blood [:D]
Thursday, May 12, 2005 6:59:04 PM
OK "Flying Coaster".... Here is another chance for you to purchase a Sky Wheel. I know where you can buy 2 Sky Wheels for $60,000.00 And the Show owner will love for you to keep it on his route..........
Thursday, May 12, 2005 7:59:59 PM
I started by working in a gum game run by the committe at our town festival when I was around 10 for free rides. I did that every year until I was old enough to setup and teardown as green help on the rides. I did that for a few years but my main job in high school was working for a construction company. After I graduated High School I left my job and went with the carnival that played our town festival. I started out working on an Allan Hershel Helicopter. I didn't last long in Kiddie land and with in three weeks I was second man on the quasar. It was all down hill from there.

Boy my family wasn't happy at all about my choice. They had never had anything to do with the business. My father was a mail man and my mother was a stay at home mom. They are ok with it now but it took a long time for them to see that it was an honest way to make a living.
  •  Sixcat
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Thursday, May 12, 2005 8:14:09 PM


Originally posted by lotman
Went to work the next week for tommy bear in a glass pitch. it was a nickle in those days.been with it ever since.

I didn't know you started with Tommy. Tommy and I were close. We worked the West coast for Duke in the early 80's. What a character! He named one of his sons Teddy. What a sense of humor to name your son Teddy when his last name is Bear. I usually see Teddy at some of our PA fairs. Tommy was so much fun to work with. He made bad days good days. I was so bummed when he left us.

On subject. My Father was a carny so I was born in it. One of my first jobs as a kid was gunning a Sixcat from the back of my Dad's dart store. Don't anybody ask for more on that, that's all you're getting. [}:)]
Sixcats have nine lives
  •  MikeH
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Thursday, May 12, 2005 8:18:29 PM
Well lets see.........
My parents were real jerks and treated me bad,also my boyfriend was really mean to me.Great American Shows was playing in town and I started talking with a guy named Patch who was selling baseballs in front of the Bozo Joint.He hooked me up with a job working for Sugaree in the Cootch show but I couldn't handle the rubes drooling all over me and I passed out.The next day a nice lady that looked kinda like Kirstie Alley gave me a hole in the string joint.When she said it would be exciting and I would be so busy I would be pis$ing in the joint thats all I needed to hear.I also got to help the show owner Heavy St. John pull a fast one over on some scumbag fairboard dudes.

Oh wait....Thats how Jodie Foster got into the biz.
Flying Coaster
Friday, May 13, 2005 1:57:51 AM


Originally posted by SideWinder

OK "Flying Coaster".... Here is another chance for you to purchase a Sky Wheel. I know where you can buy 2 Sky Wheels for $60,000.00 And the Show owner will love for you to keep it on his route..........

I believe that one of those wheels is the one that Arco used to have, they did a Link spot here one year & I helped tear it down. I told the first man "wow, I'll bet I could buy this thing cheap". I heard it got a refurb, good thing, it needed it. 3 years later, it showed back up on the same lot with Link after Forest sold & retired.
I wish I could do it, but with arthritis wrecking my knees, I couldn't handle it anymore, I'll guess I'll stick to stitching! Thanks for the tip though, I hope they find a good home. Old yeller looked real good the last time I saw her.
All Skywheels should be yeller.
Friday, May 13, 2005 6:29:46 AM
I gut into the bizness cuz I din't study in skool, plus.....there wuz a family curse.
Friday, May 13, 2005 7:14:06 AM
Sixcat, what show did you get your start with?
  •  Sixcat
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Friday, May 13, 2005 7:42:13 AM


Originally posted by Bryan

Sixcat, what show did you get your start with?

Playtime Shows owned by Ed Burr and run by him and his sons Billy Burr and John Burr. I had my first joint at 16. Billy was my mentor. Learned all about the Sixcat from him.
Sixcats have nine lives
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