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Offline thunderbolt85  
#1 Posted : Thursday, July 18, 2019 11:00:17 AM(UTC)
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For those of us left on here, what is your best memories of the past, say the 70s, 80s, and 90s when we had carnivals showing up in parking lots or fields for a week, the big fairs in the last summer or fall. How about particular midways, rides, shows that you miss. I know we are just going down memory lane here but sometimes that is a good thing.

For me some of mine are:

coming over a bridge into town and seeing an Eli Ferris in the sky, or the Scat. McBride Brothers used to come to town each summer with a ground mounted Eli and white trailers with a red and blue stripe.

Next thing would be the green/yellow Sky Wheel towering high the night sky at the fair here in the fall. The calls of the "mike man" on the music rides asking everyone if they want to go faster, the green Super Loops with the arrow lights flashing.

Who can forget the sounds of the Tip Top, Hurricane, or if you're lucky the Holiday Bounce.

The loop recordings of the side show ("alive on the inside") or the sound of the glass pitch mixed in with the horns and buzzers on an umbrella ride.

Always hated to leave any carnival, hard thing to do as a kid to walk out that gate or back to the car not knowing when you would see another midway, but each year the warming springtime and new leaves would remind me that carnivals would soon be coming.
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IndianaTED on 7/18/2019(UTC)
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Offline Astro85  
#2 Posted : Thursday, July 18, 2019 10:53:58 PM(UTC)
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Those were the days before the internet, so you never knew when a carnival was coming, unless you happened to see a poster in a window. You never knew where the carnival came from or went to. It was always so cool to see a show in a lot with all those painted trucks. That’s one of my bed memories. I loved seeing individual trailers promoting the ride they carried. Everything was airbrushed or hand painted. No vinyl wraps. I always thought the trucks were part of the show, as well as the rides. Now everything is white. It seemed there was a lot more personality to each individual show. I remember watching the show tear down and pull out also. The sights, sounds were always awesome too. The sound of the tilt, zipper, etc. fluorescent lighting. Very cool times.
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thunderbolt85 on 7/22/2019(UTC)
Offline ridejocky  
#3 Posted : Friday, July 19, 2019 12:59:57 AM(UTC)
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The girls
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Offline thunderbolt85  
#4 Posted : Monday, July 22, 2019 11:02:20 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Astro85 Go to Quoted Post
Those were the days before the internet, so you never knew when a carnival was coming, unless you happened to see a poster in a window. You never knew where the carnival came from or went to. It was always so cool to see a show in a lot with all those painted trucks. That’s one of my bed memories. I loved seeing individual trailers promoting the ride they carried. Everything was airbrushed or hand painted. No vinyl wraps. I always thought the trucks were part of the show, as well as the rides. Now everything is white. It seemed there was a lot more personality to each individual show. I remember watching the show tear down and pull out also. The sights, sounds were always awesome too. The sound of the tilt, zipper, etc. fluorescent lighting. Very cool times.



Interesting note, during the Deggeller Magic Midway days the trailer were painted up, but when the Deggeller brothers started out in the 80s a lot of trailers were used from other companies. Used to remember an "Archway" cookie trailer that carried a MGR I think, moving vans, all kinds of stuff.

Reithoffer always did a super job with paint jobs and promoting the show/rides, still today they have a good many painted up....at least on the Orange unit.
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Astro85 on 7/22/2019(UTC)
Offline thunderbolt85  
#5 Posted : Monday, July 22, 2019 11:04:12 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: ridejocky Go to Quoted Post
The girls



Yes, girls were always pretty and of course wanting free rides with a blink of the eye and "please can we have a free ride?"
Offline Astro85  
#6 Posted : Monday, July 22, 2019 12:46:05 PM(UTC)
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Yeah I remember some hodgepodging of trailers. And some some shows around here would use other shows equipment also. I kinda liked that. You got to see some stuff from other shows. And some of the airbrushing those trailers had were awesome. I always went in back to check that stuff out. Got kicked out a few times 😞, but for the most part the show staff would let me look. I also remember the trailers parked in a way that advertised the show from the road. You definitely knew who’s show it was.
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thunderbolt85 on 7/22/2019(UTC)
Offline ridejocky  
#7 Posted : Monday, July 22, 2019 2:17:17 PM(UTC)
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Strates' coaches and offices in the late '70s that (I think) Duke Ash did were classy.

Ride the Zipper?
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thunderbolt85 on 7/22/2019(UTC)
Offline rodler  
#8 Posted : Monday, July 22, 2019 2:31:51 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Astro85 Go to Quoted Post
Yeah I remember some hodgepodging of trailers. And some some shows around here would use other shows equipment also. I kinda liked that. You got to see some stuff from other shows. And some of the airbrushing those trailers had were awesome. I always went in back to check that stuff out. Got kicked out a few times 😞, but for the most part the show staff would let me look. I also remember the trailers parked in a way that advertised the show from the road. You definitely knew who’s show it was.


Yeah Lowery , Reed Expo, Murphy Brothers, and Crabtree all had artwork on their trailers and Murphy had the light towers on top of the power plant trailers. Most years it seems we have some booked in rides. If you look at our midway line up it is somewhat different from the norm of rides you would anticipate to see at a state fair. If your old school that is!
RodB
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Astro85 on 7/22/2019(UTC), thunderbolt85 on 7/22/2019(UTC)
Offline Astro85  
#9 Posted : Monday, July 22, 2019 3:12:11 PM(UTC)
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Yeah I love the old school stuff. 70’s-80’s were awesome for carnivals, in my opinion.
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thunderbolt85 on 7/22/2019(UTC), IndianaTED on 8/10/2019(UTC)
Offline olediggerguy  
#10 Posted : Monday, July 22, 2019 3:22:44 PM(UTC)
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I was with Reithoffer in the early 80's. For about 2 full seasons, the old man had a show painter on the payroll fulltime. I forget his name, but he was well known in the business, had his own living quarters/shop self contained.(i believe there was a story that he recently died) Every week, he started on another van,most were a scenic scene of some kind,a valley, a lake, or mountain side with a painting of a show all set up in it.
The Marquee would be highlighted WITH WHAT THE LOAD WAS CARRYING...... TO NAME A FEW...

REITHOFFER presents.....GERMANY'S LATEST SENSATION.......RAUPEN BAHN..

ANOTHER REITHOFFER EXCLUSIVE......SEA STRUM BAHN...

500,000 VOLTS....ANOTHER SILENT ENERGY UNIT BY REITHOFFER......

I always felt that all this branding was a very effective way to add legitimacy to the show. People would get the impression that they had a legitimate business at their fair,and would make them feel more at ease riding the rides, and attending the show.





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thunderbolt85 on 7/22/2019(UTC)
Offline thunderbolt85  
#11 Posted : Wednesday, July 24, 2019 11:03:15 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: olediggerguy Go to Quoted Post
I was with Reithoffer in the early 80's. For about 2 full seasons, the old man had a show painter on the payroll fulltime. I forget his name, but he was well known in the business, had his own living quarters/shop self contained.(i believe there was a story that he recently died) Every week, he started on another van,most were a scenic scene of some kind,a valley, a lake, or mountain side with a painting of a show all set up in it.
The Marquee would be highlighted WITH WHAT THE LOAD WAS CARRYING...... TO NAME A FEW...

REITHOFFER presents.....GERMANY'S LATEST SENSATION.......RAUPEN BAHN..

ANOTHER REITHOFFER EXCLUSIVE......SEA STRUM BAHN...

500,000 VOLTS....ANOTHER SILENT ENERGY UNIT BY REITHOFFER......

I always felt that all this branding was a very effective way to add legitimacy to the show. People would get the impression that they had a legitimate business at their fair,and would make them feel more at ease riding the rides, and attending the show.


Before AofA came back to the fair here Reithoffer came for 3 years and they still have an old school power plant with lots of flash on outside, love that look.

Reithoffer was great about painting the backside of back walls or the backside of anything. The had a Tip Top with a back wall and the back of it was flashed really nice, I believe the back wall for the Rainbow was as well when they had it, and that one dark ride had a nicely themed backside that they had (Bates Motel).





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IndianaTED on 8/10/2019(UTC)
Offline IndianaTED  
#12 Posted : Saturday, August 10, 2019 11:24:12 PM(UTC)
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Thunderbolt, all the things you said at the start of this topic are all things that I remember vividly, and miss so much. I know things change, and carnivals have to appeal to today's youth, but I miss the Shows from the 70s tremendously. I would love to have a typical 70's ride lineup for our local event, and I think it would do better than what we have now. I am mainly talking about the rides, but games also.

I will always remember as a young boy, and later a teenager, not being able to sleep on the Saturday night before the Sunday morning when I knew the Show was rolling into town. I lived right across from the grounds, and could sit on my front porch and watch the trucks with rides pull in. That was better than any Christmas I had! I also so loved just watching the Show being staged on the lot and the setup. When the festival started, I could look out the front window of my house and see the colorful, always in motion midway. I was so lucky!

But things I miss, are seeing the Show's rolling stock all painted up in the Show's colors and emblems. Our Show was Johnny's United Shows and they had most of their trucks painted candy apple red with their signature shield emblem on the doors. We also got very big rides like the Sky Wheel, Flying Bobs, Cortina Bobs, Himalaya, A European-built, two-truck Swing ride called the Satelite Flite, Sky Diver, a ground-mounted, two trailer Dodgem Cars that they advertised as the largest such ride in the US. We will be lucky to see any of those rides going forward here. I also miss the old Bingo joints on many Shows. There just seemed to be more stuff for the whole family to enjoy back then.

I'm just glad I got to grow up when I did, and got to see what I still say was the golden age of carnivals...the 70s to about the mid 80s.

Edited by user Sunday, August 11, 2019 12:04:58 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

I've never been "with it", just been an interested observer of carnivals for 50 years.
Johnny's United Shows..."A Family Tradition" and "All for Fun, Fun for All".
The carnival of my youth, which had roots that originated in my hometown.
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thunderbolt85 on 8/12/2019(UTC)
Offline ridejocky  
#13 Posted : Sunday, August 11, 2019 1:09:46 AM(UTC)
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No matter how much you're trying to look like a bad-a**, it's hard not to smile and toot the horn when kids are out on the street jumping up and down watching you pull wagons from the train to the lot...
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Offline Astro85  
#14 Posted : Sunday, August 11, 2019 11:49:32 AM(UTC)
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As a kid, I had the same feelings. I would ride my bike to the lot as soon as I got home from school. I had to check it out. And yes, better than Christmas. I always thought I was bugging the guys when I would snoop around, but everyone was always really nice to me and would talk to me. It was the best week of my life for sure as a kid. Better than X-box!!!!!
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thunderbolt85 on 8/12/2019(UTC)
Offline ridejocky  
#15 Posted : Sunday, August 11, 2019 2:26:02 PM(UTC)
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Prior to joining Atlas, I never really had any interest in the Carnival.

I was rooming with my sister and had just quit a job at an injection molding plant. While giving my dad a ride to the VA hospital he was looking through the help wanted ads and saw an ad saying "Carnival Help Wanted" with a phone number. My dad suggested I might like it so I rode out to Atlas' WG, talked to Joe Cope the second unit ride super and told home I was looking for work. He asked "when can you start", I said any time, he said, okay, go over and grab that....and I was in.

Started on the first unit working Bulgy and Tubs (at the same time) from there I went to the puss, and from there to the bobs. Worked with Atlas from '76 to '78.

From there. I went with a few other guys to join Strates in spring of '78 at their WG. There were four of us. We had a brand new two-door Oldsmobile to deliver from LA to Miami, we also had a big box of 8-tracks, a quarter pound of grass and a hot credit card. It was a fun trip...

Stayed with Strates from '78 to '88. Was supposed to work on the Scrambler but my buddy told the bobs foreman (Bobby Watson) I had moved the bobs on Atlas, so he got me on the bobs. Bobby lost his eye tearing down in (I think) Baltimore, so I finished it, pulled the center to Harrington and set it up. They made me foremen that spot. Moved it a couple of years, quit and came back after a couple of months in (I think) '79, but they had a new bobs when I got back. I went to the Pirate when he got it and worked that until he got the dutch wheel and then moved that for a year. Worked as an assistant ride super after that for a short while then had an accident at Anderson in '88 and that was my last spot.

Worked one winter and spring for Shaw and Sons when Strates was in the barn.
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