Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Dance of Work Joy

In addition to demonstrating how tremendously psyched we were to be at work that day, this photo also showcases the unflattering nature of the Park's uniforms. Those shirts? Poly-cotton blend. I don't recommend wearing them outside all day during high summer. Or ever, really. They're fucking hideous.


math t said...

i'm actually a tremendous fan of those collared, leisure/polo-type shirts in general, but yeah, the ones pictured are cut horribly. no shape, eek.

so, i grew up in California and now i live in Brooklyn. i first heard about Action Park maybe 4 months ago, from a friend raised in the Bronx. since then i've read all i can on the Park with extreme interest- i mean, imagine being a stranger coming to the completed story. everything i read is way fucking crazier than the last thing; just when i think it can't possibly get any more bizarre... Etc Etc.

i keep circling around this question: who designed and BUILT these rides? the Cannonball Loop... people had to make that with their own hands. and from maps Vernon looks like a very small town. did Gene Mulvihill [sp?] himself design these rides? did people from Vernon build them? did Park employees ever do construction? in Weird NJ mag no. 26, a former employee named Tom Fergus says he 'built' Roaring Rapids, him 'and a whole bunch of other drunks'. he also says the Cannonball Loop was 'the brainchild of some Swiss guy they imported on a week-long visa'. any idea what that means? basically, were any of you kids around during construction of new rides? i just can't get over the fact that people actually built these things; that's the most astonishing part.

above all, keep up the entries... they're great, and i want to know everything, and i'm sure i'm not the only one. i definitely plan on incorporating some Action Park images into my art. the sheer look of those rides is so powerful.

luv, math+

Colleen said...

Yay, math t!!!
Did someone say Action Park: the Movie?!
I DID®©®©™™™™, give me royalties when it happens.

Also, didn't everybody where huge unflattering shirts back then? I know i did.

therese said...

Sorry, Kane! I've been saying Action Park: the Movie since 1988.

Hey there Math T- I don't know Tom Fergus. There was actually a debate among my friends over whether he actually exists, or if it's a pseudonym or something, since no one was familiar with him. But I will confirm that the place employed a lot of drunks.

While the Cannonball Loop was built before my time, I'm sure they were working from some sort of plan created by someone other than Gene.

I do remember construction on the Space Shot. They brought in a fellow from Vegas named Wayne, he had previously built a similar ride on top of that hotel with the roller coaster winding around it.

Melissa said...

The shirts were bad, but the shorts were worse...if you had hips of any kind. You needed to wear them low, but as I have this fab Marilyn-esque hourglass shape, they always popped up over my hips, giving me a wedgie.

math t said...

yeah, i've also been casting the Action Park movie in my mind since i first learned about the Park. i keep picturing something akin to Dazed + Confused.

about Tom Fergus potentially being a pseudonym, that does seem to make sense since he refers to Mulvihill as 'Genghis' to 'protect the guilty' or something like that. weird.

just wow. i'm gonna start drawing something with the Tarzan Swing.

xo, math+

joe_serin said...

Hi all, I don't recall a Tom Fergus ever working at the park. I am bad with face/ name association, but names alone I usually remember. I worked at the park sporadically between June 1985 winter 1993 (I think). In the winter I worked in the ski rental shop with my fellow pranksters "The Brew Crew". For a stretch I lived in "The Projects" (Great Gorge Village) and rode my Mongoose BMX bike down the slopes to work in the summer. Winter required skis for my commute of course. I was one of the many poster children of the culture.

There are so many stories to tell from that span of time. I can barely get thru some of them without laughing out of control. Injuries, practical jokes, fake ID's, drinking, bad uniforms and the modifications that followed, you name it. If a movie ever evolved I would love to consult, I may have to tame some things down for the mainstream. And we would have to borrow Dennis Meeker back from Colorado....

therese said...

Aww, the days when Dennis ran the rental shop were good days. For the laughter, if not for my liver.

therese said...

Oh, and this morning it occurred to me that, while we had it pretty bad with the poly-cotton blend shirts, the Motor World staff had it way worse. They had to wear those red jumpsuits and there was NO shade out on the LOLA track.

Ed said...

No, Tom Fergus was definitely an employee. As for the Weird NJ article - mostly bullshit. A guy named Ron Doyno did most of the Roaring Springs design work and that ride area was built mostly by Indian and the outside crew - sorry but Tom didn't participate.