In 2005 Bob and Rich worked on amusement designs for a project in Pigeon Forge, TN Belle Island. A project, unfortunately with some unsavory people in positions they should never have been allowed in. Not the first time that’s happened.
One part of the amusement facility was a proposed museum for Debbie Reynold’s Hollywood memorabilia collection. Her son, Todd Fisher, handled the business negotiations. Bob and Rich enjoyed working with Todd, a true professional. Debbie Reynolds flew in for the press announcement of her portion of the project, the museum. Bob was enchanted with her. I couldn’t attend for some reason, but Bob came back with a signed picture of her to “Louisiana Lottie”. I treasure it.
This amusement venue in a wonderful location came very close to completion with Great Designs by Minick Associates. But all was lost because of greed and incompetence by a few people who had the keys to the funding. In life this happens, but what a shame. If nothing else Debbie Reynolds would have preserved her dream for Hollywood history and made memories for millions.
Making memories for millions – the specialty of Minick Associates.
Found this great picture of www.coneyisland.com circa 1904. Beautiful picture but does not remind me of the days Bob and Rich worked on new designs for the park. Back then it was run by raconteurs Harold Glantz, John Dibs and other great showmen. They would have us on the floor laughing at stories of the park. One I remember vividly was when they would loose power at night the game operators were instructed to get their hammers and start hammering the game counters to keep gang members from jumping inside the games and stealing everything. That was one of the milder stories.
Amusement parks are very corporate now and the people working there would be shocked and couldn’t begin to understand. But these wonderful “Showman” and their compatriots knew how to entertain their “guests” like no one else. Hats off to them and let’s hope to breed more like them.
And to think Bob’s Aunt Dollie and Uncle Owen Pope were friends with and worked with Mr. Disney for years. Bob met him many times, worked in his park and found his love for designing and running amusement parks under Mr. Disney’s influence. Bob even lived inside Disneyland in The Pope House on the Pony Farm. One of only 3 residents. Hey, we even have coloring books Bob colored as a child and Mr. Disney signed. Pretty special. Enjoy this article.
Rich drew this beautiful portrait of Darling Katie Belle. Becky, Rich’s wife took this picture of Katie Belle when we were together last and Rich turned her picture into this forever keepsake. They are both very involved animal activists. So many orphaned fur children have forever homes because Rich and Becky made it happen.
Rich is busy this time of year with Minick Associates work and we are grateful. Some new projects that may come to fruition will be outstanding. Bob’s watching and smiling. Stay tuned.