Great Adventure had no games when we arrived. A year earlier Bob designed and built the first games in an amusement park at Six Flags Over Texas. So he got to work designing the games of Great Adventure.
Bob made the area a U shape design with games in the middle. A lot of the games were built from Bob’s designs, Tic Tac Toe, The Cannery, Bushel Basket, etc. Some were purchased, a particular favorite – the 24 player position Water Balloon Race. When it was delivered and installed I grabbed the plug and nearly plugged it in when a big man yelled at me, “WTF do you think you’re doing?”
There were lots of WTF’s in New Jersey. We’d come from the South where courtesy reigned. At Six Flags we automatically said, thank you, yes, ma’am, and most important Have A Nice Day. Not so in New Jersey.
Before anyone could step up, Ed Blassingame walked up to the man and said, “Follow me”. He did and you knew a fight would ensue. They turned to face each other, the man raised his fists. Texan Ed whipped out the largest pocket knife I’ve seen and said, “Son, you gonna use those fists in a knife fight?”
The man walked off, Ed walked back to us, picked up the plug and handed it to me, “Lottie would you do the honors?” I did and ran the first game with all my first guests – the crew from Texas with Ed Blassingame on player position #1.
Game over and 24 of the best people in the world smiling at me with twinkles in their eyes. You don’t get many moments like that. My treasure.
Here are my two Franks and me on the midway.