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25 May 2005 - 3:32pm
Erica and Jackson got married after 17 long years.
Carrie and Bo are prepping their pipes.
Thirty million headed over to Wisteria Lane for some answers.
And Pat Koch is featured in a "Close Up" on Evansville TV this evening.
The producer called yesterday and needed some additional archival photos of Mrs. Koch; Jerry was kind enough to dash over with a batch.
Apparently a condensed version of the profile will air tonight at 5:00 pm CT on WFIE-TV Evansville, with the full four-minute feature on at 10:00 pm.
If you've ever been here, you've probably seen Mrs. Koch out in the park.
Did you catch the pun?
21 May 2005 - 12:06pm
Remember that truck that was on display in the Christmas plaza?
And the contest being sponsored by WBKR radio station?
The 33 finalists gathered here Saturday morning and each picked a spot on The Revolution.
A quick spin of the wheel and...
The special arrow added to the ride just for the contest didn't determine a clear winner.
Spin the wheel again, Vanna!
(Am I the only one who would have seriously considered getting off the ride at this point?)
This time ...
...we have a winner!
And here she is, Stacy Lloyd of Utica, Kentucky,
And who's that cutie in Stacy's arms?
That's her son. No one thought to ask his name, so we'll just call him Little Squirt.
There's a reason, you know.
Before the park opened Saturday, the truck was moved to our guest parking lot -- up by the front gate in the Raven Lot.
Right next to the truck was the registration table for the 33 finalists.
As Stacy signed in, she stood Little Squirt next to her, cautioning him not to go anywhere.
He didn't ... well, not really.
He turned around, and, facing the pretty new truck ... um ... put in his vote for his mum to win.
Perhaps we should call him The Whizzer of Claus.
20 May 2005 - 12:00am
We chuckle at the emails asking "how do we get there?" and not mentioning their location.
And the ones asking us to mail them a brochure, but they don't include their address.
Then there are the phone calls asking, "Are you on the same time with me?"
Hey -- we've all been there. Rest assured, we're laughing with you.
We also receive feedback, comments, suggestions, questions, and an occasional bit of intriguing trivia.
Benny gave me permission to post this tidbit of intercontinental info:
I am currently working in Manila, Philippines. Checked out the site as I am planning on being there when I get back home sometimes early June. One of my students saw the site and the page about the new wave pool ... and told me that in Filippino, Bahari means "King of Flood." It is actually made up of 2 words Baha meaning flood and Hari which means King which translates into King of Flood. I like that one better than the Swahili translation and thought I'd share it with you and maybe you would be so impressed you send me some free tickets!
Somehow, Benny, I still manage to prefer the Swahili image of "immense sea." And sorry ... we're intrigued, certainly, but not quite that impressed.
19 May 2005 - 3:32pm
This banner is hanging outside the building of the town's sole C-store.
It made me think of a story from a few years back...
It was the summer of 2002, less than a year after Mr. Koch passed away. A lovely bipartisan effort by our state legislature resulted in the renaming of a portion of Highway 162 the "William A. Koch Memorial Highway."
We put together an unveiling ceremony of one of the huge highway signs. It was to be in the Hoosier Celebration Theater, the outdoor theater located not far from the entrance to Splashin' Safari. And Governor O'Bannon would be on hand to talk about his friend Bill Koch and take part in the unveiling.
I'm one of those cross-the-t's-and-dot-the-i's person. A multi-page memo was in everyone's hands well ahead of time to make sure everything went perfectly.
And it did.
The Hoosier Celebration Theater is located in the 4th of July section. I was rather proud of myself that I'd remembered to include a note to make sure the themed music for the 4th of July section was turned off shortly before the ceremony commenced. That way, the speeches and vocal performances within the outdoor venue wouldn't clash with the park music.
The news media arrived en masse. Former Indiana Governor Whitcomb, local officials, the Koch family, curious park guests, and some of our staff packed the theater. We were just waiting for Governor O'Bannon to arrive and make a suitable entrance.
The spirit was jovial and the Governor was only a few minutes late. Just as he entered the back of the theater to thunderous applause, I realized that just turning off the 4th of July music wasn't enough.
Halloween was still going strong.
If you're familiar with Holiday World's layout, you can picture how to the left of the seating area there's some "green space," then a walkway, and then HallowSwings.
That's how close Halloween is.
And just as Governor O'Bannon, beaming, entered the theater, those of us located on the left side of the seating area heard it immediately.
From the Halloween section, the unmistakable anthem:
Daaaah-dum dah daaaaaah-dum!
Darth Vader's Theme.
I looked over. The Governor was still surrounded by his constituents. Lots of hand shaking, back slapping and chatting.
Good. They couldn't hear it.
I then turned to look at the news media.
They were in stitches. Watching me instead of the governor. Enjoying my discomfort far too much!
I clutched my two-way radio and called Base: Please turn off the Halloween music immediately!
The reply was that the Entertainment Director would have to do it.
Chris just happened to be in the theater's tech booth -- mere yards from me. I looked back there -- our eyes locked (his were as big as saucers). I knew he couldn't leave the booth.
Daaaaaaa-da-da duh-dah-duh ...
I thought I heard the Dark Lord's labored breathing.
Oh. That was me.
The news media's mirth was becoming audible. Chris made a quick phone call. Suddenly the Darth Vader Theme ceased. And the ceremony continued without further incident.
I always thought the Governor (on the far left) would get a kick out of that story. Sadly, that kind and gracious man passed away the following year.
I'll always remember that day as a mixture of tears and laughter. And the day the Force was with us.
17 May 2005 - 3:32pm
I tease a lot of the directors here at the park:
I'm sure glad you like your job -- I sure wouldn't want to do it!
Happily, not too many of my fellow employees are camping out at my office door, either.
It's nice to be well-suited to your job. Your career.
What about these guys?
Painting the water tower.
Could you imagine?
Of course, there are those who love to build (and maintain) coasters. And others who hunger to feed the masses. Another who wheels and deals to squeeze every bit out of our advertising dollars. And still others who pay the bills and balance the books.
But hanging on the side of a water tower?
By the way, for those of you who have been reading this HoliBlog for a while, you may be astonished that the logo in the photo is not the one explained by Will a while back in his Zinga Ball post.
Apparently plans changed back to the preferred "stacked-format" logo when a painter specializing in distorting-logos-so-that-they-look-right-on-a-curved-surface came into town.
By the way, I needed to come back to work last night for a few things and when I left, it was quite dark out. As I headed toward my car I wondered if, indeed, the bright yellow water tower would glow a bit.
To be sure. A gentle beacon in the night.