- Plan A Visit
- Rides & Slides
- Buy Tickets
6 June 2005 - 5:16pm
It doesn't just happen, folks.
It's not something in the water.
... or in the free, unlimited soft drinks.
We have to work on being friendly.
It means reporting for work at 7:30 am for Hospitality Training.
In the morning.
How friendly is that?
We pack the Holiday Theater for three mornings this week as we bulk up on what it's all about.
We tell stories and read emails aloud. One in particular brought tears to my eyes. (A father wrote to thank us for helping his family to forget about his cancer for a day. He hadn't heard his wife and son laugh in a long, long time.)
We remind everyone that we don't know what the families visiting us might be going through.
Maybe they're celebrating a birthday.
Maybe they've been counting down the days for months.
Maybe there's just been a divorce in the family.
Maybe Junior barfed in the car on the way down.
You just don't know, do you?
We talk about the little things ... and the big things.
And someone (it was Will this year) always asks for a show of hands:
Anyone out there shy?
Well ... if they're truly shy, they might not be too eager to raise their hands, right?
We always get a chuckle out of that. Corny, I know.
After the theater portion, we break into small groups and scatter all over the park to practice, practice, practice.
Chris and I were assigned his Security Crew. As we headed over to Santa's Storytime Theater, I joked, "Why don't you sit up on stage, just like we do with Santa?"
Good grief -- they did just that!
This photo was taken during a serious discussion. (That's Chris in Santa's chair.) A bit later, we practiced smiling, eye contact, and chatting with our Guests.
They did very well. And so did the three or four entertainers who were part of our group.
Earlier, in the theater, Mrs. Koch told us about how she enjoys greeting families as they arrive at the front gate. Even though not everyone responds, she keeps trying.
Will couldn't resist: We have to do a good job. Otherwise, the business will fail and we'll have to close. And Mom will have to get a job as a Wal-Mart greeter.
"No way!" she countered, somehow louder than the laughter.
"I'd be an exotic dancer!"
Then Will: I'll give you all a moment to wipe that image from your mind.
Well, 7:30 am or no 7:30 am, everyone was wide awake then. The theater rocked with good-natured laughter.
Those two are quite a pair.
Mother and son.
Setting an example every day for the rest of us.
And starting our day with a smile.
6 June 2005 - 3:32pm
Around here we kid around about each person's "inner geek" coming out in our work.
John knows every dimension of the new water tower.
Will can explain the mechanical workings of every ride.
Lori knows every specific water-quality number and how to balance it perfectly.
I eagerly volunteered recently to rewrite text into blocks containing no more than 240 characters and spaces.
And even our HoliBlog readers are getting in on the act.
Marc from Murphysboro emailed me this question about the new water tower:
So it should weigh 155 tons empty then; do you know the capacity of it? Then we could figure the loaded weight of it, which I bet could double perhaps.
I emailed back the answer: 500,000 gallons.
And here is Marc's response:
From my figuring, water weighs 8.345 lbs per gallon * 500,000 gallons=4,172,500lbs of water + 310,000lbs for the structure = 4,482,500lbs total when full.
That would make it almost EXACTLY the weight of the fully-loaded and fueled space shuttle Endeavor on blastoff, and equivalent to the weight of 700 fully-fueled Hummer H2 SUVs.
Gosh, I don't even think that way! To calculate it all out and then have another example for comparison. Never in a million years would I come up with that.
But then, it's all geek to me!
5 June 2005 - 5:16pm
Check out this month's wallpaper.
Zinga is the Swahili word for "to move in a circular motion."
Apparently it's also an Italian surname.
Mrs. Zinga (I won't disclose her location) was not at all happy with the Zinga billboard in her city a few years back. She had to drive by it every day and it got on her nerves.
Somehow, I don't think she's reading our HoliBlog.
But just in case ... sorry, we didn't mean to annoy you.
5 June 2005 - 12:06pm
It was back in March of 1955. A movie star was crossing the country, promoting his new TV show.
He made an appearance at the General Electric plant in Tell City. Someone suggested that he check out Santa Claus Land, located in a neighboring county.
Back then, it wasn't a big deal to change a star's schedule on the spur of the moment.
That's Ronald Reagan with Will's two grandfathers ... Louis J. Koch and "Santa Jim" Yellig.
Today, one year following President Reagan's death, seems to be the appropriate day to share this photo.
3 June 2005 - 5:16pm
The lights arrived. The fountain filled.
And by golly, it works!
I got a particular charge out of what I assumed was a brother/sister act. At first, it looked like they were waving at the water.
Actually, the brother taught the sister to, Jedi-like, raise her arm to make the fountain waters rise. And then lower her hand to let the fountain rest for a bit.
It was cute.
Housekeeping note: This is not a hot tub. Please don't soak your feet.
Last year, I couldn't convince a young lady to remove her tootsies from the old fountain.
Until I told her it would make her feet turn green.