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5 March 2010 - 7:55pm
I'll never forget the first time I heard about waterless urinals.
It was the year 2000.
The Kochs had arrived back from the annual IAAPA convention all excited.
The guys, anyway.
Mrs. Koch cracked us up at the next directors meeting. Apparently Will and his dad were pretty fired up about these new-fangled guy potties.
"That's all they talked about -- all dinner long," Mrs. Koch wailed. "And we were in a really nice restaurant with other park people. All the men talked about were urinals!"
Oh, how embarrassing.
I felt my cheeks burn with a deep ... flush.
Before long, I got over my mortification and pitched a story to the trades. Indeed, Holiday World was breaking ground again. Just one year after introducing "Free Unlimited Soft Drinks" to the industry, we were the first park to add these mysterious new waterless urinals.
Cause and effect.
For some reason, the coaster enthusiasts seemed particularly enthralled with the news. The female enthusiasts demanded to see what was going down. So when we held our annual coaster-riding event for them that May, we made special arrangements.
We called it the "Ladies Only V.I.Pee Tour."
Will and Mrs. Koch headed the tour, armed with Super Soakers. At one point after explaining the inner workings of the waterless wonders (in his customary scientific manner), Will was suddenly overcome with embarrassment, hung his head and sort of stood in the corner. (A urinal-free corner.)
Flash forward a decade.
This morning, Will sent me this photo, marked "Must-blog: Pixie Urinal."
All I could think was, "Here we go again."
Here is Will's wee tale:
We were meeting today with a vendor who told the following story: One of the ladies who works in their office got a phone call, asking if the company could supply them with some more of the "pixie urinals." Needless to say, the folks in the office were confused, and couldn't guess what the customer wanted. After thinking it through for a while, they decided the customer was referring to the part in the photo (it's actually a charger for a handheld/wireless scanning device). At the customer's company, they have quite a few of these (maybe 10) lined up on a shelf. I can't disagree that they would indeed look like the urinals for people (pixies?) who would use a very small men's room.
Here's a photo of the "pixie urinal" being used as originally intended:
And so now, Will, I have blogged about the pixie urinals, as requested.
What a relief.
3 March 2010 - 1:18pm
Did you celebrate yesterday?
Maybe an extra helping or two of green eggs and ham?
Or a bit of reading to smallish children?
Sarah, who's worked in our merchandise department for years and years, asked Will to come to her school yesterday to read to a wonderful group of kindergartners.
As Will was leaving our office yesterday, explaining where he was going, GM Matt said, "You know it's Dr. Suess's birthday, right?"
Will stopped dead in his tracks. "Oh. Well, now it makes sense."
And off he went.
Here are a few Dr. Seuss gems that surely fit the day (or any day):
Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.
If you never did, you should. These things are fun, and fun is good.
I meant what I said, and I said what I meant. An elephant's faithful, one hundred percent.
You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose.
And will you succeed? Yes indeed, yes indeed! Ninety-eight and three-quarters percent guaranteed.
From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere.
Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened.
1 March 2010 - 7:20pm
We're all a little sad today, as we say good-bye to Frank Belcher.
Frank was a sweet, fun, gentle gentleman who adopted the entire park as his family.
Not that Frank needed more family--he already had a wonderful one. But when your heart's that big, you just keep adding friends and loved ones.
Frank retired from a long career, including the Fire Chief of Princeton, Indiana, in 1980.
He then became a full-time Holiday World fan.
Reading comments posted about Frank on various Facebook pages these past few days, the same word is repeated over and over: kind.
Indeed, Frank was a kind man. He came to the shows and made the entertainers feel extra special when he would remember their names and chat with them after the shows.
He was everybody's grandpa.
For 30 years, Frank visited us nearly every day of the season. He took lots of photos of the shows, and was generous handing out copies of his favorite pictures of his park family.
Here's one they took of him, up on stage after a show...
Frank even came to auditions, and made sure everyone had a soft drink from his cooler. He and his friend Luther (who no doubt greeted Frank at the pearly gates last Thursday) often came to the park together. They used to ask to be issued Season Pass #1 and Season Pass #2 each season (long before we went to that new-fangled scanner system).
We'll let a former park entertainer named Josie finish this, with her sweet Facebook post: I remember how kind Frank was - he will live on in the wonderful memories I have of my summer at Holiday World.