"Oh no … " chirped Liz. "They only say 'blimey' in Mary Poppins!"
They did, however, greatly add to my laudatory lexicon.
Here are just a few words of British praise:
Our Discovery Channel's "Building the Biggest Coaster" crew is international.
Meet Liz and David, both British.
Liz is this episode's associate producer. Born and raised in London. Doesn't drive a car. Eats porridge for breakfast. Cute as a button.
They all signed my hard hat (excuse me … construction hat) while we said good-bye in the parking lot (pardon me … car park).
Here's what Liz wrote: Darling Paula You have made our filming trip simply sublime. You are indeed brilliant. Liz xx
Then there's David, the director. David was serious, focused, and fun all at the same time. Polite, too. Didn't start rearranging a room or office without asking first. And always tidied up afterwards.
When nearly a dozen members of the Koch family gathered for a group interview, David started off with a question for Logan, one of Will's nephews.
Logan (I believe he's 11) is never at a loss for words.
Until David's question.
After a long pause, Logan piped up, "I could not understand a single word you just said!"
David laughed, "Would it help if I spoke more slowly?"
"No, I don't think so."
Here's what David wrote on my construction hat: Dear Paula Thanks for being simply splendid. Lots of love, David x
One of my favorite moments from our week with the crew was when we were chatting about Chad from The Gravity Group.
"Would you happen to know," queried Liz, "is that short for Chaddington or Chadwick?"
Poor Chad will never live that down. He is forever Lord Chadwick.
The crew wanted a shot of Chad walking on the track of the under-construction Voyage. Since Chad's walk was to be a long one, David communicated by two-way.
Chad's two-way was hidden inside his jacket. He said it was surreal hearing a British voice coming out of his chest.
Listen to your heart, Chadwick…
Then there's Alastair, the Scottish "sound recordist."
He's the fellow wearing headphones and carrying a big stick (with a big, furry coccoon-shaped gizmo at the far end).
Scotty was my favorite character on the original (and only, as far as I'm concerned) Star Trek series, so Alastair's brogue was music to my ears.
He was forever looking for whatever might be humming or buzzing in the background.
Meanwhile, the program will air* next April or May in the States.
It'll debut in Britain in late January. At our directors' meeting on Monday, I suggested a staff trip to London to attend the premiere.
Will has yet to declare that a splendid idea.
But I'm sure, deep inside, he thinks it's just brilliant.
[Note added in 2012: Unfortunately, this episode never aired in the States. It was shown all over the world (Britain, New Zealand, Canada, Russia, Australia …), but inexplicably, not here. It's taken six years, but we finally discovered a free-to-stream version of "Building the Biggest Coaster" online. Enjoy!]
Even walking by the Virginia Reel was a challenge to some.
Turning and spinning wildly.
The air full of the sweet scent of funnel cakes.
(Whose wicked idea was that? Putting a tilt-a-whirl right next to a funnel cake stand?)
Interested in the ride’s history?
It was manufactured by Sellner Manufacturing Co., Inc., in Faribault, Minnesota.
The ride was originally sold to G.E. Dickson of Paducah, Kentucky, on June 7, 1957.
In 1960, was sold to F.C. Shafer of Evansville, Indiana, who operated it at Mesker Park (which closed in 1975).
In 1976, it was sold to Holiday World and named, incredibly, Tilt-A-Whirl,
When Santa Claus Land became Holiday World, the ride’s name was changed to the Virginia Reel, as it was in the 4th of July section.
And now, it’s moving on (I don’t know where, though…) in order to make room for the walkway for the new Thanksgiving section.
By the way, the original plan was to add a new tilt-a-whirl for next season. But when we had our Frank Capra moment a few weeks ago, that was one of the items (probably the only one that a park Guest would notice) that slid over to the “Maybe Next Year” column.
Speaking of Mr. Capra, isn’t it interesting that one of his most popular films, It’s A Wonderful Life, was released in 1946?
That was the same year Louis J. Koch opened Santa Claus Land.