My very first
"official" job (not counting the weekly Suburbia newspaper delivery I hated) was
working at a gift shop at Wyandot Lake, a
local water amusement park. I was 14 and it was a summer job and I probably
earned about $3/hour.
The gift shop sold every horrible tchotchke like a
stuffed bear in a bucket to porcelain dolphins made in China.
also remember they sold cigarettes for about $6/pack, which back then was really
expensive. But moms and dads slopping their cranky, wet children around would
always wander in and pay (and be cranky with us about the expense).
store also had a hot press that would print letters on t-shirts and hats. My
favorite t-shirt to make (which is all we ever did in our spare time) was "Punx
Not Dead"...I was a budding wannabe punk after all...(more stories on that to
One day there was a staff shortage in kiddy amusements and they
pulled me, the 14 year old promising punk, out of the store to run the kid's
ferris wheel. The ride had 6 carriages and I was given about 30 seconds of
instructions that included this:
This is how you start it
This is how you stop
AND MOST IMPORTANTLY – you must keep
the Ferris wheel balanced….
That meant if you had 3
kids to ride it, you had to put them in every other carriage…. But what happened
if you had an odd number…? What if I only have 1 rider? God forbid, What happens
if it's not balanced…?
But the 16 year old who
showed me how to use it was already too far away to hear
Luckily, I never had to find out
what happens to the kiddy ferris wheel if it's not balanced and to be honest, I
gave a good handful of kids the ride of their lives!
But my advice: next time you're on a
ferris wheel, make sure it's an even number.