Sunday, July 29, 2007

Ted Whitten's Story

Hi Scott

Do you have any pictures of the Haunted House ride (the one that
burned down in the early 80's)? That used to be my favorite.

I'd also love to have any pictures of Whalom Park from the summer of
1985, which was the year I worked there. I was only 16 years old,
and wasn't allowed to operate most of the good rides, but I worked
some of the Kiddie Land rides, and the Giant Slide, and did a lot of
general grounds work, like trash duty.

Sadly, I got myself fired, while working at the Giant Slide. It was
my responsibility to stand at the bottom and make sure kids didn't
run back up the stairs for a second go, after landing at the bottom.
A certain rascal of a kid kept ignoring my shouts, and running back
up again and again. After about the fifth time, out of frustration
and anger, I defiantly raised my arm with a certain rude finger
gesture (for purely my own satisfaction, mind you .. as his back was
turned to me and already running back up the stairs). It turned out,
his father was standing by watching, and reported me, so I was
summoned to the office soon after and fired. Ohhhh the shame of it
all! Of course, I understood it was wrong, and they were justified
in firing me .. it wasn't appropriate behavior for a park employee ..
but I was young and stupid. I sincerely regretted losing that job,
as that was one of the most fun and memorable summers of my life,
working there.

I made a good friend who I'm still in touch with (Heather Bulger, who
operated various rides from 1984-1985), met one of the long-term
loves of my life (Tracey Harmon, who worked at the front entrance
gates, taking tickets), attended some after-work 'Whalom Employee
Parties', broke the rules a few times and operated the 'grown up
rides' when people had to go to the bathroom bad enough to 'risk it'
by letting me take over, and basically... had a whale of a time!


Ted Whitten

"The Illustrated Pro-Yo Trick Bible"

"Let's Trade", CD-R Bootleg Trading


Betty R., Fitchburg said...

Even at sixteen you should have known better. I'm surprised at you, Ted. That's horrible. I'm glad, however, that you see how wrong it was.

Let us hope and pray that any teenage employees of the New Whalom Park would not fall to such ill-advised behavior.

By the way, the pictures are just lovely.

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