As a college student, studying dramatic arts from the technical perspective, my dream was to work as a lighting designer. I loved working backstage or running follow spot for the school productions. The summer of 1976 a new theme park, Marriott’s Great America, opened in Santa Clara. Some of my friends from school got jobs there, and when more jobs opened up during the summer, I interviewed and got a job running follow spot in Bugs Bunny’s Bourbon Street Follies. It was the most amazing thing to be getting paid for something that I loved doing so much!
I miss the intense experiences I had working at my first job.
I worked at Great America for 4 seasons. The experiences I had there, and the friends who came with them, are some of my fondest memories, and the part of my young life that I miss the most. When I think rationally, there were certainly bad times during those 4 years, but those are overwritten by the positive. I’ve been lucky enough to reconnect with many of the people from those days through Facebook. To a person, they all have the same intense feelings for those days. We were a close family, with loads of talent. Many have gone on to successful performing and technical careers. I ended up becoming a stage hand professionally for part of my diverse career. I am fortunate to have found so many of the people I lost back in the late 70’s. As a group, we’re all fortunate for the early experiences we had working together. We all miss those days, and do our best to get together periodically to rekindle the flame.