What’s the greatest summer job you’ve ever had? Mine was working at Great Adventure from the ages of 17-21. Back in those days, the park was new and changing ownership every year.

How I got hired was a funny story. I had cut school with three of my friends, as I was one to do that back in those days. Our plan was to go to Great Adventure and apply for jobs. We figured they would show us the park free and we wouldn’t have to pay to get in.

When we arrived, my friends chickened out, but since I drove and was not about to spend the day sitting in the parking lot arguing about it, I went to the “personnel” tent myself.

I stuck my head in the door and a man asked “Can I help you?”
I said “I’m here about the job.”
“Are you the guy we called?"
“Yeah.”
Next thing I know I’m being processed, handed a uniform and walking right by my car which contained my three cowardly buddies!

Great Adventure in the '70s was like high school without the classes. Everyone was between the ages of 17-22 and loved to party. I started off working in “Operational Services” which meant I was given a crew of eight guys whose job it was to make sure the trash cans were empty. Business was really “picking up.” (sorry couldn’t resist)

Then I moved onto the “Rotor” where we loaded people into a barrel, spun them around and dropped the floor. Many people dropped their lunch! Then it was time to move into entertainment and I was a puppeteer in the puppet theatre which was an air conditioned piano where we put on puppet shows for 15 minutes out of every hour.

Finally, I ended up as the supervisor for the Aqua Spectacle. I was in charge of the sound on both the diving and dolphin shows. In between shows, I got to swim with the dolphins, who are a lot like dogs if you know what I mean.

Great Adventure, for me, was the perfect transition from school to the real world. Now when I go there with my family, I smile and remember something that happened oh so long ago, that I would never tell them about … especially my wife.

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