Sometimes I get nostalgic when I talk about the Great Adventure contest we're running on New Jersey 101.5 where you can win free passes to ride the "Jersey Devil" coaster.

You see before I started working in radio, I spent 5 years at Great Adventure when it first opened. Here's what it looked like in 1974.

I came in the following year when my high school friends, including Glenn Stuart from the B-Street band, decided to cut school and apply for jobs figuring they'd let us in for free if we did so.

I was the one who actually went in and applied.

My first job at Great Adventure was the "lead" of what they called Operational Services. That meant I had to supervise eight guys who made sure the garbage cans were emptied. I was in charge of the Western Area where the Great Arena was.

We threw the bags in dumpsters and then pushed them into a compactor behind the Ginger Bread Castle. I also got to drive the chicken into the park where I escorted him while he greeted the fans.


My next job was also a "lead" on a ride called The Rotor. It was a giant washing machine that spun around pinning you to the wall then I'd hit a button and the floor would drop out from under you.

Sometimes people would puke all over their shirts.

After that, it was onto the Puppet Theatre, where Sandi David and I would stay in a giant air-conditioned piano and put on 15-minute puppet shows once an hour.

Here we are with our supervisor Mark.

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Finally, it was onto the Aqua Spectacle where I was the supervisor for the diving and dolphin shows. In between shows we got to swim with the dolphins. Here I am playing chess with one of them (and losing in the "fools mate").


Much later when I left, a young Dan Zarrow came aboard.

From Dan Zarrow:

"Here's a certain Chief Meteorologist working as Rolling Thunder lead in 2002. Spent 5 summers at the park, mainly in Rides. I operated Rotor (then known as Taz Twister) too!"

attachment-GA Zarrow

Dan continues to write about Great Adventure to this day.

What I loved most about working at Great Adventure were all the friends I made and keep to this day. It was like getting another chance at high school. Imagine a couple of thousand people mostly between the ages of 17 and 22 working together in a giant amusement park.

Let the party begin! And it did.

Here are some more shots of early Great Adventure; enjoy!

attachment-ga raggedy anne and andy
attachment-ga the wizard
attachment-ga ride

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise. Any opinions expressed are Steve's own. Steve Trevelise is on New Jersey 101.5 Monday-Thursday from 7pm-11pm. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.

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