The sunshine yellow has dulled over, the once vivid purple has faded into a pale dead lavender waiting to be discarded forever like a bad romance. But now there is hope. The recently discovered lead car of the Comet had gone all but unoticed for over 50 years until its recent discoverory in the railroad museum of St Louis in Dec 2016. Funds are currently being raised to restore this classic train back to its original glory.
While researching FPH, there were several items I was hoping to find, but didn't know if they existed. A construction shot of the Flying Turns, a fire destroying said Flying Turns, and once I had heard the lead car to the Comet was out there, I just knew I'd come across it eventually. Thanks to the curator of the St. Louis Carousel, Lori Ritchie. Here it is, hopefully up for restoration soon.
Thanks so much Lori!!!!!
The guy in the photo above is William Sea. I first heard from him through my original web site. He emailed me telling of his collection of FPH "stuff" he had. He also remembered crying while listening to the news reports about the fire at the Highlands on the radio. Bill even came out to see my presentation in Dogtown about FPH. When I first saw/met him, he reminded me of Elvis in his later years. Unfortunately Bill got Bladder cancer and lost his battle a few years ago. The day I signed the contract for my book, I saw a packet of souveniers, photos from FPH on eBay. They were out of Portland, Oregon. I put in a bid and won. I recieved the FPH items soon after. Imagine my surprise when I saw MY handwriting on some of the items. Wouldn't you know it, they had belonged to my old friend Bill. When he passed on, his friends put that stuff on eBay. I saw it, had noooo clue, as usual, and bought it. Even the red pennent I gave him a few years earlier was in there! I figured it was apporpiate to have that story and his picture in this section. A sort of "final hello and goodbye again".
Dreams really do come true, they do, they do. Who knew a smaller amusement park in Elysburg, Pennsylvania would be responsible for two of mine. Not only are Knoebels' building a wood version of the Flying Turns due to open in 2010, the designer of the Knoebels' Turns, tells me after the fire at the Highlands, some of the rides were sold to other parks.
Freedomland in New York had bought the Aero Jets. That park soon folded, so Knoebels' bought it. Much to my delight, the very same jets I had been staring at, at Knoebels' Grove, were the very same ones I used to ride as an 8 year old a few short years earlier ..well maybe 50 years earlier, at Forest Park Highlands.
This is a dragons' head that used to be on the Pagoda band shell at Forest Park Highlands. It is now on display at the St. Louis History Museum.
Who knew that the  friends I would have 50 years after leaving St. Louis would be former employees of Forest Park Highlands! Here's me & three of them. ...
Goodnight, sweet dreams dear friend. ---------------------- photo by Conrad Berry
Photos added 6-21-13: A bit of film noir, courtesy of Sally Sharamitaro.
Aren't these great shots!