Hi Everybody! Sure hope you are enjoying this beautiful weather wherever you are ~ we have had beautiful weather since we arrived in Kent and we haven't looked back. Sure hope that summer is here for good now.
Another question: why do we hire so many people? Depending on the location and what the fair or festival is and the amount of rides and games we have at each spot is how we decide how many people we hire. For example at Ft. Lewis we did not hire any spot or green help. At Kent we hired only 6 people. Like I posted last time we hired over 60 people for Lakefair in Olympia. Will find out on Thursday how many we hire for this spot.
Thanks for questions, keep them coming ~ I love to hear from you all.
Our time in Olympia ~ went well though we did not get the hours that we have been getting. We were straight ticket sellers last week though Ron did help with set up and tear down. Tracy cut us loose one evening at 8:30 p.m., another evening at 6:00 p.m. and on Saturday we did not start till 5:00 p.m. Sunday, as usual, was our longest day. We did take advantage of having most of a day off by going to the fair and carnival to play. We asked Rob on Wednesday evening when we found out that we had off Saturday during the day if we could go on the rides. We are not allowed to go on the rides or play games on days we work. When Ron explained Tracy was giving us the day off he said no problem and to come see him on Saturday for some ride passes. So that is what we did. Saturday we got to the park about 10:20 and walked up the hill for the kids doing their go cart races. We watched quite a few of them. Some looked pretty cool whereas some of them were very plain. We then walked over to another park where they were setting up for a Kid's Day with lots of free activities. We then made our way back to the carnival and vendor areas. Rob was standing at the foot of the customer service trailer and told us to hang loose for a little while. We did and about 15 minutes later he brought us each out a ride pass for 10 rides. At $4.50 per ride for the big kids ride that was a special treat for us. We spent our time walking around and checking out the different vendors and food booths. All the food booths that were not Funtastic booths were non-profit organizations. Throughout the day we had roast beef sandwiches and curly fries. A special treat since we try hard not to eat the food at the carnival. There were about 30 vendors for the fair. We picked up a few freebies for the grands. I try to send a package every two or three weeks for them. Hope to get one ready this week to put in the mail on Friday.
We went on a few rides. Our first ride was the Scrambler. I like that ride but Ron felt a little queasy at the end. We then went through the Haunted Mansion, not scary at all just very dark. Next up was the Grand Wheel (96 ft high ferris wheel). We actually went on the ride twice, first facing one direction towards the Capital and Kiddy Land and then the other direction facing the big kid rides and the water. We also went on the Simbad twice. The first time I kept my eyes closed I was so scared and held onto Ron's hand for dear life. That ride goes 60 ft up in the air. The second time I kept my eyes open and what a view you have of the area. Our last ride was the Starship 2000 which actually did Ron in. It is kinda like the Roundup though totally enclosed. As soon as we got off the ride Ron walked over to the fence behind the ride and leaned over. He says he actually never got sick but I don't know. I do know he was done with the rides from that point on. We still have 7 ride passes left. I hope to use them when we are in Eugene, OR. We also spent an hour or so listening to a country-western band. All in all we had a terrific Saturday and I even got a slight sun burn. It wasn't too bad as it is turning into a tan.
Sunday was the looonnnnng day for Ron. We started at 11:40 a.m. and finished selling tickets at 11:15 p.m. Ron then switched into his tear down clothes and walked me to Albert's car. He let me use it to go home since the bone yard was in Lacey and the fair was in Olympia ~ about a 15 minute drive. Ron's first job for tear down is to put all the computer monitors back into the show office. After that he worked on the Tornado with Albert, then Sinbad with Ruben and Kollin and then helped Rudy finish up the Lolli Swings. The guys got back to the bone yard about 6:30 a.m. After taking a shower, Ron crawled into bed and slept till 11:00 a.m. I had gotten up at 9:00 a.m. and went and did laundry and made a stop at Cash & Carry to pick up some groceries. After I got back to the bone yard, people were starting to stir and starting to tear down the bone yard for the next jump. On a negative note, we had a Blue Unit ride jock quit at the end of his shift Sunday night. Not sure what or why he left but many of the guys were upset that he didn't even stick around to help with tear down. Even though we hired spot help, having regulars to coordinate the tear down is a big plus and does help to make things go smoother. Don't know if they are going to try to find someone else to travel with us for that position.
The Red Unit is going to Enumclaw this week and the White and Blue (our unit) headed to Portland. Just as Ron and I were getting ready to pull out of the bone yard Kenny came up to me and said I needed to drive a show van to Portland. We had two vans to move and only one driver. Ron was not too happy about that as we had planned to stop at Costco and Winco to get groceries. I had only one passenger in the van. Rudy, a ride jock, who runs the Lolli Swings was my passenger. I asked him if he minded if we stopped at Winco on our way to the Portland shop ~ he said no, he would pick up some groceries while there too. Ron led the way in the motor home and I followed him. We stopped at the rest area just outside of Vancouver, WA to dump our tanks. What we found was a motor home being hooked up to a big tow truck in the dump station line. There was also a small tow truck to tow the boat that the motor home had been towing. Fortunately they were at the first dump station so Ron pulled in front of them and backed into the dump site. I just pulled the van in front of Ron. While Ron was dumping the tanks I got on Maggie (our Magellan GPS) to get directions to Winco. Once done at the rest area we got back on the road and went to Winco before heading to the Portland Shop. We arrived at about 6:15 p.m.
We saw one bad accident while on the road. A large motor home pulling a Volkswagon Bug had rolled over into the side ditch along the freeway. They had already pulled the VW out of the ditch and the big tow truck was checking things out to see how to get the motor home out of the ditch. It appeared there was a lot of damage to both vehicles. We did not see any aid cars or police there so just hoped that the people inside the motor home were not hurt. Definitely not a good thing to see on the road.
We got ourselves settled and hooked up to power in the bone yard and then visited with a few people before calling it a night. Ron talked to Kenny and was told there was a 7:00 a.m. call this morning. All the ride guys were on garbage clean up. Behind the Portland Shop the Burbacks own some acreage that had been taken over by a large group of homeless people and it was filled with lots of garbage. The police came around last week and again yesterday and today to tell them they had to leave the property this morning. There were a couple of stragglers that wanted to hassle the guys but the police got them to finally leave. The guys worked till 3:45 this afternoon with an hour off for lunch and will go back tomorrow morning and continue to do clean up in the area. Guess the Burback's and the owners of Curtis RV (the other owners of the area behind the shop) are trying to figure out how to block the area to keep the homeless from camping out there again. The guys found lots of nasty things including needles filled with drugs, bags of white powder, knives, hammers and other things. The drugs/bags of powder were turned over to the local police department. The guys are not looking forward to going back to do more clean up tomorrow but they are all glad for the hours this week.
We are doing a two day Hispanic Festival at the Portland Waterfront on Saturday and Sunday. We set up Thursday and Friday. Not sure how many games/rides will be put up. All I know is that I work Thursday, Saturday and Sunday & Ron works every day this week. Once again we will tear down on Sunday night and jump on Monday. We go to Hillsboro, OR for the Washington County Fair. The fair runs Friday to Sunday. Not sure if they will set up on Tuesday/Wednesday or Wednesday/Thursday next week.
Next Tuesday Ron turns 55 and we are having a birthday party for him in the bone yard. I plan on stopping at Costco on Monday on our way to Hillsboro to pick up a birthday cake.
Praise & Prayer Requests ~~~~
Thanksgiving that we had a good week in Olympia. We did have two ride guys get hurt, one broke his hand and another tore the muscle in his shoulder. Glad that the injuries were not more serious and both should heal completely.
Celebrating that Theresa and Rick were able to join us for a few hours each day in Olympia. Theresa's next step is to begin chemo but the doctors are having her wait a couple of weeks to build up her strength. Please continue to keep them in your prayers as they travel this uncertain journey.
Thankful we had another jump without motor home problems.
Enjoyed conversations with Jamie, Brandon and Danalyn. Also heard from Opal and Christopher over the phone - they both told me "I love you Grammy"....sweet music to this Grammy's ears. Max was in the shower so didn't have a chance to talk with him. Hopefully next time.
Please continue to keep us in your prayers for safety for us as we work especially on Sunday/Monday when we can work 20+ hours straight.
Thanks for your prayers, phone calls, emails and blog comments. We always like to hear how things are going at home and with all our friends and family.
Well that's all I know for now. I hope to get pictures downloaded to the computer tomorrow. If I do I will post some on the blog.
Hope you enjoyed reading this update on our time working, traveling and living with the carnival.