Where did the time go?

AT: Gary Slade

Gary Slade

With this issue, Amusement Today begins its 25th year of publishing news to the amusement industry. It seems like yesterday when the first staff was pulled together to produce the inaugural 24 page issue.

The journey has been challenging but it has also been fun as well as rewarding.

While many new relationships have been made in this 25-year journey, there were those who strongly lobbied for the launch of AT.

Although some are no longer with us, I can’t thank enough Bruce Neal, Six Flags Over Texas; Sherrie Brammall, Schlitterbahn Waterparks and Paul Roads, Wonderland Park for their encouragement to launch AT. From the supplier side, Jerry Pendleton, Hopkins; Denise Dinn, Custom Coasters; Dana Morgan, Morgan Worldwide; Carey Don Risinger, Lemon Chill; and Mel Eddy of Zierer all became regular monthly advertisers that gave us that much needed first year ad dollar base, for which we are thankful.

Nick Laskaris, owner of then-Big Chief in Wisconsin Dells, became our first paid subscriber. Larry Cochran, head man at Six Flags give us our single largest subscription of more than 70 copies going to the corporate staff and its board of directors.

I can’t thank enough all of the dedicated staff, both past and present, that has helped build AT into the leading newspaper journal it is today. One dear friend must also be recognized, H.V. O’Brien, publisher of Eastland County Today newspapers turned me loose as a young lad in the news and sports room to let me learn  first hand about writing story leads and how to cut stories from the bottom to fit the available space. I pray that one day H.V. gets his proper recognition by the Texas Press Association — he is a true legend for home town weeklies.

This special Bonus Issue takes a look back by remembering some special covers, and regular features found in AT. We hope you enjoy it as we say ‘Thank You’ to all for your continued support of Amusement Today!

This article appears in the  APRIL 2021 issue of Amusement Today.
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