Midway Talk From September 2014 Issue
Billy Clark of
Smokey Mountain Amusements (Robbinsville, N.C.) reported an outstanding year
for the Fourth of July Celebration (June 26-July 5), held annually in Faith,
N.C. Clark added that he has signed a
five-year extension with the Faith Fourth of July Celebration. Also, during the week-long event, MGM Studios
filmed parade scenes for the motion picture Max,
scheduled for release on Jan. 30, 2015.
The movie is about a dog that helped soldiers in Afghanistan, returns to
the U.S. and is adopted by his handler's family, after suffering a traumatic
Powers of Powers Great American Midways (Burgaw, N.C.) has taken delivery of a
Majestic Fly-o-Plane, complete with background artwork. According to Powers, grosses have been up at
PGAM's dates. The carnival is also
looking forward to the arrival of a KMG Inversion.
Walter F. Larson,
original manufacturer of the Super Loops ride, died on July 18, 2014. Larson, born Sept. 26, 1930, worked as a
charter pilot and held special fond memories of the medical charter flights he
flew. Later, he opened a Ferguson
tractor dealership which became known as Larson-Turner Massey-Ferguson located
in Plainview. After selling the dealership, Larson ventured into manufacturing
high clearance tractors. He possessed a
unique and uncanny ability to take what was good and make it awesome. These
tractors were customized for a number of unique applications which included
being used on tomato plantations, harvesting grapes and corn de-tasseling. He
also manufactured Versa-trac highway sweepers.
In the early 1970s, he began manufacturing amusement rides and is best
known for the Super Loops carnival ride, known today as The Ring of Fire. Featured in the movie "Big," Super Loops
was the ride Tom Hanks was not big enough to ride. He retired in 2007. Larson is survived by his wife (Sharon) of
more than 64 years.
Richard (Dick) Dykes died July17,2014 in a
hospital in Dover, Del. Dick was
recently known for his blog on the internet as The Balloon Man, reporting on
circus and carnival news. He was born
in Salisbury, Md., on May 13,1943, along with his twin brother Bill, who
preceded him in death on April 27, 1995.
The Dykes brothers were inseparable until Bill passed away.
started their show business career early in life with kiddie rides and a
petting zoo at malls and shopping centers.
They had a successful grocery store and restaurant in Salisbury, but the
call of the road was stronger. Soon they
were ride and backend show owners with World of Mirth Shows. In the interim, they promoted wrestling and
Lippizan Stallion shows. They owned
Dykes & Whorton Circus and operated novelty stands.
Dykes was associated with Hoxie Bros. Circus, Great American Circus, Cole Shows
operated by Billy Martin, and Robert Bros. Circus. They also operated concessions on Taylor
& Sons Shows, B and B, S & S Shows and many others.
After his brother passed
away, Dick settled in Dover, Del., and managed a business for Little Richard at
his mobile home park. Ill health caused
him to retire several years ago and he continued to live in Dover.
After cremation, Dick was buried
next to his brother in Salisbury, Md.
Mary Vakulskas, mother of Tom, Janet,Maria and
Father John Vakulskas died July 20, 2014, in Sioux City, Iowa. Father John is known around the country's midways.
Specialty Insurance Group (SIG) has
been launched by three specialty and risk insurance veterans. Greg Mosher, David Harris and Lowery Robinson
form a highly experienced group of insurance professionals with the ability to
provide unique custom programs for the ever-changing needs of the dynamic markets
of entertainment, sports and leisure.
The SIG team brings an exceptional
blend of experience with an extensive product portfolio to the challenging
environment of sports, leisure and entertainment.
Specialty Insurance Group (SIG) is an
Indianapolis-based company operating within the specialty insurance
industry. Focused on the development of
and creative programs that fit the business models of their partners, SIG
a multitude of programs within the sports, leisure and entertainment markets.
Oren Neck, the "Or" in Ormic
Concessions and husband to wife Mickey ("mic"), passed away a few
months back. A retired federal government employee, Oren commenced
a new career, almost two decades ago, as an independent food concessionaire
based out of Brownsville, which is at the southern tip of Texas, bordering
Mexico. The company, whose featured food offering are jumbo, barbecued turkey
legs, book with such organizations as 20th Century Independent Midways (Leonard
Martin/Corpus Christi, Texas) and the Mighty Thomas Carnival (John Hanschen/Austin, Texas).