April 2015 Midway Talk
Former Showmen’s League of America President, James H. Drew III, has become an ambassador for Wings Watch Company. The watch company chooses outstanding people in their fields from the United States and around the world to represent it.
In making his presentation, Frank Christian, president of Wings Watch and former photographical historian of Augusta National Golf Club, said: “We are very honored to have Mr. Drew as a Wings Watch ambassador. Mr. Drew, known throughout the U.S. for his specialty in show business, is also known locally as an outstanding pilot with ratings in both multi-engines and instrument.”
Wings Watch Company is distinctive in that a pilot’s ratings are displayed as a red chevron on the black metal band and the pilot’s wings are engraved on its fastening latch. Drew, a former two-term member of the Augusta Aviation Commission, has been active in aviation circles since 1963.
Recently, Bill Bullis passed away. His early days in the midway industry were spent on Klein Amusements and, later, Serie Fun Shows, each a midwestern carnival. With Serie, he was a Manager for a decade.
Next, Bill established himself, with wife Terry in tow, as an independent ride owner. His arsenal included Wisdom's Gravitron and Castle, respectively, a pair of Hampton kiddies plus an Eli Mini-Ferris Wheel. His headline attraction was a 1970s-manufactured Mack Himalaya that he secured from Arnold Amusements in 1990. Bill altered the piece to operate it sans the canvas roof.
In 2001, Bill purchased Arbroo Shows in the northeast and operated it for several seasons. He later sold out with Pat Guthrie of Georgia's Gold Medal Shows acquiring the "Himi", refurbishing it and placing the "music ride" for sale.
Besides Terry, daughter Jennifer and son Troy survive Bill -- Dan Zapata, Contributor.
The IAFE Management Conference will be held April 30-May 3, at the Millennium Hotel in Buffalo, New York. Designed for upper level management staff, this program is only open to fair members. This conference always features cutting edge programming, but this year's is thought to be exceptional.
Keynote speaker Dan Quiggle's acclaimed session on "Lead Like Reagan" will kick things off. Breakout workshop sessions and panel discussions will cover everything from marketing to programming to operations (final details announced soon). Highlights will include a chance to experience the brand new, state-of-the-art Agriculture Discovery Center at the Erie County Fairgrounds in Hamburg, New York, as well as an exciting evening featuring a daylight and illuminated night view of the Niagara Falls.
The OABA's 50th Annual Member Meeting, held last month in Tampa, Florida, in conjunction with the IISA trade show and Fare Foods trade show, plus NICA events, with over 400 members attending, witnessed many changes in the leadership of this trade association.
Chairman Chris Lopez turned the gavel over to Michael Wood, as the 2015 Chair, with Officers Tom Gaylin, E. J. Dean moving into the First and Second Vice Chairs, respectively. Jay Strates, formerly a seven year Director, was elected by the board to become Third Vice Chair. Larry Yaffe was re-elected as Treasurer and the following Directors were elected by the members attending this meeting: Charlene Leavitt and Doug Burtch. The following Alternate Directors were elected: Patrick Sheridan, Scott Siefker and Steve Turner.
Trustee Bill Johnson, having served on the Board for the the past 15 years, steps down as an Officer, however we know he will always be a great OABA supporter.
The OABA's Hall of Fame recipients included Jean Clair, with Luehrs' Ideal Rides and Clair's Classic Foods, an OABA Trustee in 1996, who broke into the then-male dominated board to chair the OABA that year, after serving as a director.
Congratulations to both OABA's Pioneer and Hall of Fame class of 2015!
The Maryland State Fair & Agricultural Society, Inc., in a proactive safety measure for its employees and Maryland State Fairgrounds visitors, has expanded its safety program to include more Automated External Defibrillators (AED).
According to a recent Occupational Health & Safety Magazine article, “Having an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) nearby when Sudden Cardiac Arrest strikes increases the survival rate by nearly 70 percent.”
The portable medical devices, that offer voice prompts with step-by-step instructions, are located in the Cow Palace, 4-H/Home Arts Building, Exhibition Hall, Farm & Garden Building, Administration Office and Maintenance Shop.
“The purchase, placement and installation of the devices has been overseen by our Maryland State Fair Safety Director Bill Connolly,” said Maryland State Fair General Manager D. Andrew “Andy” Cashman. “Hundreds of thousands of people visit our fairgrounds each year. We think it is important to have these life-saving devices available in the event of an emergency.”