Jack Woker

I worked at Pleasure Island in the summers of 1962 and 1963. Being 16 at the time of hire, I was underage to work on any rides (you had to be 17!), so I was placed on the Grounds Crew the first year. There were several tasks involved, and each day our supervisors Bob Holt and Al Choate would assign one of us to an area of the park to pick up refuse, clean the heads, or some other menial task. It was at this time that I first developed my lifelong dislike for cotton candy, as it was messy and sticky, and very difficult to pick up! While this may seem to have been a rather unpleasant job, it enabled me to view the shows at the Show Bowl many times. I would actually request the Show Bowl detail so I could watch the shows. In addition to the performers named for 1962, I distinctly remember seeing the Three Stooges and Jerry Vale. I saw the Glenn Miller and Rick Nelson shows as many times as I could, and met Dion when somebody brought him to our locker room.

The second year I was old enough, and so I was assigned the Horseless Carriages ride. This was a much more prestigious job, and I worked weekends up until graduation from Wakefield High, at which time I left Pleasure Island for a more lucrative summer job elsewhere. On my last day there, I was taken off the Horseless Carriages and assigned to "boondoggling" - this meant cruising the outer fences to catch and prevent fence-jumpers. While I did not relish this rather thankless and undignified position, I took it seriously. While pursuing a group of teenagers who appeared headed for the fence, I carelessly ran across Pleasure Island Road without looking, and was hit by a car! This was my one and only ambulance ride (to this day), and I got a small settlement from Pleasure Island. Happily, I was not seriously hurt!


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