Aug 3, 2018, 12:28:33 AM News


Thursday, July 31, 1958   Vol. C683



East Farewell – It was the worst possible breakdown that could have occurred. The most prestigious ride on the Fun Pier, the 150 foot tall Ferris wheel, got stuck in mid ride last Sunday. The disaster was compounded by the fact that it occurred during the height of the summer season with the Pier packed with patrons. The event happened at 7:30PM when wheel operator, Jason Reynolds, routinely started the wheel on an apparently normal ride. The wheel was not completely full, Reynolds estimated it to be about 60% full which is customary for the time and day. After he engaged the wheel it started and within 30 seconds he knew there was a problem. “I heard a grinding that was not right and then there was a bang and a screech and then it stopped. I saw some smoke coming from the power box so I immediately killed the circuit. That stopped the wheel dead. I ran to the box with a fire extinguisher and was able to open it. It was full of smoke but there was no fire I could see, I spray the extinguisher anyway and that cleared out the smoke. I saw the belts were all busted up and I knew I was going to need some help,” said Reynolds later.

            The Wheel was stuck with about 25 people on it, the very top basket was full of teenagers and several of the other baskets had families, children and one had an infant. Needless to say, the Police and Fire departments’ were called and arrived quickly. At first the Fun Pier was not closed down but the Ferris wheel was roped off. Once the scene was accessed the entire Pier was closed down much to the dismay of many people. The Fire Department has a latter extension truck but it only rises to 60 feet. The truck was pulled alongside the wheel and the lower baskets were able to be rescued. The baskets on the top half of the wheel, six baskets total, had people in three of them. System engineers were on site, Conner Farrell and Edwin Parnell began work on the power box almost immediately after the accident occurred. Two hours after the accident Farrell and Parnell were able to rig up a manual crank of sorts and with the help of the winch on the back of the ladder truck were able to slowing crank the wheel and almost miraculously move the wheel around slowly and bring the upper baskets down to earth. Thankfully, there were no injuries and only a few tears. All the riders were looked at by medics on the site and all were able to walk away. Perhaps a little shaken but all in one piece.

            “We have to give enormous credit to the Fire Department and the Police for all the work they did. And a great thanks to Collen and Edward for figuring out the manual assist. I would like to publically apologize to all our guests and try to assure them that this was a very, very, almost unheard of occurrence and we are very sorry for any inconvenience, fear or pain that may have occurred,” said Fun Pier owner, Hugh Lendel, grandson of Fun Pier builder Sid Lendel.

            The Ferris wheel was closed down, obviously but after the rest of the Fun Pier opened for business as usual on Tuesday at 12 noon. All rides had been inspected and all amusements, arcade games and the like had been reviewed and recertified by State officials. Lendel would not give a timetable out as to when he expects the Ferris wheel to be repaired. “It will be done as soon as possible, but we have to get the best manufacturers engineers here for analysis and repair of the wheel. Nothing but the best, no cost will be spared,” said Lendel in an interview on Monday morning.

Jason Reynolds looks up at the stuck wheel



East Farewell – The evening fell on East Farewell on Saturday and the lights came on in Travelers Park. Night games are showing up much more this season, especially in the mid –summer. Last year there were only three this year there will be six. Saturday’s was the first. It is a beautiful scene with the field washed in the light and the evening sky slowly yielding to the dark of night. The game was sold out long ago, before the Travelers slipped into their disheartening losing streak that they only recently have been able to pull themselves out of with a two game win streak. The Travelers wanted to build on that momentum and they accomplished that goal with flying colors on Saturday night. The Travelers were able to dominate the Youngstown Steelers, 10-2.

            The game started off well for the Travelers as pitcher, Joey Alfred, was able to retire the side, three up three down. The Traveler’s bats did not go to sleep after last week’s game, right from the start the Travelers took command. First up, Ralph Francis singled. Dale Dunham walked and Bobby Watson singled, loading the bases for slugger Johnny Cloos. It had been a long time since the Travelers were able to set up the perfect scenario, not since 1956 have the Travelers been able to put the first three runners on base and lead up to cleanup hitter, Johnny Cloos. Cloos lives for this situation and he rarely lets them pass without fireworks. He did not disappoint on Saturday. Cloos took Steelers pitcher, Bart Diamora, deep into the count and connected with a low fastball and sent it into the center field stands for his first grand slam of the year. The Travelers did not stop there. After Cloos, Tony Dimero squeaked a single by first base, Frankie Jones, and was able to steal second. Joey Brown sent him to third with a sacrifice and Arty Archibald brought him home with another single. The bleeding finally was stopped when Billy Sweet hit into a double play to end the inning.

            The first inning was explosive for the Travelers and the Steelers were unable to mount any sizable comeback. They were able to scatter two runs, one in the fifth and one in the eighth. On the other hand, the Travelers were able to add to the score with single runs in the 4th, 5th, 6th and seventh. The Travelers were able to finish with a season high 21 hits.

            The Travelers will continue their home stand next week as they host the Erie Eagles on Saturday afternoon. The game begins at 1:30 in the Travelers Park.



DJ’s return to work on radio station WINS – New York’s top-40 station (along with WMGM). According to an agreement, announcers will receive a guaranteed minimum income of $17,000 a year in commercials fees – $4,000more than the old contract.

At the movies –

Kings Go Forth – Frank Sinatra, Tony Curtis, Natalie Wood

The Key – William Holden, Sophia Loren, Trevor Howard

Marjorie Morningstar – Gene Kelly, Natalie Wood

Witness for the Prosecution – Tyrone Power, Marlene Dietrich, Charles Laughton

Indiscreet – Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman

The Bride – Brigitte Bardot

The Case of Dr. Laurent – Jean Gabin

King Creole – Elvis Presley, Carolyn Jones

The Vikings – Kirk Douglas

Many, many thanks to www.mrpopculture.com for contributing to this section of the East Farewell News.


Published by JD Carroll

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