WWC: Guest Blogger

January 7, 2008

Please welcome my son, Josh, who has agreed to be my Guest Blogger for the Weekly Words Challenge. We’ve been toying with Photoshop and ACDSee to see what we could come up with for this week.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

This week’s words are Black and Strange
thanks to Tink over at Pickled Beef.


I’m one of those people who can get knee deep in something just by walking by it. Last night, I walked by the computer here and saw my mom fighting with good old Microsoft products trying to tweak on some pictures… I had one word: Photoshop. But by that time, she was already so frustrated in messing with what programs she had to work with, that we just decided to watch Transformers the Movie instead and try again another day.

So today after dinner, the time came for her to come here and enjoy what I call her ‘zen place’. I didn’t even know she blogged until three days ago, and I see over a year of blogging here. But we sat together for a moment while she thought about what to write. Something about a “Word Challenge” that she has every week here. Spying over her shoulder, I couldn’t gather much, so I started poking and prodding. What words? What’s the challenge? Then she explained that in a nutshell she uses her pictures to say her words. She said the words were “black” and “strange”, and I thought to myself “piece of cake”… Yeah, I was wrong but I took a crack at it anyways.

I think she’s mentioned that I work for a carnival before. I have always been attracted to the massive machinery, the flashing lights, the enormous crowds, and as you may already know, that MUSIC! Nothing else in the world is like this experience to me, to be out on the midway. So I thought, well maybe I have some pictures she could use, and off into my collections I went.

We dug through about 1500 pictures to settle on a few. What I came up with are some of my own images, along with a couple that were given to me by some friends I have in the business. This is my attempt at meeting the challenge, so go easy on me.

This is a Chance Yo-Yo amusement ride. The picture was taken a couple years ago in Crown Point, Indiana at the second largest county fair in the state. I stepped foot on my first carnival midway at this very spot, and it changed my life forever. The picture was taken at night, but there were lots of other lights around. It was a fluke that all I wound up with was a picture of the lights of the ride sticking out of the complete darkness as if suspended in mid-air.

yoyo-ghost.jpg

This is an Eli Bridge Co. Eagle 16 (Signature Series) Ferris Wheel. This picture was taken by a friend of mine from Evansville, Indiana. The ride was setup at the second largest street festival in the country next to Mardi Gras known as the West Side Nut Club’s Fall Festival. I used Photoshop to create some filter effects.

eagle-rev.jpg

This is a Hrubetz Paratrooper which has been in the family of the company I work with for over two generations now, and is still going strong. Here, I took a night picture of the ride and ‘Photochopped’ it into this strange optical illusion.

negative-trooperrev.jpg

This picture just struck me. How ironic can it really be that the stop light is red, and the ride is parked at the top in ‘suspense’. This action is usually a great thrill to the riders because the next thing to come is FULL SPEED from a dead stop while hanging upside down. This is a Larson Mfg. Ring of Fire.

rev.jpg

This video shows the STRANGEST thing I have ever laid eyes on. It was sent to me by a showman who is operating with his company in China. I have been told that this HUMAN POWERED FERRIS WHEEL really exists and is not some kind of ‘movie magic’. Are you brave enough?

I couldn’t help but add this last picture. I wanted to show just what I meant by largest street festival. You can just barely make out the carnival rides that are 11 city blocks away. This entire street is filled with food vendors. In the distance you will see the top of a 90 foot tall Chance Gondola Wheel and the Ring of Fire that was pictured above.

evv-11cityblocks.jpg

I hope you enjoyed this little tidbit from my world. Over the years that I’ve spent traveling the country with the amusement business I’ve seen many strange things. I just wish I had those pictures to share too. Like the black of night that settles across the midway when the generators shut down at the end of the day, now comes the close of my submission to my mom’s blog. Thanks for welcoming me here!

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17 Responses to “WWC: Guest Blogger”

  1. Hilary Says:

    Very cool photos. Thanks for sharing them Josh. And Gawilli, thanks for sharing Josh! 🙂

  2. Susan Says:

    Wow! Amazing work, I’m so impressed! I bet you’ve got some pretty interesting stories to tell of your travels.

  3. Jen Says:

    I absolutely enjoyed the photo’s. The 1st and the 2nd one’s were amazing. Thanks for letting your son share a few tidbits of his travels (I’m sure there are some stories to tell there!), Gawilli.

    I need to get back into WWC myself. . . .

  4. tod Says:

    Thanks for sharing your pics Josh. I’ve always been fascinated by rides too though I can’t go on them as much as I used to.

  5. debi Says:

    Any son of Gene is a friend of mine. Love the pictures Josh. Tried to pick a favorite but I can’t. You should pop in from time to time with more pictures and stories. Oh I bet you have some wonderful stories to tell. Are you keeping a journal? Hope to hear from you again. Thanks for sharing.

  6. dilling Says:

    Thank you….that ferris wheel is CRAZY.
    What adventures you must have…and now I want to go out and find some Fair/Carnival Food. Dangitall, anyway. Mmmmm. My favorite time of year as a kid was Lakefair…


  7. That first picture is so cool. It looks like alien ship preparing to land. I like the bizarre optical illusion pic, too. Totally cool with the red light and the stopped ride. Thanks for sharing all the pics with us and for your interesting commentary.

  8. coffeypot Says:

    Cool pictures, Josh. Maybe you should start you own blog. It would be interesting to hear from you and your experiences from all over the country.

    I hear Photoshop is very good, but complicated. Through Mary Taitt over at No Polar Coordinates – Mary Taitt I discovered Picasa2 by Google. It works well and is easy to use. And it’s free!

  9. g-man Says:

    Excellent showing, the added “lesson” was way cool. For basic processing, and sorting I use google’s Picasa desktop software.

  10. gawilli Says:

    Hilary – Glad you liked them! It was fun to do this post together.

    Susan – There are sure an amazing lot of stories Josh shares! I will try to convince him to post one more time before he leaves.

    Jen – He has quite an interesting collection of photos, and videos. He shared one from Evansville last evening that was put to music. Very cool.

    Tod – I can’t do it anymore either. In fact, I get a jumpy tummy even watching them.

    Love you too, Deb!

    Dilling – the food is the best at our fair. Corndogs, fried vegies, fresh curly fries…mmm.

    Songbird – I liked the ferris wheel picture before it was “chopped” as well as the after picture. Thanks for your kind words!

    Coffeypot – Josh has a website that he has been working on and adding to for the last few years, but it crashed recently. He has been spending some time here trying to reconstruct it. I’ll link to it when he gets it going again. As for Photoshop, I agree. It is quite a learning curve, but the things we have worked on have been amazing. We cleaned up unsightly blemishes from a picture for our church website and the end result is much better. I mean much, much better.

  11. gawilli Says:

    Thanks G-man! You are the second one to suggest Picasa. I’ll have to scope that out.

  12. daddy d Says:

    The poistive action is good to see. Good job Josh.

  13. the.squirrel Says:

    I just wanted to thank you all for your kind words and for welcoming me here with my post. I spent half the night writing my own reply here, and mistakenly hit something on my keyboard and blew out my entire reply so I’m going to take that as a hint to keep it short and sweet!

    I used to have a lot more things about myself and my times in the business hosted on my own website, but as my mom mentioned, it suffered a major crash and I’m still trying to pick up the pieces. Hopefully soon I will have everything straightened out, and I cordially invite you all to come look around someday!

    Thanks again for your compliments, and it was my pleasure to meet you all! Who knows – maybe someday we’ll just happen to be in your town!

  14. mjd Says:

    Welcome back to northwest Indiana, Josh. I am sorry that we have such bad weather to greet you. I hope that you have stayed dry at your mom’s house. I love your pictures, and the video is amazing.

  15. Tink Says:

    Welcome to the blogosphere Gawilli’s son! Great shots. I really love the first one and the last one. Although the stop light picture gave me a chuckle. Talk about good timing.


  16. Josh- you’re awesome. Just like your sista.

    That was great! I agree. Your words and your photos flow, it is time for a blog for you.

    Gawilli- you gotta try picasa.


  17. […] can send my way. Well, that and a much easier way of ripping my CD’s to MP3’s which my son has introduced me to. Anyway, I’ve been slowly working through the collections of songs, one […]


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