20 years ago yesterday I started my first job.
I was a Goodwill Ambassador at Fiesta Texas. I made $4.25 an hour. At the end of my first day, some kid threw up right in front of me at the entrance to The Wipeout, and I had to watch as a coworker whom I just met cleaned it up.
Despite that, I loved working there.
I think everyone dreams of working at a theme park at some point in their young lives. I was a cast member, not an employee. I served guests, not customers. I literally worked in “the town built just for fun”. What could be better than that???
Over the next 12 or so years I worked my way up, season after season, learning lesson after lesson. It’s amazing what a first job will do for you if you let it; I still use a lot of what I learned from my time at Fiesta Texas!
Mostly though, those were the good old days.
There is a bond among people who worked together at a theme park. It’s special. You know it, and everyone that worked there knows it.
I made great friends, many of whom I am still close with despite the pressure that time and physical distance can put on relationships. We shared the best of times, and we endured some incredibly tough times.
The stories we could tell about our days within those canyon walls could fill a thousand blog posts, and the tales we tell about those days get taller and taller with every passing year.
Friendships and memories like that just last, period.