I've been working at the Boardwalk since I was about 7 years old. That’s me, Ted Whiting III, standing on the far right behind my little brother Peter. We're in front of my family’s first Boardwalk concession, the "Bright Spot." The elder gentleman in the photo is my great-grandfather "Pop" Knowles. That makes me the fourth generation of my family to serve up fun foods at the ‘walk.
In addition to my family's business, I have also worked for the Santa Cruz Seaside Company in various capacities for nearly 40 years. Altogether, I’ve been "walkin’ the ‘walk" for over 60 years.
I have lots of Boardwalk memories to share, I hope you do too.
Remember the Wild Mouse and Flying Cages rides, and, of course, your first ride on the Giant Dipper? How about Target Skill, Fascination and Quick Draw McGraw or your favorite skill games from the past?
What was your favorite fun food – hot turnover pies, fresh vanilla custard ice cream, corn dogs, Marini’s Salt Water Taffy, Ruth’s hamburgers? Ever take a Speed Boat Ride? Remember playing pinball games in the Sportland Arcade? For a nickel, I could get more replays than I had time to use on the Gypsie Queen and Hayburner machines. Ah, the sounds the points made when I racked them up!
Ever swim in the Plunge? Remember snuggling against and under those water spouts as the 80 degree incoming water warmed you up after changing in those dank and dreary dressing rooms? Were you ever here when the Sun Tan Special arrived and the Boardwalk band on the Cocoanut Grove’s steel stairs heralded the train’s appearance? How about inner tubing in the river or pulling yourself along the anchor ropes to the two swimming rafts that floated just beyond the breakers? There’s lots more to recall!
Maybe there's a question I can answer - or find someone who can - or a family photo I can help place and date, or we can do it together. Send it in!
I look forward to reminiscing with you about Boardwalk fun and lifetime memories. In the weeks and months ahead I'll be posting Boadwalk stories and little-known facts that I know you'll enjoy. Please feel free to ask questions, suggest new topics, and share your own Boardwalk memories in the comments section below each story.
‘Till next time!
Ted and his siblings behind the counter of Bay Brews at the Boardwalk during Whiting's Family Day 2018. March 30, 2018