Interview with Ron – It’s About Time!

Hi Everybody ~  thought while waiting for the DirectTV guy to show up I would interview Ron for the blog.  So here goes:

1.  What surprised you most about carnival life? The worker’s teeth.  So many people were in much need of dental care.  carnival work? How the rides go together.

2.  Describe the strangest-looking fair visitor you saw. It would have to be the transvestite couple at the Puyallup Fair in September.  One was 6′ tall and dressed like a biker chic and the other was about the same height but had hotpants with spiky high heels.
3.  What was the most creative way used to tell riders the rules during a ride (we saw some funny ones in Lynden)?  Didn’t see anything really creative just explained the rules for that specific ride..
4.  Do you have any stories of ways you or other workers helped someone in need?  We were able to buy someone their heart medication one month. We helped reunite a lost little girl with her mommy and daddy in Hillsboro ~ she was at the ticket booth and didn’t know where they had gone.  When running the Fire Brigade I would hold up the ride so parents could take pictures of their little one on the ride.  The Fire Brigade is one of the first rides little tykes can ride due to height restrictions.  I felt my job was to provide a good experience at the carnival.  I wanted the kids and families to have good memories of their time at the carnival.  We also would invite other workers over for dinner especially the day or two before pay day.
5.  Did you get complaints &/or compliments or were they mostly directed to customer service? I got complaints about some of the ride operators being rude.  Had one lady come up to us and tell us the guy running a ride was really good with kids and we should get him again next year but the guy running the ride next him was not worth a hoot.  Too many of the people they hire for spot help don’t understand “leave your cell phone in your pocket” means.  Typical complaint with the cost and amount of tickets for each ride or the operator took too many tickets off the card.  I could handle those complaints by giving our ride passes (this is in Puyallup).  A lot of people thought they should get a discount for being in the military.  

When we were at Ft. Lewis, (as ticket sellers) one lady was upset we did not give military discounts.  I told her they should be happy they get a regular paycheck every pay day no matter how much or how little they work.  She thought I had a bad attitude about the military.  I told her no, they make steady paychecks so she shouldn’t be complaining.  

I told someone the prices were just like Disneyland only cheaper.  They didn’t like that comment either.

6.  How easy was it to learn all about the mechanics of the carnival rides?  LOL, I will give you an answer when I learn it all.  Each ride has its own way of going together and there is lots to remember.
7.  Do you pretty much “know it all” now?  LOL, I knew it all before just not what I needed to know for the carnival.
8.  Would you do anything differently if you were doing it over again? I don’t know.  Only thing I can think of not to do is not loan money to anyone again but then again I don’t want to be so skeptical of people and not help someone in need if I can.
9.  Did working together for the last 6 months enhance or hinder your relationship with each other?  I think it enhanced our relationship.  We enjoy working and being together and really missed working together in the big spots when we were not selling tickets like in the smaller spots.
10.  You two are such faithful attendees of church.  How did you compensate for not being able to participate in church most of the time? It was hard and we did miss our church friends.  I think I spent more time in prayer.  More time thinking about the things I know to be true about God and remembering things I learned in years past.  I know it’s not what a lot of church people want to hear but it did not enhance my Bible study skills any and that is my own fault.  I didn’t realize how much I had been missing church till we went for the first time since 3/21 last Sunday (10/3).
11.  How did you feel you got along with the other carnival employees?  I know some of them have become good friends by now.  Is that the norm or the exception of the rule.  For the most part that I think getting close to the people you work with is the norm.  With the people we worked with most of the time they became like family.  Others were just co-workers like in any job.  I think we were for the  most part, a big family.  I think because of my work ethic I got a lot of respect from the majority of the other workers.
12.  And of course, we are all waiting to hear ~ are you going to do it again next year? Yes, No, Maybe ~ Answer to be revealed later.
13.  What is the one thing about your job that surprised you the most? The way the rides go together.
14.  I believe Ron has worked the hardest on this job ~ am I right?  And how much weight has he lost over the six months?  More than my grandson weighs.  (just over 30 lbs).
15.  Where do they store all of the rides during the off season? In their shop in Portland.
16.  What was the best part of your adventure? Meeting the people we met.  Seeing the different places we traveled to.
17.  What was the worst part of your adventure? Not being able to do sight seeing at the different places we traveled to.

18.  Would you do it again?  Yes  And if not, why not?

19.  Did you get to share Christ with others especially young guys who are just starting out in being adults and responsible?  Yes.  I thin a lot of the sharing came in being an example.  People also knew I was different than them because of Christ.

20.  Did you find that traveling to different locations, you were more or less accepted and treated better or worse? By the local people ~ Really didn’t intermingle with the local people.  In Wenatchee where the Lions Club members did the ticket sales I was well accepted by them.  Several times I was told it must be interesting working/traveling with the carnival.   Do different places stand out in your mind(s)(Alice too)… as being most or least enjoyable? If so where was it?  Most enjoyable ~ Port Townsend as we were camped right by the water and we enjoyed walking along the beach, going into town ~ it really felt like we are camping.  Graham was a pretty place (at the Pierce Co. Fairgrounds).   Least enjoyable ~ Portland for the Rose Festival with all the rain and mud.  Staying at the shop was not enjoyable due to all the drama that happened while staying there.  

21.  Would you do it over if you knew then what you know now? Yes  Was it worth it? Spiritually? Financially? Financially it got us through to the winter and we were able to pay off a few bills and put a little into saving.  If we would not have had the two breakdowns at the beginning of the season we would have been better off but at the same time we had the money to pay for those expenses (from gifts and savings).  Spiritually it did not draw us away from God so therefore it was worth it spiritually.  Made us more aware of our dependency on God.  How did the LORD BLESS You over this summer? Good health, new friends, whenever we had a financial need we were able to take care of it.  We truly believe the Lord put us where we needed to be as we worked with good people and we met some we were thankful we were not working for.   Will you remain friends with people that you met by doing the carnival? Yes.  At least we hope to.  But at the same time probably not unless we do it again next year.  Mostly due to location.

22.  How do you believe that God used you to effect things for the better and/or what do you think the overall reason was (and is if you do decide to return)that the carnival was what He had (or is what He Has)… for you both to do this summer? A thing that comes to mind is how we ministered to one of the gals ~ Kollin and her grandma.  In a small way we were connected because we had pictures of Adele where Kollin grew up and we had gone there last Fall.  We were there for Kollin when she heard that her Grandma was close to death and then after she died.  We were able to grieve with her, share her tears and enjoy hearing stories of Kollin and her Grandma.  Our whole purpose in being there may have been just to be there for Kollin at that time.  We don’t know.  We were blessed to be able to love her during that time.

23.  Will you be doing it again next year? What have you decided about that? Is it a lifestyle that you could get better at if you do it again? Would you want to do that?  Are we going to do it next year ~ we don’t know.  Could we do it again ~ yes.  Could we get better at it ~ yes we could do better at doing the job but the lifestyle – we already love the lifestyle ~ living and traveling in our motor home.  Do we want to do it again? Yes and no.  I would love to have a job traveling around but would like to see more things while traveling.  If we had had our own vehicle we could have done more sight seeing (and if we do it again we will definitely have a toad with us).

Other thoughts ~ there is so much to see in our country I would love to be able to travel and see so much more.  Don’t want to be too far away from our boys and their families yet at the same time we could always travel to visit them.

All in all our experience with the carnival was enjoyable, entertaining and we are glad that we had the opportunity to travel and work with the carnival.  

As Rob would say “working with the carnival is like working for any other company.  The only difference is that the company moves every week or so to do our job.”

Hope you enjoyed this interview with Ron.  More from Alice soon.

2 thoughts on “Interview with Ron – It’s About Time!”

  1. That was a great interview with Ron! I enjoyed reading the questions and his responses. He's a funny guy! It's almost hard to believe that your time with the carnival is now at an end. It sounds like you are both enjoying your time with your grandchildren!

  2. This is truly a great post, it is like giving up your inner most feelings of the last year of your lives, truly informative and inspirational, I feel like Ron, even after 37 years of Policing, which makes most people very cynical.I would always try to find some good quality in the people I came in contact with, even the worst. Your faith in God is also like you said an example to others, that he has Blessed you with a good life and you enjoy his Blessings.Be safe out there, Sam & Donna.

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