EUREKA, Mo. – The moon cars were there when they first started at Six Flags. They’re retiring them this year, as well as a man who was here when they first began.
If you are somehow lucky enough to reach 50 years of age, you’ll know there were many twists and turns and up and downs to get there. Much like an amusement park, or in Fred Desalme’s case, the one he’s watched over since its infancy.
“I knew a couple guys who worked out here and they said come on out a lot of nice people,” says Fred Desalme, Security Supervisor. “So I tried it, I was interviewed and they said, ‘How do we know you’ll be here three years from now.’ I said, we’ll I can’t make a guarantee but if I like the place I’ll stay.”
Desalme has stayed for 50 years. And what better way to celebrate your half century than a ride on a roller coaster or two. Six Flags St. Louis first opened June 5th 1971 and Fred has seen it grow through the decades.
Saturday morning the first 1000 customers were given complementary lanyards and a stop through the air conditioned museum displaying old rides, yearbooks and uniforms, made on site and brought back from the 1970’s to modern times.
“This place to me has a family history,” says Billy Loveless, Former employee. “When you’re a former employee you’re actually you know a lot of people through the years and have a lot of history from 87 to 2012.”
The moon cars are retiring this year and so too will Fred next week.
But love and longevity, like the original Steam Train, Mine Train and Log Flume, go hand in hand at this 50 year old amusement park.
“Fred and his wife met here, they’ve been married 45 years,” says Elizabeth Gotway, Public Relations & Marketing Manager. “I met my husband here and we’ve been married 30 years. There are a lot of people here that met their spouse here and got married. People spend a lot of time together. You get to know people. And a lot of people that’s where they met their spouse.”
Like Fred and his wide Carla who met at the park. A place he’s been fond of for 50 years.
“If you ever get down in the dumps and you come up to the front mall and you see the kids come in, it will definitely put a smile on your face,” says Desalme.
The moon mobiles retiring as well as Fred but still plenty of rides to be found at Six Flags as well as Hurricane Harbor open to full capacity.