Thursday, November 03, 2016

Vintage Postcards: Six Flags Over Texas - Part 5

It's time once again for more of Ken Martinez's vintage amusement park postcards!

Six Flags Over Texas Part 5 - The Texas Section

Previously we've visited Mexico, Spain, France, and the Confederate sections of Six Flags Over Texas. In today's post we'll visit the Texas section of the original Six Flags theme park. It may have seemed repetitive to have a Texas section in a park where the entire park was about the history of Texas, but each section represented the various time periods of when the sovereign nations whose flags flew over Texas existed. To represent the Republic of Texas (1836-1945), an old west theme was decided upon as westerns were hugely popular on TV around the time Six Flags Over Texas was being planned and opened.

I see dead people. The original section of Texas was known as "Texas Street". Mock fun fights were the order of the day. Sometimes outlaws would rob the train and end up shooting it out with the sheriff at the Texas train station. Check out the façades of the buildings in this postcard. Many of the buildings in Six Flags Over Texas were just that, façades with administrative offices hidden inside.

This is my favorite postcard from the park. Another outlaw meets his end! Perhaps Six Flags should've had a morgue/mortuary façade with wooden caskets displayed out front, filling them up with the "dead" as the day progressed into various shootouts, executions and hangings. It would've added a nice touch of authenticity showing the body count of the day.

The "Crazy Horse Saloon" was an opening day attraction where small stage performances were put on throughout the day. The small show with usually six players in the cast featured music, singing and dancing and would change out every few years to keep it fresh. The Saloon is still entertaining visitors to this day.

Like all modern theme parks, Six Flags has an auto track ride, this one with antique autos. The "Chaparral Horseless Carriages" were the antique alternative to the U.S.A. section's modern auto track ride, the "Happy Motoring Freeway". In the backdrop is the Red Train of the Six Flags Railroad. The real steam locomotive originally named "Lydia" was changed to "Maribeau B. Lamar" for the second President of the Republic of Texas. Both engines were originally built for use in a sugar cane plantation in Patoutville, Louisiana and later restored and put to use in the original Six Flags theme park.

Hope you enjoyed Texas. Next Stop! U.S.A!

Information source material:
Six Flags Over Texas - The First Fifty Years, copyright 2016 Davis McCown
Funland U.S.A. copyright 1978 by Tim Onosko

Thank you Ken! I guess it only figures that old Texas was full of shootin' and hangin'. Even Knott's Berry Farm had hangings, apparently (and maybe still do, around Halloween).


TokyoMagic! said...

Ken, did/does Six Flags Over Texas have a Judge Roy Bean's like Knott's? The building and signage in that second pic looks similar to the Knott's replica.

Major, Knott's still has their "Hanging" show during Halloween Haunts. Actually, I'm surprised that they haven't discontinued it since they were so quick this year to get rid of one of their mazes that a handful of people found offensive. There must be a lot of people out there that find a hanging offensive. It's Halloween Haunt, folks! It's ALL offensive! Get over it! I'll step down off my soapbox now.

Chuck said...

These bring back fond memories of "stupid teenager tricks" at SFoT.

I can remember stopping the car on the back stretch of the Happy Motoring Freeway with three other friends and everyone getting out and changing seats. Another time, we had friends in the car behind us and switched cars. Just like at Disneyland, all the trees grew, so we were pretty well-screened from the ride operators.

There was a part of the track that ran no more than 10 feet from a low fence and a pedestrian concourse, and we were sorely tempted to bail out and abandon the car there. We finally decided against it not because we were afraid of being thrown out of the park - it was after dark on Day Two of a two-day visit - but because we thought it would be a jerk thing to do to the ride attendants and other guests behind us. I tried to hang out with people who were a good influence. Or at least a moderating one.

On another visit when I was in college, a buddy and I stopped in front of the two-story building you see off to the far right in the first photo. I pointed up into a tree, and we stared intently at it, talking to each other in low tones. A small crowd slowly formed around us, with everyone looking up and trying to figure out what we were so interested in. Finally, somebody asked me "what are you guys looking at?" I said "nothing," and we turned and walked away without another word.

Thanks for bringing back some great memories, Ken!

Stu29573 said...

Ah, yes, "Stupid Teenager Tricks..." One of our favorites was we discovered that if you leaned into the turns on "El Aserradero" (the Log Ride), you could actually catch up to the log in front of you! They would stop you before you went up the ramp to the drop, though, so no crashes. Also, on Senior Night we discovered that while the canoes would not sink, they would certainly swamp to the point that the water was about an inch over the sides. Don't ask how we figured this out... Also, does anyone remember the Gum Tree on the Runaway Mine Train? Good times!

Chuck said...

Stu, I had totally forgotten about the Gum Tree! Thanks for dredging that one back up!

Anonymous said...

Ken, the Sheriff's office in the Calico Ghost Town has a row of coffins standing against the wall outside. You can have your picture taken in the one of your choice. It's a great keepsake.

Thanks for sharing the pics of this little park, really enjoying this series.


Nanook said...

Don't Mess with Texas-!!

Thanks, Ken

K. Martinez said...

TokyoMagic!, There was a "Judge Roy Bean's Courthouse and Law Office" as pictured in the hanging tree postcard but a lot of these buildings were facades for hidden administrative offices. And on that subject, the wooden roller coaster at the Six Flags park is named 'Judge Roy Scream".

Chuck, as a former ride operator I am well familiar with "stupid teenager tricks". I've seen them all and when caught, J. Nartubez became quite the judge, jury and executioner. How I loved that job! Truth be told, I saw more "stupid adult behavior" than I did "stupid teenager tricks".

Stuart Powley, Your story of the canoes reminds me of a "Mouse Tales" story about a teenager who snuck onto Tom Sawyer Island at night by swimming across the Rivers of America in Disneyland. Later that evening or early morning he became a floater.

Chuck, It seems like almost every theme park has their gum tree or gum wall.

JG, I'll definitely have to do that on my next visit to Knott's which will probably be next summer if it isn't removed by then. Mental Note: Sheriff's Office/Coffins.

Nanook, Texas, like California seems to be it's own country.

Glad you all enjoyed!

Chuck said...

Judge J. Nartubez - the Law South of Beach Street.

Anonymous said...

@Ken, sorry to be confusing, I meant the "real" Calico Ghost town, the town of Calico, out in the desert by Barstow.

I haven't been to Knott's park for so long, I forgot the pretend ghost town in the park was also called Calico.

Apologies again.