Always Cedar Point: A Memoir of the Midway

Friday, November 2, 2018 3:21 PM
Mr. Potato's avatar

I happened to find this online and wanted to share with everyone. Former Cedar Point VP & GM, John Hildebrandt has written a memoir about his career at the park. From the description, it is “part memoir, part history, part business brief, part autobiography.” Certainly sounds interesting and I’ve already ordered a copy.

Tim O’Brien, who wrote the Kinzel book that was released a few years ago also appears to have been involved with this one as well. Though it looks like Hildebrandt penned his own words for this book. So I’m hopeful it’s better than the Kinzel book from a few years ago.

Below is a link to the Amazon listing. It also appears to be available through the other traditional book stores if that’s your preference.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/099675041X/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_1Ej3Bb1JM9Z1A


"The art challenges technology, technology inspires the art."
- John Lasseter

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Friday, November 2, 2018 10:25 PM
Jeff's avatar

It says O'Brien is the editor, which is weird because I would think the publisher would provide that and he or she wouldn't be credited. John's a good writer I'm sure, and there aren't many humans in the world that embodied the spirit of the park like he did. He was fairly humble about his stewardship as well, at least he was to me. When he was promoted to GM, he gave me his cell phone number and told me to call him if there were any issues with my Lighthouse Point cottage. There were, I called, and it was resolved an hour later. I'm not sure I always agreed with him, as in the early days of this site he definitely wasn't comfortable with unofficial fan views of the park, but in the long run he was a gracious with his time and I probably spent hours talking to him over the years. I learned a lot from him, and he was as real as he could be without giving stuff away.

Now if they would just publish the book to Kindle...


Jeff - Advocate of Great Great Tunnels™ - Co-Publisher - PointBuzz - CoasterBuzz - My Blog

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Friday, November 2, 2018 11:41 PM

Tim O'Brien runs the publishing house, so he does double duty on this one.

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Saturday, November 3, 2018 3:33 PM
Kevinj's avatar

Looking forward to reading this. Without John's personal help, the Face your Fear project would not have evolved...at least nowhere as quickly...as it did.

I loved talking to him about his ideas around the project and the evolution of the park over the years, especially when it comes to their decision making processes (at least under his watch). I think Jeff put it perfectly; completely embodied the spirit of the park, and apparently still does.

Last edited by Kevinj, Saturday, November 3, 2018 3:39 PM

Promoter of fog.

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Monday, November 5, 2018 10:43 AM
Walt's avatar

Ordered.

Amazon says I won't get it until Friday, which makes me wish even more for a Kindle version.


Walt Schmidt - Co-Publisher, PointBuzz
PointBuzz on Twitter | Facebook | YouTube
Home to the Biggest Fans of the World's Best Amusement Park

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Monday, November 5, 2018 5:51 PM
PyroKinesis09's avatar

Yeah I'll be buying this for sure, thanks for the heads up!

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Monday, November 5, 2018 6:13 PM

I worked with John a little and I liked him a lot. More than that, John's sons worked for me and they were extremely good kids, very polite, and a pleasure to be around. That might be a better legacy for John than anything he did with the park. Certainly a more important legacy to be sure.


"You can dream, create, design and build the most wonderful place in the world...but it requires people to make the dreams a reality."

-Walt Disney

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Monday, November 5, 2018 8:05 PM

Walt said:
Amazon says I won't get it until Friday,..

I bet you hate glass ketchup bottles. Anticipation!

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Thursday, November 8, 2018 6:53 PM
Jeff's avatar

I don't have the book, but I saw that John mentioned PointBuzz, along with me and Walt. He was very complimentary, and it's humbling to hear him say that we were the "gold standard" for fan sites. That means a lot coming from him.


Jeff - Advocate of Great Great Tunnels™ - Co-Publisher - PointBuzz - CoasterBuzz - My Blog

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Friday, November 9, 2018 10:58 AM
Walt's avatar

The book is fantastic. I found myself skipping all over the place, unable to put it down. So many great stories and an absolutely incredible inside look at Cedar Point over the last 40 years. If for some crazy reason you were undecided on the purchase, don't hesitate.

And it was indeed humbling that he thought to mention us. Very honored.


Walt Schmidt - Co-Publisher, PointBuzz
PointBuzz on Twitter | Facebook | YouTube
Home to the Biggest Fans of the World's Best Amusement Park

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Friday, November 9, 2018 8:26 PM
JohnMosesBrowning's avatar

I’m about 100 pages in. It’s a great read and an enjoyable ride down memory lane. Neat reading about folks I knew back then. Lots of names I remember and some that I had forgotten.

I was friends with a young woman in Group Sales when I worked in the park. She would frequently come out to the catered events I put on for her customers. We lost touch a year or two after I last worked at CP. I’d forgotten her name, but, always kind of wondered what happened to her. I still have no idea where her life went, but, it made me smile when John jogged my memory with Marla in the picture on page 90!


1974: Catering Slave for Interstate United
1975-77: Catering Manager for Cedar Point

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Saturday, November 10, 2018 1:03 AM
Ralph Wiggum's avatar

I've spent about an hour reading it tonight. The writing style feels like a casual conversation, which makes it easy to read in my opinion. Really interesting so far. Naturally, I jumped straight to the chapter about Halloweekends and started from there.


And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

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Saturday, November 10, 2018 2:54 AM
MichaelB's avatar

Going to have to put this on my Christmas list. It'll be a good read for Christmas break. I'd love to grab it now, but there just isn't time during the semester.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2018 8:34 AM

MichaelB,
Amazon is your best friend. You can get free shipping with or without using prime on this particular purchase. I ordered it when it first came out and was able to get free shipping without using prime.


Jake Padden
13-Tiques/Wave Swinger
12-Camp Snoopy; Tiques/Wave Swinger
11-CP & LE Railroad Platform; Cedar Creek Mine Ride; Tiques/Wave Swinger

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Tuesday, November 13, 2018 10:01 AM
Pete's avatar

I think Amazon is doing free shipping on everything during the holiday season. Prime not required.


I'd rather be in my boat with a drink on the rocks,
than in the drink with a boat on the rocks.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2018 12:28 PM

The non-Prime free shipping they are doing for the holiday season is 5-8 days. The Prime free shipping is still 2-day.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2018 6:23 PM
Cargo Shorts's avatar

2-day *most of time*, not so much when shipped USPS. (104 orders in the last six months)

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Thursday, November 15, 2018 8:21 AM

Walt said:

And it was indeed humbling that he thought to mention us. Very honored.

Humbling is an understatement.


June 11th, 2001 - Gemini 100
VertiGo Rides - 82
R.I.P. Fright Zone, and Cyrus along with it.

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Thursday, November 15, 2018 10:14 AM
Pete's avatar

I don't know John personally but I recognize him. I had my boat tied up on the main pier by Famous Dave's and we had a bar table at Famous Daves by the Window. The boat has a German name - Wir Gehen which means We Go. I believe John is German and he must like boats as he was walking down the pier and paused to look my boat over. I felt very honored that my boat was nice enough and interesting enough for him to notice!


I'd rather be in my boat with a drink on the rocks,
than in the drink with a boat on the rocks.

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Thursday, November 15, 2018 10:45 AM
Walt's avatar

Kindle version is coming November 16.


Walt Schmidt - Co-Publisher, PointBuzz
PointBuzz on Twitter | Facebook | YouTube
Home to the Biggest Fans of the World's Best Amusement Park

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