Sunday, September 27, 2009

Cyclone Manager Gerry Menditto Honored

When most people visit an amusement park, they expect things to just "work". The blood, sweat, and tears that are poured into each individual ride on a daily basis are often overlooked or flat out taken for granted. New York non-profit organization City Lore isn't about to let that happen to Gerry Menditto. Gerry, who has served on the maintenance crew for the legendary Coney Island Cyclone since 1975 and currently manages the ride, will be inducted into City Lore's People's Hall of Fame at a ceremony that will take place on October 25, 2009.

The People's Hall of Fame was established by City Lore in 1993 to honor individuals who have made significant grassroots contributions to New York City's cultural life. Gerry is being honored for his dedication to keeping the "world's greatest roller coaster" up and running for all residents and visitors to enjoy.

Public media provider has produced an excellent mini-documentary on Gerry's involvement with the Cyclone, and I have embedded it above for your viewing pleasure. It features an interview with Gerry, some great footage of both the Cyclone and Coney Island, and quite a few behind-the-scenes geek shots for those of us who are interested in the "nuts and bolts" of it all. Interestingly, the man who lovingly maintains this famous ride day in and day out has never even taken a spin on it--Apparently he doesn't like drops!

For the full story on Gerry's selection, visit Amusing the Zillion. Congratulations, Gerry! Long may you maintain this treasured coaster.