Don Lewis Don Lewis Jr and father Don Lewis Sr
The man in the above (left) photo is Don Lewis in front of one of his consession stands. His father Harry, had worked at the Highlands from the early early days as one of the consessions mgrs. Dons' son, Don Jr., was working there on the day the fire occured. The two gentleman in the top right photo is Don Jr. & Don Lewis Sr. taken a few years ago at the presentation on FPH I gave for the Dogtown Historical Society. They were a great help with my presentation. We finally met for the first time at Pat's, a local pub in Dogtown. They bought me three beers, which made my first presentation a lot more fun & easier. --- b&w photo courtesy of Don Lewis Sr.
Rose Kennedy Rose Kennedy Rose Kennedy
Rose Kennedy (above), was born Rose Marie Chiaurro. She always loved to sing & was somewhat of a child star, starting her career singing at the Highlands when she was only three and four years old. "Baby Rose Marie" was her stage name. As she sang through the years, Rose realized what an emotional stabilizer singing had become. She still sings today. I was privledged to hear her wonderful stories of her time at the Highlands in Lida Plats' studio, where she is pictured (center photo, top right) with her co-workers. My favorite story was her being chased around the park by Ferlin Huskey as he was trying to steal a kiss. I remember the first time I saw & met her at the FPH presentation, I thought she reminded me of Elizabeth Taylor and in the most innocent way, I fell madly in love with her. After looking at the three photos above, how could you not? The top right photo is her in all her glory at the FPH presentation a few years ago. --- photos courtesy of The Rose.
Conrad Berry with parents on Ferris Wheel Harry & Evelyn Lewis with Lou Berry Conrad Berry
You never know where life takes you or who you are going to meet. Even though I lived the first nine years of my life in St.Louis, the only people I know now are my special friends & acquaintances that worked at FPH or who live in Dogtown. While researching sources for my book, one person I could not find was Louis Berry, who had worked at the Highlands for several decades. He was partners with Mr. Yamamoto in several consessions at the park. After the book came out, I was very pleased to hear from Conrad Berry, one of Louis' sons. Unfortunately, Louis Berry had passed away some years before. Conrad and I soon became good friends through e-mail & numerous phone conversations, trading photos & various other FPH memorabilia. He even sent me photos of things I only dreamed of finding, for instance, the Flying Turns, nightime shots of the park, & various others that were treats for my eyes. Hearing fascinating stories of his 26 years at the park seemed to fill in a lot of the blanks & had me yearning for a trip back  to the past. At the second presentation I gave, I finally got to meet him in person. To me, as are the others, he is a celebrity. He worked at the HIGHLANDS! He even brought me an actual piece of carousel trim. Finally, something tangible from "my park"! Above left is Baby Conrad as a one-year old riding the ferris wheel with his parents, Lou & Roslyn, who met at FPH. Center photo is Harry & Evelyn Lewis with Lou Berry, & the photo on the right is present day Conrad standing in front of a Tom Mix cail-o-scope machine from the FPH Penny arcade at his home.--
photos courtesy of Conrad Berry
These are the "Highland Girls". They traded your money for tickets and a wonderful time at the Highlands! The lucky gentleman in the center of all of these sweet creme ladies is Max Bitterlitch. Doesn't he remind you of Col. Potter from Mash? Max loved his Highlands. He always was one of the very last ones to leave the park at night, even if the Highlands ran late, past midnight. Once, Max decided it was time to close for the night, he would walk past the park electrician. With a wave of his hand, Max signaled to the electrician it was time to shut down. The first thing to turn off was the lit flag on top of the tower. That told everyone,...nighty night.
Lida Platz, (third from the left), had started her photographic career as a very young girl working in a tintype studio on Market Street. In 1902, the man who owned the studio, moved his equipment and Lida to just outside of the Highlands' entrance. When the 1904 World's Fair opened, the studio was moved to inside of the park. Lida even learned to use baking pans as reflectors for the early photos. In 1917, the Highlands took over the photo studio completely and Lida found herself as a boss. Over the years, Lida came to really enjoy her customers and kept a photo collection of the many celebrities who visited and performed at the park. The most frustrating part of her job was keeping track of the horses tail that belonged to her prop horse used for the photos. The tail has been used as a wig, fly shooter and a beard. More often than not, Lida would trace the tail to  a group of college kids looking for mischief. Her studio was located at the front of the park, just west of the rotunda.
Above are some Highland employees enjoying a picnic at the park with their families. Note the Scenic Railway entrance at the top left corner of the photo.
I just received this wonderful photo today and had to share it. The photo is courtesy of Chuck W. His grandfather is the one to the left, standing. His name is Oscar McGriff. Mr. McGriff worked at the Highlands in the early 30's. He also had worked at the parks' shooting gallery. In the background, you can see a portion of the parks' racing coaster, The Racer Dips, and to the left a bit, a corner of the Pagoda from the 1904 Worlds' Fair. Thanks again, Chuck!!!
The man above is Stanley J. Rimkus, the chief electrician of FPH & the Arena. I was very fortunate to chat with him in 2005-2006. What wonderful stories he told me! He passed away in 2007 at 93 years young, still being missed by the people who knew him including his six children. Stan was also featured in two books, "We Kept'em Flying" and "The Arena". This picture was sent to me by his son, Jim. Thanks so much.
©2009