Thursday, February 5, 2009
Right before I graduated high school in 1975, I got a job at Busch Gardens in the San Fernando Valley. Anybody familiar with the Valley will know how you could smell the brewery when they were brewing a new batch. It had kind of a yeasty smell. You could see the Anheuser-Busch brewery right off the 405 San Diego freeway.
They used to have this incredible beer garden that had different pavilions for the different beers. There was a beautiful lake and they had all kinds of birds and monkeys in cages. They had a howler monkey (or something like that) and I had a friend who could make the same sound they did and set them off. It was the weirdest noise. There were peacocks walking all over the park. Tourists can be such buttheads though. They would chase the birds all over trying to stomp off one of the tail feathers.
Every year in October they would have an Octoberfest and the college kids would all show up and drink themselves into oblivion, but since I was not 21, it was kind of a drag. While I worked there, the park grew from a beautiful beer garden to an amusement park. At first, it was kind of fun. I worked in the section that had the old fashioned style ice cream parlor, fudge counter and chicken restaurant. My uniform was a red and white striped dress that came to my ankles. If you know me, you know I am short, barely 5 foot 3 inches and that length dress made me look so short and weird. I had to wear an old fashioned bonnet, you know, the kind that looked like Little House on the Prairie? Only red and white stripes. (Just picture the dress below.) The ice cream parlor was a very popular destination for the tourists and the lines were always long. I think my deep dislike for Rocky Road ice cream is in part because of working there. For some reason, Rocky Road was always impossible to scoop.
I loved when the Clydesdale horses would come out every year. I would beg to be on the cart outside so I could watch them go by. They truly are huge and awesome to watch. I used to love being outside working. My favorite was the cotton candy cart. You worked it alone so no one was hanging over your head watching you and they always put the cart in a beautiful place in the park. I bet my picture is in lots of scrapbooks all over the world~! The spun sugar would fly up and get all over my hair. Even though my hair would be pulled back, I had VERY long hair and it would be covered in pink fluff.
At least once a year, August Busch would come out. One year, the beer haulers (who were always yummy hunky guys) taught the mynah birds at the entrance to say "Augie Doggie." I am not sure if he ever figured out who did it, but it was very funny to watch.
It is sad to me that it got cemented over to make more brewery and even sadder to find out that Anheuser-Busch is no longer an American owned company. I would love to hear them say "Augie Doggie" again, even if August Busch got his panties in a bunch.
Posted by Happy Hour...Somewhere at 3:03 PM