Casa Flamingo

Friday, May 26, 2017

Books

Check Out Tim O’Brien’s Amazon Author’s Page to Peruse all of his Books!

To Order any of Tim’s books, please follow link at the end of the book’s description.

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Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Baseball Oddities & Trivia – Ball Two!

It’s like Deja Vu all over again! A sequel just in time!

Baseball is a sport that naturally lends itself to oddities, rituals, superstitions, and unique happenings. It’s a long season and a lot can happen! Here’s a sampling of what you’ll find in this unique book of obscure oddities:

  • A foul ball crashed into a fan’s face. As she was being carried out on a stretcher, she was hit by another ball hit by the same batter!
  • Hear about the error-prone outfielder who received a standing ovation for catching a hotdog wrapper on the fly?
  • One Major League player sleeps with his bats.
  • There was a consecutive four-day period when every American League game was rained out.
  • In a special “Bat” section, we learn that each team orders 150 bats a year for each of its hitters.

In all, this new volume of Baseball Oddities & Trivia presents more than 350 fun, all new, weird and strange Believe It or Nots! plus more than 50 illustrations drawn by John Graziano, Ripley’s official cartoonist.

Tim O’Brien and Ripley’s take readers on another journey down the offbeat and bizarre, but 100% factual road through the world of baseball players, coaches, owners, teams, stadiums and fans! No one does the odd and trivial better than Ripley!

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Baseball Oddities & Trivia – Ball Two! is far from a conventional trivia book. It’s an oddities publication with the spirit of a traditional Ripley book throughout! With a whole lot of totally unbelievable and mind-boggling facts, this Believe It or Not! book stands out from the rest in sports publishing.

This entire book is dedicated to the bizarre, colorful and entertaining universe of baseball oddities and trivia. For more information on the all new Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Baseball Oddities – Ball Two! or to purchase the book, please visit our Amazon page.

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Tony Baxter – First of the Second Generation of Walt Disney Imagineers

As the “First of the Second Generation of Walt Disney Imagineers,” Tony Baxter is featured in this edition of the Legends & Legacies biographical series.

Baxter’s legendary career began at Walt Disney Imagineering when he was 22 years old and he’s among the first of a second generation of Disney creatives who fashioned the magic found today in Disney parks worldwide. Tony is credited for helping create such Disney attraction icons as Star Tours, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain, and the Indiana Jones Adventure. He has been lauded for his creative leadership at Disneyland Paris Resort, is a Disney Legend and has a personalized window on Main Street, U.S.A. in Disneyland Park, considered by many to be one of the highest honors a Disney employee can achieve.

He joined the company as a 17 year-old in 1965 as an ice cream scooper at the Carnation Ice Cream shop on Disneyland’s Main Street, U.S.A. and left the company 49 years later as Senior Vice President of Creative Development. This is the amazing story of Tony Baxter. For more information on the “Tony Baxter: First of the Second Generation of Walt Disney Imagineers,” or to purchase the book, please visit our Amazon page.

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Dick Kinzel – Roller Coaster King of Cedar Point Amusement Park

In this edition of the Legends & Legacies biographical series, author Tim O’Brien chronicles Dick Kinzel’s 39-year career (25 as president and CEO) with Cedar Point and Cedar Fair. Roller coasters took him slowly to the top and the $1.24 billion acquisition of the five Paramount Parks ultimately lead to his direst years.

During his career, he built the world’s first 200, 300, and 400-foot tall roller coasters. He is responsible for adding more than 35 multi-million dollar scream machines to the company’s 11 amusement parks, always making sure they were the best rides money could buy. His fiscal oversight kept the parks consistently running at above average margins and the dividends his company paid investors were the best within the industry.

He brought big and edgy coasters to Cedar Point knowing that the bigger the thrill ride, the bigger the crowds. His story is one of tenacity, conservatism and risk taking. It’s one of big business and one of fun making. Dick spent his life putting smiles on people’s faces and fear in their eyes. For the first time his journey is told in full: from his highs and lows to his laughs and tears. This is the official biography of Richard L. Kinzel.

For more information and to purchase Dick Kinzel: Roller Coaster King of Cedar Point Amusement Park, please visit our Amazon page.


Ward Hall – King of the Sideshow

Ward Hall – King of the Sideshow Book Cover

Ward Hall – King of the Sideshow is a book unlike any others. It is full of amazing stories and sideshow and circus history, but it is also  lavishly illustrated with dozens of photos never seen before, not only of Ward and his two long-time partners during the years, Harry Leonard and C.M. Christ, but also of some of the amazing acts they have worked with. Ward Hall literally ran away and joined the circus in 1944 when he was a “kid” living in Colorado.  By 16 he was performing in a sideshow and by age 21, he owned a sideshow! Today, 71 years later and countless circus and side show, vaudeville and burlesque house performances under his belt, Ward Hall is still in the business. He plans to retire when he reaches 100 so he can “see the world.” Now 85, he is the undisputed King of the Sideshow.

For more information and to order, please click here to go to our Amazon page.


Frog Oddities & Trivia

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Frog Oddities & Trivia Book CoverThis informative book by Tim O’Brien and Ripley’s Believe It or Not! calls attention to the fact that 55% of all amphibian species are considered threatened or believed to be threatened. Frog Oddities & Trivia is a whimsical new book that takes a look at a serious problem in a lighthearted, educational way. It calls attention to the plight of frogs and other amphibians that are going extinct at a rapid rate.

“Believe It or Not! More than 1,800 amphibian species are threatened with extinction!”

Ripley’s Aquariums, in conjunction with Ripley Publishing, published the book to help promote the “Year of the Frog,” a designation that national and international conservation groups gave 2008.  Written by Tim O’Brien and created in the style of a Ripley’s Believe It or Not! book, Frog Oddities & Trivia features more than 50 original cartoons by Ripley’s official illustrator, John Graziano. In addition, there are several early cartoons drawn by Robert Ripley himself.

For more information on this wacky new collection of Believe It or Not! facts and cartoons or to order, please visit our Amazon page.


Baseball Oddities & Trivia

Cover of Baseball Oddities and TriviaRipley’s Believe it or Not! and Tim O’Brien offer an offbeat and bizarre, but 100% factual journey through the world of baseball players, coaches, owners, teams, stadiums and fans! For the first time ever, Ripley has dedicated a book specifically to one of Robert Ripley’s favorite subjects – baseball. Not falling into the category of a conventional trivia book, this one has the spirit of a traditional Ripley book throughout! No one does the odd and trivial better than Ripley! With a whole lot of totally unbelievable and mind-boggling facts, this Believe It or Not! book is a first of its kind in sports publishing. While best known for his artistic endeavors and the coining of the popular Believe It or Not! phrase, Robert Ripley’s move to New York City in early 1914 marked his determination to play professional baseball. He tried out for the New York Giants in 1914 and made the team but had his pitching arm shattered by a line drive in his very first appearance. With his baseball career apparently over, he landed an illustrator’s job at the New York Globe in the sports department where he soon was combining his passion for sports with his love for the odd and unusual. With more than 350 Believe It or Nots! and original illustrations by Ripley’s official cartoonist John Graziano, the entire book is dedicated to the bizarre, colorful and entertaining universe of baseball oddities and trivia. For more information and to order  this wacky new collection of Believe It or Not! facts and cartoons please visit our Amazon page.


Amusement Park Oddities & Trivia

Amusement Park Oddities and Trivia Prepare for an uncanny journey through the weird, wacky, and absolutely true world of amusement park oddities and trivia! Tired of the traditional ho-hum trivia book? Rejoice, here’s one that’s unique, enjoyable, accurate AND edgy! With a bit of history, a bit of trivia and a lot of totally unbelievable facts, this is a first of its kind book for the amusement industry. With more than 350 Believe It or Nots! inside its pages, and 50-plus original illustrations by Ripley’s official cartoonist John Graziano, nearly half of the book is dedicated to the bizarre, colorful and entertaining universe of amusement parks, rides and attractions. The other half features chapters on the Walt Disney parks, roller coasters, Ferris wheels, carousels, entertainers and park food! A comprehensive index permits readers to quickly discover the oddities of their favorite park. This book belongs in the hands of all park and ride fans in the world! For more information and to order one of the most unique books ever written on the park industry this century please visit our Amazon page.


Legends:

Pioneers of the Amusement Park Industry

Legends: Pioneers of the Amusement Park IndustryPraised by industry pundits for its in-depth and passionate writing style, this book is a tribute to the greatest of the great – those who made the amusement park, theme park and waterpark industry what it is today. Volume One features 10 larger than life characters who each made a huge impact on the development of the amusement industry. Included are: Harrison “Buzz” Price, who created, and then introduced professional data analysis into the industry; George Millay, visionary who created the SeaWorld marine park concept and Wet’n Wild, the world’s first waterpark; Ron Toomer, roller coaster designer, with more than 80 coasters to his credit; Jeff Henry, waterpark ride creator and visionary; Harold Chance, founder of Chance Rides; Dr. Roberto Ortiz, Costa Rican physician who created the country’s first theme park to raise money for his children’s hospital; John Graff, 20-year president of International Assn. of Amusement Parks & Attractions (IAAPA); Bo Kinntorph, first international president of IAAPA and CEO of Liseberg Park in Sweden; Carl Hughes, first non-owner president of IAAPA, and a catalyst in modernizing the association; and Marty Sklar, creative guru for Walt Disney Parks for more than 50 years. This is a 272 page softcover book with approximately 115 photos, and is indexed for easy reference. To read more about this historically significant book, or to order, please visit our Amazon page.


The Wave Maker

George Millay’s creation of SeaWorld in 1964 took the idea of sea life parks to new levels. In 1971, he created Magic Mountain theme park in Valencia, California, and then in 1977, he crafted the world’s first waterpark, Wet’n Wild. George Millay is the unchallenged “Father of the Waterpark.” The Wave Maker is a story of the man who believed in himself, who never thought of giving up. He had in his arsenal a tremendous sense of creativity, a strong work ethic, and an unshakable belief that his ambitious projects would indeed reach their successful completion. This 352-page historical biography, with 90 illustrations, is the story of George Millay, his amazing accomplishments, and the early history and development of the 12 marine parks, theme parks, and waterparks he conceived. To read the Table of Contents, view the full book page, or to order, please visit our Amazon page.


TP on AB: The Life & Times of Tom Powell

TP on AB Book Cover ImageThis official biography of the most-loved and best-known amusement industry trade journalist of all time tells the story of the amazing larger-than-life former editor of Amusement Business magazine. His used his weekly column “TP on AB,” to tell of his exploits; he has rubbed elbows with people from all walks of life, from the likes of President Bill Clinton, Willie Nelson, and Tommy Lasorda to carnival owners, fair executives and sideshow freaks. He enjoys the company of all. This 200-page adventure has more than 60-photos and is available in softcover. To read sample chapters, view the full book page, or to order, please visit our Amazon page.


The Amusement Park Guide: 5th Edition

The Amusement Park Guide Book CoverSince 1991, this guide has been the most accurate, most complete guide to North America’s theme parks, waterparks, and thrill parks. Written by an award-winning industry insider, the book has been praised for its writing style, its accuracy and its breadth of knowledge. As a guide to today’s parks, it’s a bit outdated, but for a historical reference, this book is perfect. To order or to read more about the book, please visit our Amazon page.

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Tennessee Off the Beaten Path: 7th Edition

No other book takes you on so many back roads and into so many of the funkiest and friendliest places in the state of Tennessee. To order, or to learn more about the state of Tennessee, please visit our Amazon page.

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The Essential Guide to Six Flags Theme Parks

Here’s an oldie but a goodie that Tim O’Brien wrote, with the help of his then 12-year old daughter Carrie, in 1995-1996 when there were only 12 Six Flags Theme Parks. A short history, a list of rides, shows, attractions, eateries and plenty of photos appear for each park. Very much out of date as a current park guide but an amazing source of historical information and photos of the original Six Flags parks, this book belongs in every theme park aficionado’s book collection. The 288-page softcover book was commissioned by Bob Pittman, then Six Flags President, and published by Oxmoor House in May, 1996. For more information and to order, please visit or Amazon page.

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Where The Animals Are

Listing more than 250 zoos, aquariums and other wildlife attractions across North America, this 301-page guide, researched and written by Tim O’Brien in 1992, highlights the history, the collections, the featured species and specialty animals, unique exhibits, locations and services at each facility. Now more than 20 years old, this classic tome is really too old to serve as a guide book but is invaluable as a historical look back at how these institutions appeared in 1992 and how sophisticated most of them have become since! For more information and to order, please visit our Amazon page.


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Fun With The Family In Tennessee

Fun With The Family in the TennesseeHere’s the inside information on all the family-friendly fun to be had in the Volunteer State. Fun with the Family in Tennessee leads the way to amusement parks, hiking trails, zoos and aquariums, children’s museums, festivals, parks, and much more. Written by a parent, for parents, this opinionated, personal, and easy-to-use guide has the best things to see and do to keep the kids busy and happy for an hour, a day, or a weekend – a guaranteed antidote to vacation boredom. This guide includes up-to-the-minute information on family attractions, detailed maps, quick reference icons, age-appropriate guidelines, kid-friendly restaurants and places to stay For more information or to order, please visit our Amazon page.