From The KOTV Vault: Return To Bell's Amusement Park, Circa 1980
TULSA, Oklahoma - Editor's note: We are having so much fun re-discovering old stories from our video vault. We are sifting through our tape library trying to decide which ones will go with us to our new building. Right now we are working through 1980s, and as News On 6 Rick Wells shows us, the outfits some of us wore back then.
Nothing brings back memories like a couple of Bell's Amusement Park stories. I think I recognize those rides -- bet you do too -- and we'll talk about them in a bit.
But first, look at that jacket our reporter is wearing. They don't make them like that anymore. That's Channel 6 reporter Rex Daugherty in 1980. He's at Bell's Amusement Park to do a story on Zingo, the roller coaster.
One fellow is down from Chicago to ride Zingo as many times as he can. He rides roller coasters all over the country.
"How do rate a roller coaster; what makes one fun for you?" asks reporter Rex Daugherty.
"Any one that drops down the first hill and maintains a good speed like Zingo does is a great roller coaster."
He went on to say the great coasters are made of wood and they develop more personality.
"I can't wait to get little kids out here screaming and having a good time," said Robby Bell.
Bell's Amusement Park is undergoing a rebirth on the west side of Tulsa. They are on the site of the Saturday market on West 51st Street starting small with big dreams.
"You bet, buddy, we're gonna make it happen," said Robby Bell.
That's exciting. Something else exciting in 1980: Bell's opened its waterslide. It was the largest free standing slide in the country back then. There is Rex Daugherty and another of his plaid jackets.
Wow, 1980 was something!
There he is again, this time with no jacket along with Bob Bell, Robby's dad and the family dog Panda. "Panda rode everything. Panda rode Zingo; Panda rode Himalaya -- all the big rides. Panda loved it," said Robby Bell.
Well let's see. There they go. A great memory at Bell's and if all goes well it may live again in West Tulsa.
"We fell we owe it to everyone to give it our best shot to make it happen. The park was so special to so many for so long," said Robby Bell.