Just For Fun! Jimmy Johnson's Playland Park
by Ed Gaida
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ISBN Number: 9780967043814
Format: Hardback
Number of Pages: 152
Publication Date: 2007
Publisher: Gaida

For fifteen years Ed Gaida lived in the apartment above the offices of Playland Park, the popular amusement park that closed in 1980. In 1996, he realized that he was literally sleeping on top of a book, as the room below his bedroom contained the archives of Playland Park Corporation of San Antonio.

Remembered by generations of San Antonians and others as “The Fun Spot of the South", Playland was not only a tourist attraction but a hometown tradition for family outings, birthday parties, high-school dates and, for many, first jobs.

Though the park’s many rides and other features have long since been sold and moved from Playland’s former near-downtown location, founder Jimmy Johnson kept everything else. “A pack rat at heart, Jimmy never disposed of anything to do with his amusement park," says Gaida, who was able to draw on this collection of photographs, memorabilia, financial records and mementos to write Just for Fun!

In this book Gaida skilfully weaves a story starting in 1930 on Chicago’s North Side and ending in 1983 in the Alamo City, for a dual biography of Playland’s Jimmy Johnson and the amusement park he created. For anyone who ever spent a Saturday at Playland Park - or has wished they could have - this book is the next best thing to a time machine.

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