About Me

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Sad News

I just received some sad news. Richard “Dick” Bowker passed away last night. Without him, Images of America: Rock Springs Park would not have been published. In fact, every image in the book without a courtesy line belonged to Dick, as it is common practice to give such a contributor a line of gratitude in the acknowledgements. Dick was a collector of all things related to amusement parks and trolleys and his home was both a personal library and museum. Fortunately for us all, our beloved Rock Springs Park was his favorite. In 2009, Dick and I took a road trip from his home in Forest Hills, Pittsburgh to East Liverpool to see and hear the Wurlitzer Band Organ from Rock Springs which is currently on display in the Lou Holtz Upper Ohio Valley Hall of Fame Museum. The Review did a wonderful full page story about our visit which included Dick’s account of recording the organ playing his favorite roll in 1969 and of his riding the Cyclone on Labor Day 1970, as the lights of Rock Springs Park were being turned off forever. Dick and I became friends while working on my book. I have visited him many times these past few years, always taking him to lunch at his favorite Drew’s Restaurant on Ardmore Boulevard. We typically ended each visit watching amusement park videos or listening to polka music. I will miss him, but I am also extremely grateful, as I’m sure you are, that Dick so generously shared his collection with us all.

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