Joie Chitwood Chevy Thunder Thrill Show

June 1st, 2014 by George Farina 1 comment »

Joie Chitwood Chevy Thunder Thrill Show
I remember going to the Joie Chitwood Chevy Thunder Show (also know as the Joie Chitwood Thrill Show) as a kid. This was years before I was able to drive and probably not the best thing for a kid who was already salivating at the thought of getting a drivers license someday. That’s because these drivers were out-of-their-freaken-mind! In the first video below this post they use terms like precision driving, alignment and skill to describe the driver stunts. Where as I think most people would use the term Crazy! These death-defying drivers were jumping over cars, jumping into cars (not by accident, but on purpose), driving through fire (with a person on the hood) and driving long distances on the two side wheels of the car. All this with stock Chevy cars.

The show certainly instilled a memory in my mind that I carry with me to this day some 20+ years later. I still have a brochure from the show I attended, which was signed by one of the Chitwood brothers. However, I wasn’t the only one for which the show instilled a lasting memory. Apparently, it did the same for a youngster named Robert “Evel” Knievel. Evel Knevel attended the Joie Chitwood show in 1953 and at that moment knew he wanted to be a stuntman. As many of you know Evel Knevel went on to become the greatest motorcycle stuntman of all time. He also toured with the show for a number of years.

The traveling thrill show took place at many different locations throughout the United States and Canada. The one I saw was in Upstate New York at the Fonda Fair just outside of Johnstown. The thrill show became so popular that at one time it was broadcast on nation wide television. It was also featured in the Clark Gable movie “To Please a Lady”, James Bond’s “Live And Let Die” and in an episode of both Chips and Miami Vice.

Lucky Teter was the original owner of the thrill stunt show, but passed away while attempting a 125-foot car jump during a show in 1942. The car Lucky was driving had a misfire in the engine and came up short on the landing. That goes to show the devastating dangers that come with the stunts. Joie Chitwood Sr. purchased the thrill show from the widow of Lucky in 1943. From there the Joie Chitwood thrill show was born with its first performance taking place on July 4th 1943 in Pennsylvania. Joie’s stunt show continued on for over fifty years with his son’s (Joie II, Joie III and Tim Chitwood) taking over once Joie Sr. retired. At one point it was common for live shows to have over 100,000 fans in attendance. The stunt show lasted until 1998. I guess like so many cool things of the past the show faded away.

During his run, Joie Sr. was both a driver in the stunt show and also a professional race car driver. He is credited with being the first driver to ever wear a seat belt in the Indianapolis 500. Joie Sr. competed in the prestigious Indianapolis 500 seven different times and finished in the top five on three occasions. Joie II also became a professional race car driver with appearances at Daytona and Sebring. He contributed to countless television shows, commercials and films. Tim Chitwood owns the title of “World’s Number One Ranked Stunt Man” He also holds the world record for driving an American made automobile on two wheels for the longest distance. He drove a Chevrolet for 5.9 miles on its side two wheels. Joie III is no slouch either. He started performing stunts in the thrill show at the age of five. Plus, he is currently the president of the Daytona International Speedway and sits on the board of trustees for the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America.

Joie Chitwood Thrill Show Documentary

1956 Chevrolet Joie Chitwood Thrill Show Commercial

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! – Fallen Idol by The Greg Kihn Band

May 23rd, 2014 by greenteabreak No comments »

Fallen Idol by Greg Kihn Band (Lyrics)

they say its lonely at the top
they say the only thing you got
this isolation sure brings you down
no true friends still come around
its so cold here in the winds
the singer knows the song he sings
his washed out image about to take a fall
inside he doesn’t care at all

and the lights go out on the fallen idol
there will be no joy in the dressing room tonight
and the curtain falls on the fallen idol
in a black limousine he will leave here unseen, tonight

when he was young he was a fighter
he always knew which way to go
times changed him, rearranged him
and it seems like he’s the last to know

and the lights go out on the fallen idol
as he stares into the spotlight one more time
there’s no curtain call for the fallen idol
as the band looks away they don’t know what to play, tonight

he stands alone now on the edge of the stage
and I swear I could hear his heart pounding
his voice is just a whisper in the back shadows and echos of the great auditorium
and he looks out, looks out at the faces and he says
reach out and touch me or I might fade away
reach out, reach out and touch me
before I fade away

and the lights go out on the fallen idol
as he looks right down the barrel one last time
and its curtains now for the fallen idol
as he backs from the stage with his sole in a rage, tonight, tonight

reach out, for the fallen idol
reach out, reach out for the fallen idol
reach out

Gordo: The Worlds Greatest Street Drummer

May 17th, 2014 by greenteabreak No comments »

This kid deserves a record deal, but for now only those in Sydney, Australia get to witness his unbelievable talent in person via the streets. Though, I’m pretty sure street goers will be more than willing to help fill his buckets with coins based on his performances. This amazing street performer goes by the name of Gordo. He’s been playing drums since he was a child and buckets since high school. He has a YouTube page and Facebook page. Once you press play be prepared to be wowed!

Honeywell’s Kitchen Computer: The First Home Computer

May 14th, 2014 by George Farina 1 comment »

Honeywell H316 Kitchen Home Computer
The Kitchen Computer is widely recognized as the very first home computer offered to consumers. This monstrosity weighted in at over 100lbs and was mostly used to store and display recipes. The Kitchen Computer was a luxury item as only the wealthiest of wealthy were able to afford this machine. It was offered for sale at Neiman Marcus stores for $10,000. That would be about 65K today. Imagine having to pony-up 65K for a computer! Forget that! Luckily, that’s not necessary. For under a hundred dollars a small tablet could be purchased and used to store virtually every recipe known to mankind.

One of the main reasons the Kitchen Computer wasn’t a success was because it wasn’t user friendly. Once purchased the new owner needed to take a two week programing class so they could learn how to enter and read recipes. To enter recipes a series of zeros and ones known as binary code would need to be programed into the computer. When a recipe was requested the computer would display a pattern of coded flashing lights. The user would then need to decipher the coded lights to understand the recipe. Yes, I know what you’re thinking! That sounds like a lot of extra work for a single meal. To make things worse, the Kitchen Computer was rather large and wouldn’t fit in many kitchens.

This futuristic looking machine was made by Honeywell. Technically it’s name was H316. Introduced in 1965 the H316 didn’t last long due to its many drawbacks and high price. Though, the computer did possess some cool features. It had the ability to suggest a meal based on a particular side dish. It came with a built in cutting/rolling board and the 1969 model came with pre-programed recipes. Plus, it looked very cool. Today there is only one Kitchen Computer known to be in existence. It can be seen at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA.

Honeywell H316 Kitchen Home Computer 1969

A closer look at the H316 Honeywell Kitchen Computer. This is the 1969 version with the stand.


Honeywell H316 Kitchen Home Computer Ad

Neiman Marcus’s original advertisement featuring the Kitchen Computer from their catalog.

1964, 1965 New York World’s Fair

May 8th, 2014 by George Farina 6 comments »
The AMF Monorail Train At The 1964, 1965 New York Worlds Fair

The AMF Monorail train gave passengers an eight minute ride around the amusement section of the 1964, 1965 New York Worlds Fair.

Its been 50 years since the 1964, 1965 New York Worlds Fair, but vivid memories of the fair are still etched in the heads of so many that attended. The 1964, 1965 New York Worlds Fair opened April 22, 1964 in Flushing Meadows, Queens and closed on October 17th 1965. The 64/65 Worlds Fair was one of the coolest events to ever hit New York City! Flushing Meadows-Corona Park was completely transformed into a dreamland beyond ones wildest imagination. The newness, uniqueness and futuristic technology was something never before witnessed by inner-city kids or for that matter adults. Even for the older adults who were lucky enough to have attended the 1939 New York Worlds Fair. It just didn’t compare. The 64/65 Fair in Flushing became the flagship Worlds Fair.

The fair kicked off a time of change not only for New York City, the United States but for the world. Many of the items and technology featured in this Worlds Fair became a way of life during the years to come. The push button phone featured for the first time ever at the fair eventually moved the longstanding good old rotary phone into extinction. Ford unveiled the Mustang at the fair. The Mustang is still in production to this day and remains Fords most recognized automobile. Chrysler showcased an experimental car powered by a turbine (jet style) engine. Attendees would be able to witness the car drive around a track. At the time Chrysler billed the turbine engine as the engine of the future for cars. However, there were certain technological hurdles the car maker couldn’t overcome for the engine to be production ready. For instance the jet fuel burned so hot no one was able to stand behind the car with the engine running. Chrysler also couldn’t find a way to quite the amount of noise produced or limit emissions. The first color TV debuted at the Worlds Fair 25 years after a black and white TV was introduced at the 1939 New York Worlds Fair. Here are some other notables either introduced or in early development on display at the fair:

  • The first video phone was introduced by Bell System called Picturephone. You would be able to see the person and talk to them at the same time. This was basically an early version of today’s Skype.
  • The First push button phone was on display. Prior to the fair all phones were rotary dial.
  • The Belgian Waffle was popularized.
  • A model of the Twin Towers World Trade Center was on display.
  • Sprite was developed and introduced to the public for the first time.
  • The first color television was on display.

The 1964, 1965 Worlds Fair also had a number of exhibits featured throughout the fair. All-in-all there were a hundred and fifty pavilions and exhibits. Thirty-six foreign countries and twenty-one states sponsored exhibits. The rest were mostly sponsored by corporations. The exhibits by foreign countries were something very similar to what you see at Disney World today.

One of the fairs most famous exhibits was the Vatican Pavilion because it was where Michelangelo’s “Pieta” was displayed for the first time in the United States. Michelangelo’s “Pieta” was imported all the way from Italy specifically to be showcased at the Fair. The Carrara marble sculpture is the only piece of art Michelangelo Buonarroti ever signed. It displays the body of Jesus Christ laying on his mothers lap just after the Crucifixion. Walt Disney Productions had their own exhibit displaying robots that used a technology called “audio-animatronics”. These robots could move, sit, stand and talk. The U.S. Space Park housed full-scale models of a Saturn V Boattalia rocket engine. The Saturn V is the same engine that was later used in the Apollo space missions. The Better Living Center housed 76 live animals. The fair even had a dinosaur park called Sinclair Dinoland. Guests would see life size dinosaurs like Tyrannosaurus Rex, Triceratops and Brontosaurus. Another exhibit named the Illinois Pavilion featured a life size figure of Abraham Lincoln, which would speak the Gettysburg Address.

In the amusement park area and throughout the Worlds Fair there were a number of fun and futuristic rides. U.S.Royal Tires built a gigantic Ferris Wheel with the look of a tire. Visitors could ride go karts with the shell of actual cars. Chrysler offered a ride giving attendees the chance to sit in a car as it went through a complete automobile assembly line. An entire Monorail train system was built around the amusement area. Riders would embark on an eight minute ride inside a quite air conditioned single track monorail train three stories in the air. Within the amusement area there were a number of amusement park type rides including a roller-coaster like water ride. Perhaps the most awe inspiring ride at the fair was General Motors Futurama ride where riders would experience a futuristic view of the galaxy as never before seen. They would witness underwater hotels, Lunar Rovers maneuvering effortlessly on far away planets, an Antarctica developed with multiple dome-like communities and the technological machines used to build Futurama.

The Worlds Fair was enormous. It was situated on 12,000 plus acres of land. This post only offers a glimpse into the greatness of this epic event. I haven’t even mentioned the Tower of Light, The Band Pavilion, the Carousel of Progress or the plethora of other items and pavilions. When visitors saw all they could see for one day and their feet were killing them they would make their way over to the fountain (by the gigantic 12 story stainless steel globe known as the Unisphere) to watch the nightly fireworks.

Unfortunately, today there is not much left of the Worlds Fair at its original location. However, one structure still stands at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. I’m talking about the Worlds Fair’s most iconic structure. The famed New York State Pavlovian designed by Philip Johnson. It housed three observation towers and is known to many as the centerpiece of the fair. It is now designated as a National Treasure by the National Trust of Historic Preservation. It also was the location for the fairs 50th anniversary celebration which took place earlier this year.

Believe it or not the Worlds Fair is still alive and well today. It’s just under another name. Plus, the famous fair hasn’t been in the United States for a number of years and isn’t expected back for many more to come. The Worlds Fair is now called Universal Exposition or Expo for short. The last Expo took place in Shanghai, China in 2010. 73+ million people attended with 246 exhibits on display. The next Expo will be held in Milan, Italy starting May 1st 2015.

A small clip from shows at the theater. The audience would sit in the center while the theater moved around around the audience.

Win the column of cash. This a small video clip of a cash (one dollar bills) filled gigantic glass tube spinning around in a circle. If attendees guessed how much money was in the column they would win all the money.

1964, 1965 New York City Worlds Fair Sinclair Dinoland

1964, 1965 New York City Worlds Fair featured Sinclair Dinoland. A giant section of the fair dedicated to prehistoric creatures.

1964, 1965 New York City Worlds Fair Unisphere Globe

1964, 1965 New York City Worlds Fair Unisphere Globe.

1964 1965 New York Worlds Fair GM Futurama Building. This was just a model of the real building.

1964 1965 New York Worlds Fair GM Futurama Building. This was just a model of the real building.

1964 1965 New York Worlds Fair New York State Pavilion

New York State Pavilion with the three observation towers.

1964 1965 New York Worlds Fair U.S. Royal Tires Ferris Wheel

The U.S. Royal Tires Ferris Wheel at the 1964 1965 New York Worlds Fair.


*Green Tea Break would like to thank the donor of the above (never before published) video clips. And also for their first hand account of such a fantastic event.

Just Announced: The Cast For Star Wars Episode VII

April 30th, 2014 by greenteabreak 1 comment »
Star Wars Episode VII Cast Announced

Photo by David James via The above photo shows the cast of Star Wars Episode VII along with the director J.J. Abrams and producers Kathleen Kennedy and Bryan Burk. (the official Star Wars website) announced the cast for their upcoming sci-fi film, Star Wars: Episode VII! Many stars from the original Star Wars cast will be featured in the new film including Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Peter Mayhew, Anthony Daniels, and Kenny Baker. They will be joined by new cast members John Boyega, Adam Driver, Andy Serkis, Daisy Ridley, Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, and Max von Sydow.

Star Wars: Episode VII is being directed by J.J. Abrams (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Star Trek, Star Trek Into Darkness). The film is based on a screenplay written by Lawrence Kasdan and J.J. Abrams. It will be produced by Kathleen Kennedy (E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Jurassic Park Trilogy), and Bryan Burk (Star Trek, Star Trek Into Darkness, Super 8) with John Williams as the composer. If all goes according to plan Star Wars Episode VII is set to premier worldwide on December 18, 2015.

Here’s a quote from Director J.J. Abrams regarding the announcement of the cast, “We are so excited to finally share the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII. It is both thrilling and surreal to watch the beloved original cast and these brilliant new performers come together to bring this world to life, once again. We start shooting in a couple of weeks, and everyone is doing their best to make the fans proud.”

Micro 3D Printer – By M3D

April 24th, 2014 by greenteabreak No comments »

The technology used for 3D printers has become an industry changing technology. M3D, LLC aims to create an affordable efficient 3D printer designed for everyone. The Micro 3D Printer is small enough to fit on the corner of your desk and is able to use a range of different materials when printing. With the Micro 3D printer, users can choose from previously created models to print or create their own. The possibilities are endless as you could create toys, Jewelry, or even decorations for the house. It’s all up to your imagination.

Goonies II – Just Announced!

April 23rd, 2014 by greenteabreak No comments »
The Goonies - 1985

The original Goonies movie (1985).

The production of Goonies II has just been announced! Goonies was one of my all time favorite childhood films. This masterpiece was directed by Richard Donner and produced by Steven Spielberg.  The list of renowned actors in the film include Sean Astin, Josh Brolin and Corey Feldman. Since its release in 1985 the film developed quite a following. Goonies is about a group of misfit kids who embark on an underground treasure hunt in order to try and save their parents homes. During their adventures they had to endure many obstacles and enemies. They even managed to make a new friend on their journey.

Now some 28 years later the production of Goonies II has been announced. Goonies was a legendary flick so we can only hope the squeal lives up to the standard set by the first film. If it does we’re all in for quite a treat. The film is certainly starting off on the right path as it will be directed and produced by Richard Donner (Superman: The Movie, Lethal Weapon, Scrooged) and Steven Spielberg (Raiders of the Lost Ark. ET, Poltergeist). They were the films original director and producer. Plus, early rumors are that the squeal will feature members of the original cast! The release date of this film is still a ways away. Though, it very well might be worth the wait!

Happy Earth Day

April 22nd, 2014 by greenteabreak No comments »

Man, the Orange sure is annoying! lol But seriously, its a great video with the point being: we all have to do our part to make sure Mother Earth lasts as long as possible. It’s hard to deny the impact of global warming as it’s becoming more and more evident with each day that passes. This is not a trend that will change unless we continue to take proper steps (electronic cars, less pollution …ect) to defeat global warming. Below are a few links in honor of Earth Day:

Happy Easter!

April 20th, 2014 by greenteabreak No comments »

Hope you all have a Safe and Happy Easter Sunday! Don’t eat too much chocolate!
Jesus died for our sins and gave us eternal life with his resurrection. Today (Easter Sunday) we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Amen.