HOUSTON – Hundreds of former Astroworld employees gathered in west Houston Saturday night to reflect on what many of them call the best times of their lives.
"You know, we were all really young,” said Richard Foisner who worked at the park in the early 70s. “We were kids, we were high school.”
The theme park was the Houston home to summer friendships and romances for the workers. Some of them have lasted for decades.
Richard Foisner met his future wife, Nancy, who also worked at Astroworld at the time. The pair ran into each other at the railroad crossing.
At the auction held following Astroworld’s 2005 closing, the Foisners bought the railroad crossing sign from where they first crossed paths.
“That railroad crossing sits in our backyard,” said Nancy Foisner. “And we just celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary.”
“Welcome aboard the River of No Return,” says Pix Smith in an amusement-park ride announcer voice.
Smith was a conductor and worked at Astroworld for several years from the late-70s to the early-80s. His time spent working there helped to steer the start of his career.
“About three years later I founded the Dallas puppet theater in Dallas,” said Smith. “And I’ve been doing entertainment for the last 30 odd years.”
Re-living their favorite stories of the past the crowds share their favorite memories from the days they thought would never end.
One former employee is wearing the same yellow Astroworld shirt to the reunion that she wore when she worked at the park in the 70s.
But at some point in every conversation among the former workers at the reunion, reality returns.
Astroworld is gone, and it isn’t coming back.