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WQED’s Rick Sebak gets ‘Nebby’ in ‘That Kennywood Summer’ |

WQED’s Rick Sebak gets ‘Nebby’ in ‘That Kennywood Summer’

Mary Pickels
| Tuesday, January 22, 2019 9:45 a.m

That Kennywood Summer

The fifth program in Rick Sebak’s kickstarted “Nebby” series, “That Kennywood Summer,” will premiere at 8 p.m. Jan. 24 on WQED-TV.

The 30-minute documentary was created with footage Sebak and his WQED crew shot in 1988 while gathering material for his program “Kennywood Memories.” That documentary remains one of WQED’s Pittsburgh History Series’ most popular and most requested.

“Back in that summer of 1988, we made 24 trips to Kennywood Park to shoot the original. And we got a lot of great moments,“ says Sebak, “but we also left significant stuff on the proverbial editing room floor. Back then we shot on 20-minute Betacam tapes, and I begged for WQED to let us keep the raw stuff, so we’ve had 125 of those tapes in our archives since then. It’s been astounding to jump back and see the world 31 years ago on videotape.”

Included in the documentary are several interviews that did not make the original cut. New sound bites come from classic characters like ride operator Beth Snodgrass at the Wave Swinger and maintenance man Geno Chamboredon at the Thunderbolt, according to WQED.

“I think it’s interesting to note that all the little kids in the footage would be in their mid-30s now, and it’s startling to see a world where no one is holding a cell phone. There are of course a lot of mullets, lots of permed hair, goofy outfits, and some men wore awfully short shorts that summer,” Sebak says.


Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-836-5401, or via Twitter @MaryPickels.

Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-836-5401, or via Twitter .

Kennywood maintenance workers spruce up the lighting on the Wave Swinger in this 2015 photo.
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