Remembering Founder Of Guyton’s Fun Junction
With the recent (July 26) passing of longtime Grand Junction resident Bob Guyton, some of my co-workers and I have been sharing fond memories of the legacy this gentle man left behind.
For anyone who is not familiar with the Guyton family, Bob – along with his wife Maebeth – was the driving force behind a multi-faceted family business known as Guyton’s Fun Junction Amusement Park.
The venture started off as a miniature golf course in July 1954, and was located on North Avenue in Grand Junction. The park later began adding additional attractions, and by the 1970s, the park included a miniature golf course, an arcade, kiddie rides, and thrill rides. The park was basically designed to provide “clean, wholesome recreation” for the entire family.
When my family first moved to Grand Junction in March 1980, I was a sophomore in high school and my sister was in eighth grade. Two months later, when Fun Junction opened up for the summer, my sister and I quickly learned what a valuable asset Guyton’s Fun Junction had become to the Grand Junction area.
For starters, many of the friends my sister and I met while in middle school and high school had their very first job at Fun Junction. Some of those friends worked at Fun Junction for multiple summers, and they had nothing but kind words to say about both Bob and Maebeth. Some of those comments included learning a strong work ethic that has stuck with them to this day.
All in all, Guyton’s Fun Junction was a good place to go and have fun, either with family or with friends, and in some instances with both family and friends.
One constant memory I have of Fun Junction involved the park’s ferris wheel. At the time, Fun Junction was located right next door to a drive-in movie theater known as the Chief Drive-in. The one thing I always enjoyed was riding the ferris wheel and being able to see at least part of the movie showing next door at the Chief Drive-in.
Another popular ride at Fun Junction was the bumper boats. Elementary school kids had a blast with this ride, especially since they (in general) were better at the ride than some adults. But, at the same time, the bumper boats gave some adults the chance to be kids again.
If I remember correctly, another ride in the park, the Tilt-O-Whirl, had a unique distinction from the other rides in the park. A sign at the Tilt-O-Whirl stated the ride was used in a famous movie – again, if I remember correctly, the movie was “State Fair” with Ann-Margaret.
One of the last attractions to be added to Guyton’s Fun Junction was a small roller coaster. Granted, it was nothing like the roller coasters at brand-name amusement parks such as Six Flags, but Guyton’s roller coaster still had the ability to delight fans of all ages.
Bob and Maebeth Guyton operated Fun Junction Amusement Park for 45 years, at which time their son, Kevin, took over operations. The park eventually closed their doors for the last time in 1999.
Bob Guyton will be missed by the many people who knew him and knew of him through Guyton’s Fun Junction.
To Bob Guyton – thank you for the memories.