Themed Entertainment: TEA’s Mr. Mission Control ‘ Buzz Price (1921 ‘ 2010)

Ita��s been nearly a year (August 15, 2010) since Buzz Price passed away and since then Ia��ve had numerous opportunities to talk with friends and colleagues about dad. Everyone that knew dad had a favorite story.

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david price theme park designBy Architect David Price, TEA Western Division Board Member

In a very personal way, the stories helped turn our loss into a very sweet journey.  Many of these recollections were set against the backdrop of a campaign by the Themed Entertainment Association Foundation to raise funds for a scholarship in dad’s name – The Buzz Price TEA Ryman Arts Endowment – which to date has raised over $70, 000.  

The success of that effort reflects the tremendous respect and admiration that friends and colleagues felt for Buzz.  It also reaffirms TEA’s own commitment towards creating opportunities for talented high school students who represent our industry’s next generation of artists and creative thinkers.  

Many of the stories about dad come from friends that knew dad professionally through a lifetime of collaboration and shared experiences.  Both Nick Winslow and Bob Rogers fit that mold well.  Nick’s career in the entertainment business spans over 30 years.  He began as a research associate with Economics Research Associates in the company that dad started (with the encouragement and support from Walt Disney).  Nick specialized in theme parks, tourism and market research studies.  His background in the industry today is widely known and highly respected.  Bob Rogers is the Founder and Chief Creative Officer for BRC Imagination Arts.  No other experience design firm has as much experience and success as BRC in designing and building space-based projects, including several attractions for NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida.
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 Nick was rummaging through project boxes recently and found a photo (above) of Buzz circa 1987 standing at the original historic mission control (not the current one) at Johnson Space Center.  Bob Rogers states that Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, Apollo-Soyuz and most of Shuttle were run from this location.  Buzz is standing next to the Flight Director’s desk, right where Gene Krantz sat while calling the moon landings.  If you remember the old NASA films, or from Apollo 13, Gene was the guy with the flat top hair cut who always wore a vest.  Gene was Mr. Mission Control making all the decisions during flight.  Nick and Buzz were escorted through the facility by an astronaut; saw the collection of moon rocks, visited the centrifuge trainer and sat in the space shuttle simulator.  The rest is history.