Sunday, December 9, 2012

Stirring Up Some Old Memories

According to BING, today is the 50th birthday of the Petrified Forest National Park. Well; Happy Birthday.

Somewhere I have a picture of me, my sister and our Dad in the Petrified Forest. We're sitting on a log about 8 feet long and maybe 30 inches in diameter. I'm about 4; Sis is 3 or so. Dad is wearing a cowboy hat. That hat is still in the family. It is a white Stetson, and I don't think Dad ever wore after we left Texas a few days later. But he kept it for the next 40 years, hanging off of a basketball trophy on his chest of drawers.

Back in the 60's real Stetson cowboy hats were kinda rare in our part of Kentucky. So, when a local theater group did a production of Oklahoma!, Dad's hat did a star turn on the head of Curly. We got free tickets to the show.

But, I digress.

The visit to the petrified forest was on the return leg of our California trip. A real Vacation trip that took us through Denver to Los Angeles and Disneyland, then up the coast to Knott's Berry Farm and San Francisco, then home the southern route through Arizona, for the Grand Canyon, and Texas. One Day I am going to do a series of posts on that trip. I just have to figure out who has the movies.

My Mom's Dad was on the trip with us, and took hundreds of feet of film from Cincinnati to LA and back, some of it with the hood ornament of our '55 Oldsmobile figuring prominently. Dad had the super 8 footage converted to video tape years ago, and I think my brother had it converted to DVD a few years later. As soon as I figure out who has the movies, I'll rip 'em to my computer and post pieces in the blog.

Our trip wasn't as exciting as the trip the Griswolds took 20 years later, and Disneyland was open when we got there, but I can still remember bits and pieces almost 50 years later.

I have to confess; the primary memory I have of that trip is the smell of hotel rooms. A combination of cleaning fluids and air conditioning, that smell remains with me today for some reason. I associated that smell with air conditioning for years; that trip was the first time I remember spending a considerable amount of time in cooled air.

Amazing what will impress itself on the mind of a 4 year old, isn't it?

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