Road Trip ’77

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February 14, 2014 by T. Gregory Argall

I was ten years old when we did a family road trip to Disney World in Florida.
Two adults, three young boys, and a dog, piled into a station wagon and driving a billion miles south to the magical kingdom of wonderment and joy.

Now, many many many years later, I have four very brief but distinct memory-snippets of the trip and not much else to commemorate that particular vacation.

Casting my mind back, I have a quick sensation of eventually hating the song, “It’s A Small World After All,” after waiting in the near endless line up for the Small World ride with a thirty-second clip of the song on perpetual repeat. Even at the innocent age of ten, I was amazed that the ride operator hadn’t torn his own ears from his head to stave of the aural insanity.

I remember the gift shop at the end of one day, when I had to choose one item out of thousands. I was told I could get one souvenir at the shop and now I had to figure out what that one thing would be. Then I spotted it. The ultimate souvenir. Sort of. Well, not really, but I liked it.

I still have it.

Here it is…

photo (4)

On the jungle river tour boat ride thingy, we arrived at an artificial cave with a carved-foam facade modelled to look vaguely Incan. The tour guide told our group that this was the entrance to a sacred temple dedicated to a goddess named Shirley. He paused, then charged straight ahead with the punchline. “Yes, this is Shirley’s Temple.”
Encouraged by the groans of half-hearted laughter, he somberly explained that no one really knows what the inside of the temple looks like due to the poor lighting conditions. “But archeologists are fine with that. They just call Shirley’s Temple Black.”

That one had to be explained to me. Give me a break. I was ten.

I wonder if they still use the same jokes on the jungle river ride.

Earlier this week when I heard on the news that Shirley Temple Black had passed away, the Disney World family road trip drifted back into my thoughts. Because that’s how my mind works.
A few days later when Sid Caesar died, I had no flashbacks to any road trips at all, although I have often quite enjoyed clips from Your Show Of Shows.

Because that’s also how my mind works.

Speaking of memories, remember to try to be nice to each other.



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