I'd like to tell you a story about Disneyland. Everyone on Earth knows about Disneyland. My Mom kept really good track of stuff and she learned about Disneyland long before it became a buzz word of the American lexicon. Being a little kid at the time, I have no recollection of how my Mom decided Disneyland was going to be a Great American Icon/Shrine. Looking back, I suspect she knew it was being constructed and laid in wait, kind of like a two-legged cat hoping to pounce on Mickey and Mini Mouse.
Well, whatever the case actually was, there was no doubt that when Disneyland finally opened up, WE had to GO there. According to Wiki, Disneyland officially open July 17, 1955. I think it was 1957 when we finally got there. I know my Mom had been jones-ing to get there for a long time. I can't remember exactly how we got there but I know it was through Yosemite National Park and back along Old Route 66 through the Grand Canyon and then Mesa Verde. But I digress.
Anyway, when we finally got to Disneyland, of course, we all went nuts and thought it was the finest thing ever made and put together by human beings. We spent hours upon hours there and, naturally, it changed my entire life. I fell victim to the idea that Disneyland was reality.
Eventually, my parents tired of being in such a fantasy land and they made the cardinal mistake of saying, "You can stay here, we will come and pick you up later." Well, that wouldn't have been much of a Big Deal except that they had purchased for me some sort of unlimited "E" ticket ride card so I could go on the "E" tickets rides like forever and forever as if they would last forever.
Naturally, I lost total track of time, as a young kid would be wont to do under such circumstances. It turns out my Dad had to mount the equivalent of a search and rescue mission to find me that day. I will never forget all the men who finally found me and surrounded me and sort of took me captive. Perhaps I had momentarily gone feral. It was like they were sort of roping me in. Luckily, I didn't get thrown down on the ground and tied at the ankles like a roping steer. That's how far "out there" I was that day---WAAAY out there. My Dad wasn't happy at all and proceeded to tell me so in no uncertain terms.
Apparently, by getting lost in the delirium of Disneyland, I had violated an unknown rule of the Parsons Family that one could NOT have TOO MUCH FUN! (Having SOME fun was OK--just not too much fun.) Having too much fun was totally against all know rules of my Family History. I was the first person, apparently, to grossly violate this unseen rule and was made to feel very guilty about it for quite some time in my life.
Looking back, I think my parents realized they made a gross mistake by letting me go feral in Disneyland that day in the late 1950's. I know in my heart they always regretted that parental mistake. If they would have kept me in check that day, perhaps I would have been a Good Boy. Perhaps I would have married early, had a baker's dozen babies like my Uncle Bunny and grown old and been buried in the family plot. If only they would have kept me in check that day.
But they didn't. Once they let me go, I realized that Life could be Disneyland and I've never looked back. Indeed, Life IS Disneyland for those who can see and grasp the fantasy and imagination it takes to lead an "E" ticket life.
I will never forget moving to Tucson, Arizona on Valentine's Day of 1979. I got off the plane and was walking across the tarmac of that old relic of an airport and I looked at the guy next to me and said, "Wow, this place is an "E" ticket!" He looked at me like I was an idiot.
But, you know what, it's been an "E" ticket ever since and I am danged proud of having jump started my life at the original Disneyland in 1957, 55 years ago.
Now it seems that Disneyland is harking back to its roots. Susun gets the "O" magazine, the one with the same woman on the cover every month. I didn't have anything to read tonight so I began leafing through all the self-help, dietary and beauty tips that make up 99.999% of the "O" magazine. Imagine my surprise when I spied a multi-page centerfold touting and pimping "all things Disneyland."
I ripped those pages right out of the slick magazine and scanned them in for this blog post. Based on what I see here, Disneyland's reach and pull on the human imagination is just as alive and well today as is was 55 years ago. VIVA DISNEY!
I have annotated each of the photos with captions below.
Well, I really like the one above with the light in the limestone cave on an unknown seashore. Perhaps I am the lizard waiting to live Mark Twain's words:
"...So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
Where Memories take hold and never let go. Is this not rich or what? Queen Latifah in the grips of the tentacles of an octopus. And look at her glee!
As I close this tome on Disneyland tonight, I want to share another quote I found today:
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do..."
We may not be able to revel today in Disneyland's debauchery, but we all still have the power and the will to do whatever it is we want to do and become. Will we sit and wait as life passes us by or will we ride the gilded horse around the Merry Go Round to perhaps grab that elusive brass ring?
The choice is uniquely ours.
Every day can be our "E" ticket ride.
Disneyland is right around the corner
where memories take hold and never let go!
Hang on for the ride of Our afterlife--
Our memories are waiting!
Many Cheers, jp