Sunday, November 11, 2007

Being Lost at Disney

Originally uploaded by billread
Disney has got to be the greatest place in the world for kids, and not because it is fun, but because they think about everything possible. In 1970 my parents took a trip across the country with all four of us kids in a station wagon, towing a camper. One of my strongest memories was of Disney Land.

We were standing in a great crowd of people when I was distracted by some object. Don't ask me what it was, I was only five. By the time I came around, I couldn't find my family. I turned around, and seeing a dress like the one my mother had on, tugged on the hem. As she turned around, and I realized it wasn't my mom, I instantly burst out in tears. The poor lady, I'm sure, was horrified at the prospect of this little kid suddenly being her responsibility.

After a few seconds of confusion and hesitation, she flagged down a Disney employee. He went into action, whisking this pathetic bundle of blubbering tears away to the nearest information booth. I was completely incoherent, but that did not deter them. Plying me with soda, which distracted and soothed me, they had my attention and trust. Then they reassured me that my parents were just around the corner-- a little white lie to buy them some time and trust.

Now quieted, I sat in the booth and watched the crowd go by while the attendant kept me further diverted with little tidbits about what was going on around us. In a short while my parents were found, and came gushing into the booth to get me.

Looking back on it, I think I had more fun in the booth than in the rest of the park. At least, in my dim recollection, I remember it best.


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