A trip to Disneyland

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A column G. George Ostrom picked out from June, 1968.

Guess the last time I had my column in here, the Ostroms were roaring across the Oakland Bridge in a 10-foot Bell camper.

Needless to say, we are not still there. Altogether, we traveled 4,000 miles by way of San Francisco, Los Angeles, Tijuana, Mexico, Las Vegas, Grand Tetons and Yellowstone Parks and Drummond.

It was a long, wonderful trip, buy maybe a few short observations will dispose of it here so I can once again get back to commentary on local events, potshotting at the constant blunders of the National Park Service and all that other good stuff.

The trip was meant to be educational for my kids, and educational it was.

In Berkley, I had to explain to Wendy Kay, “Why are those girls wearing beards?” That is normally an easy question to answer…expect when the girl-looking beard growers are standing there listening.

Sooner or later, every parent must face the “bids and bees” question, but why did my time have to come at the San Diego Zoo…in a crowd yet? How would I possibly know that hippopotami mate at 2:37 p.m. on May 2, and that a 9-year-old voice could sound so loud asking, “What are those hippos doing, daddy?”

There we were, entering the United States on the highway from Caliente, Mexico (California is tough on import regulation).

The border guard has just asked me the most important question of all, “Have you any fruit or vegetables in your camper?”

I have just replied, “No, sir!” when over the cab-to-camper intercom booms my 10-year-old’s voice, “Hey Clarkie, I’ll trade you this orange for your carrot sticks.”

It is a small world. The night I was in San Francisco with some friends, my brother was in a hotel only six blocks away.

Neither of us knew the other was in town, but we were both paying very close attention to what was going on and analyzing every move. The only difference was that he was finalizing the merger of the Bell and DiGiorgio Corporations and I was…watching a topless waitress.

What can we say about Disneyland? Outside of the fact that it is an engineering feat of fantastic proportions, it is sufficient to say it is overwhelming. By staying all day, you can see everything in three days, but you can’t absorb it that fast.

The one thing that impressed me the most from the standpoint of practicality was the cleanliness of the grounds and the courtesy, charm and talent of the employees. They are mainly college students; they are not hippies. I had the feeling that young fella over there picking up gum wrappers (tosses away by some slob) might someday be a U.S. Senator or that self-confident young lady steering our boat past Pinocchio’s village was close to getting her master’s degree in bio-chemistry at UCLA. So be it in Disneyland.

I guess we all see what we are looking for and find what we are seeking. The Ostroms were looking for a good time on our first family vacation in 11 years, and we found it.

Outside of when Clark and Shannon broke a window while fighting in the camper, Iris got me on the wrong freeway in Anaheim, Wendy woke up a crabby old lady in Laguna Beach, Heidi spilled he malted on a nut in a white suit and those few other minor mishaps, our trip was a ball.

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