It is odd what triggers memories of youth. Now that my contract is in the winding down phase, or at least in a breather phase where I don’t need to work 7 days per week I started thinking about things to do when I was heading home. For some odd reason today I remembered “The Great Space Coaster” and “No Gnews is good Gnews with Gary Gnu.” Perhaps I simply remembered seeing a sign for Walla Walla, Washington on my drive here, I don’t know.
So, tonight when I got home I started searching around on-line for some hokey tourist trap one could visit and get a few pictures taken, etc. Imagine my surprise when I didn’t find even one site to visit! I mean, coming from IL there are quite a few small towns with a nostalgic “Route 66” gas station tourist trap where one can sign a guest book, etc. They feed on it because to or through a small town. I assumed there would be some place outside with an old shed Great Space Coaster stuff.
When I was a teenager we didn’t have the Internet. We could not believe Walla Walla, Washington was an actual place. Imagine our shock when someone finally opened up a road atlas (or encyclopedia) and found it existed! Almost as shocked as we were to find out there really is a Toad Suck, AR. “Welcome to Toad Suck where it is just another day,” was a phrase we had fun with for a while.
I mean seriously, if you happened to be close to one of these places for a trip of some kind, wouldn’t you want to swing by and get your picture taken with “life size” Gary Gnu under a sign saying “Welcome to Walla Walla?” Or how about standing next to an actual billboard saying “Welcome to Toad Suck?”
During my college years I had a friend move to Denver. I went to visit her and her soon to be hubby and found out there was an actual street sign saying “Hooker St.” where many of the people they knew (mostly guys so maybe it is a guy thing?) had taken pictures of themselves holding up a makeshift cardboard sign reading “50 Cents.”
It’s those stupid things which make the fondest memories. Great to do when you are young and still have enough time left to live them down.
For some more memories, try this post.