When it comes to celebrations, WHERE is often as important as why. That's one reason Disneyland holds so many great memories.
On the ride to work today, I spotted a caravan of SUVs that had "Disneyland or Bust!" written all over the windows in paint. I had to wonder, were they out-of-towners for a weekend visit? And, if so, how many hours did they spend on the road for their weekend pleasures? Aren't we lucky that we have places like Disneyland to celebrate special times? Southern California is a great place to live!
When I turned twelve years-old (a rather auspicious age) my parents told me I could go to Disneyland to celebrate my birthday. "Can I drive the car, too?" was my quick reply. Sorry, it's just my sense of humor. They did allow me to take a friend, though. So, my best friend and next-door neighbor joined me for an entire day and night of amusement park rides, hamburgers and Main Street popcorn.
Here's the funny thing about it. Despite what I'm sure was a real blast of a birthday party, I remember only one thing the best. I remember the song that was playing on the radio as we entered the Disneyland parking lot. Perhaps, that was a prediction of what much of my life would include - the radio and great songs.
Disneyland would later be our home to other memorable moments. I stood on the bridge outside of Cinderella's Castle and gave my class ring to my first high school sweetheart. More recently, I've hosted the nighttime KOST "Love Songs" show from Main Street with your requests and dedications until 2am. That laughingly happened, despite the park and Main Street closing at midnight. Hey, the janitors and street sweepers were great companions.
Disneyland has always been a wonderful host. Each night of my Love Songs broadcast, they provided a table full of colorful, fresh flowers. At the end of each evening they said, "Ted, be sure and take the flowers home. We'll have some new ones for you again tomorrow." So, I spent two weeks filling our home with so many huge bouquets. One guest who dropped by our home admired all the flowers. Then, they got a real serious look and a frown on their face. "Who died?" was their question. My family burst into laughter. "Nobody died," was the reply. "We've just been to Disneyland."