Sunday, October 14, 2007

What Ever Happened to Ben? (Part One)

When I was ten, my family took a trip to Miami, Florida for the winder holiday - a two week vacation at a (then) typical Miami Beach hotel - multistory, some scheduled activities, and the beach right behind the hotel property. This was before today's "revitalized" Miami Beach, with (I'm told) glitzy hotels, night life, and lots of Cuban atmosphere. There might have been a lot going on, but for a ten year old kid, what counted in Miami Beach was the place where I spent most of my time - the hotel. I think a kid in Vegas might feel the same thing - plenty of lights and activity - but what does it mean to him?

Looking back on it, this vacation was actually one of the more activity-filled trips we took. We visited plenty of local attractions, including Parrot Jungle (where about four heavy parrots balanced on my scrawny arms for a photo), Lion Country Safari, where (I think) I saw the dolphins who performed in the TV show, Flipper (before computer graphics spared such animals a good deal of online work). We didn't get to visit the just opened Disney World (my dad didn't want to fight the traffic), but we did visit Kennedy Space Center - though it was late in the day and only the gift shop was open- I sitll have the Apollo 15 cap we purchased there.

At the hotel, however, there was a entirely new set of adventures. This was in the days before video arcades, wireless internet, or widescreen televisions. The list of activities, in my ten year old's perception, included the ocean, the pool, the shuffleboard court, the nightly bingo games, and a movie night (where they rolled out a sixteen milimeter projector). An adult - or older kid, like my teenage sister - would look at the situation as dire, but at ten, I accepted reality and went about seeing how I could fit into my new, semi-independent limitied-to-two-weeks world.

Part Two: The Shuffleboard Kid

5 comments:

stephen said...

If the subject is Ben, he still hasn't been introduced.

Rich Samuels said...

And Star Wars doesn't begin with Luke Skywalker, either.

Greg said...

But it's not called "Skywalker Wars," it's called "Star Wars." We demand to know what happened to Ben!

Stephen said...

Ben went off with Willard.

Rich Samuels said...

Wrong Story