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Babes in Gatorland: 1968

Babes in Gatorland: 1968

Another shot from the collection of family photos I've been scanning for a friend - she's the little girl on the right, with her sister, grandmother and aunt. Orlando, Florida's Gatorland still exists, as does this toothy entrance. The blue cloud is the result of mold eating its way down to the blue layer of the emulsion of this unbranded color slide, processed in February 1968. View full size.

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Fireproof mouth

The mouth is original, having survived the fire. The rest of the building, which was the ticket office and souvenir stand, was a total loss. When it was rebuilt, the mouth was no longer at the main entrance, so that picture-taking families like this one wouldn't block the way in and out.

Return trip

My dad has pictures of my brother and me in front of Gatorland when we were about 3 & 4 and another picture of the two of us taken in the same place when I graduated from Boot Camp.

Fire in the Hole

The "mouth" along with the reception area, burnt down a few years ago. It was rebuilt and now Gatorland is bigger and better than before, and ready to separate the tourist from his wallet.

Still a hit!

That gator still packs 'em in, from Google Streetview:

Family Ties

This picture, like so many of mine, shows people other than Mom and Dad taking the kids somewhere.

This is not meant to imply that Mom and Dad didn't care about the kids, but to confirm the fact that in years past, grandparents and other relatives played a big part in the raising of a family. This was a good thing, and I can say from experience that I felt every relative was an important part of my family, something I think is missing today.

It's feeding time

And the two nice ladies have brought some snacks for the Gators.

The mystery of Gatorland

It's cold enough for sweaters but warm enough for bare legs - at the same time!

1961 Plymouth Fury in background!

Just like the one I used to own in college in the 1980s. I miss that car! Had been owned by retired prof at Fairleigh Dickinson Univ. in NJ. He'd hardly ever driven it. It was in mint shape. HUGE V8 motor. It had a speedometer that read like a thermometer -- in my youth, I tried to make the car go so fast, the entire "thermometer" read red! Our boys in blue didn't like that much and pulled my license when they caught me driving at triple-digit speed! That car was SO much fun!

[That belt molding is too deep for a '61 Fury. It looks like a 1963-64 Chrysler 300. - Dave]

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