Did your father take you to the local playground when you were a kid? Do you remember the feel of the swing or the dizzying swirl of the merry-go-round? We being of southern California were not too far from the royal playground called Disneyland, and we perhaps were spoiled to have close-by Dumbo the Flying Elephant.But here, in this photo, are the pre-Dumbo days: Dad and I at El Dorado Park in Long Beach. Here my father, special agent Joe Conlon, tends to my rendezvous with said animal. After his long day of chasing Communists or catching Capone or some such sort.
In no time at all do I remember asking my father, "When will this elephant fly?!" Yes, a cockeyed optimist from day one: but surely, Disney's Dumbo did soar through the winds with flapping ears as wings, so why should not the elephant at the local playground zoom toward the horizon?! Ah, precocious daughter.
Here is where imagination comes to play. At this warm summer moment, do I remember those sojourns to El Dorado park with my father and then on to Disneyland and stepping into the "Dumbo The Flying Elephant Ride" and buckling in, experiencing the thrill of sitting with my serious yet chuckling Dad and flying, round and round and round again, into the balm of blue lit summer nights.
Many memories start with the playgrounds of our youth. (Looks like we're flying upside down!)