Friday, November 22, 2013

From 1969 to 2013

Today is a date that people look back on with dismay, horror and sadness.  This year marks the 50th anniversary of the death of President John F Kennedy.

In our family, 
today's date marks an important day in the life of one our family's most important members, my father.  This year he would have been 95!  

A large coincidence has occured in my life lately.  I am living in an area that my father, my mother and I visited in 1969.  My father had his own small airplane and in the "Summer of 69" he decided he and I would make a cross-country trip from Toronto, Canada to Fullerton, California.  My mother, not a fan of the small plane, opted to go by train and met us there.

 The name of that town has always stuck in my head since that trip when I was 10 years old. It was to that town's airport that we landed after passing by the Grand Canyon, New Mexico, Las Vegas and Arizona after several days of flying.

Well, it happens to be quite close to the "Happiest Place on Earth", the place I had dancing around in my head the entire trip. 

The coincidence?  Well, our new home happens to be about 15 minutes away from Disneyland and Fullerton is just another 10 minutes up the road.  All these years I never really understood why we landed and stayed in Fullerton.  In fact it wasn't until yesterday that I realized that we landed at the Fullerton airport - or that they had one.

Mr. Tennis called me from the road and said, "when you and your dad flew here, did you land at Fullerton Airport?"  Well, it hadn't occurred to me, but of course we must have since we stayed in Fullerton during our California visit.

So, in between puppies today I drove to Fullerton to see for myself where we most likely landed 44 years ago.

My dad loved that plane and called it "Romeo"  after the first letter in it's call sign.
  RGE - Romeo Gulf Echo.

Seeing the small airport didn't stir any particular memories about that trip, but I admit to getting misty-eyed looking at the small planes on the tarmac.  Surely that's where we parked Romeo and tied him down.

Surely that windsock has been replaced overtime, but it's one of the things I always look for at a small airport as my dad was always consulting them for wind direction.

Surely my father was smiling today as he saw his daughter return to what must be where we left Romeo while we visited with Mickey and the gang, went swimming in the Pacific at Long Beach, drove up to Hollywood and toured Universal Studios.

I could only find these prices from 1967, but my haven't times changed?

I know I'm smiling as I remember being 10 years old and experiencing the magic of Disney for the first time with my late parents.

I need to return to Disneyland for the second time, now that we live here. When I go, I will try to hear my dad's laughter as he too enjoyed "The Happiest Place on Earth" for the first time with his daughter.
The daughter for whom he flew his little plane all the way across this massive country so she could see some magic.

 Now that's an E-ticket ride!

Happy Birthday to my father, Richard S. Hughes!


Mr. Connor said...

Wow ~ what a trip ! A great father to all of us. Also made sure you got to Disneyland in Orlando in the year it opened. Had some wonderful trips in that plane. Happy 95 th !

Debby@Just Breathe said...

I have chills running down my body reading this post. I have to say I am with your mom about taking the train. Small planes scare me. What a sweet memory you have and how awesome that you are right there now! I graduated HS in 1969 but I spent a month in San Diego when I was 13 with my Aunt and Uncle and I took the train all by myself from Illinois. Thank you so much for sharing this with me. Debby

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

This is such a sweet post, Ann! You dad sounds like a bit of an adventurer...and fun, too! Disneyland! I went there for the first time in Jan 1966. We were moving from Sacramento to Minnesota and took a side trip to Disneyland. I was wearing winter clothes (stretch pants and a sweater) we bought for Minnesota, and it was 90 degrees in Anaheim!
Thanks for sharing your fun story, Ann...I loved it! Happy Birthday to your Dad!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful memories. That must have been awesome to fly with your dad and now, to visit the airport from all those years ago. Thanks for sharing the story with us.
I know your heart is full of love for your dad, especially on his birthday.

Erika Christine said...

This is beautiful!

Corn in my Coffee-Pot said...

I'd have been terrified!
Don't like to fly...but the idea of your dad doing that with you and getting to see it all now as an certainly special.
A sweet story indeed.

rottrover said...

Happy Birthday, Richard! What a ride!! My mom would have been 99 on Nov. 30! Amazing.

Edilma Weissmueller said...

A wonderful blog Ann.
I remembered Dick in my prayers this AM like I do every year.
Today all the personal memories of 50 years ago came to my mind,watched the wonderful Memorial they had in Dallas to honor such a great man. Then I re read your blog.

Cristine Norrington said...

I think I have been to Disneyland 6 times.... And I don't live there! In a year or so, we take the boys.

I didn't know you all had a plane.... Cool. And interesting to see his sense of fashion never changed. :)

Mr. Tennis said...

Your Dad was a unique individual and I certainly miss his him

Olive said...

Good memories here Ann. You must go to Disney land and take pictures. That will bring out the ten year old in you. xo, olive

Claudia said...

What a lovely serendipitous memory. Your dad sounds like quite a guy!


Mrs Black the shoppe keeping cat said...

How wonderful - such a great memory and an adventure to explore this place which you once visited. This anniversary seems surreal to me, just like the day it all happened. x

The Country Mouse said...

What a wonderful post, Ann. Your dad would be pleased to know you remember that time and that trip so fondly. And there is a little of your mother in you, too, since I know you're not all that fond of small planes, either. Happy Thanksgiving to all at Boston Manor!

The Country Mouse said...

What a wonderful post, Ann. Your dad would be pleased to know you remember that time and that trip so fondly. And there is a little of your mother in you, too, since I know you're not all that fond of small planes, either. Happy Thanksgiving to all at Boston Manor!

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

No matter what there is always joy to be found. How wonderful that a special memory was brought back to you.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving week!

the cape on the corner said...

what a special day and a special post. and my gosh, those prices! crazy!