Tuesday, November 07, 2006

How sad to see this story today not only my local paper, but in almost every major newspaper including the New York Times.

I can remember spending my summers and a yearly school field trip at Gatorland Zoo in Kissimmee. It was our closest local attraction long before the roads were littered with tacky tourist shops hocking "10 t-shirts for $10" and it felt like an adventure to an 8 year old on a school bus of 3rd graders and sack lunches.

I know somewhere I have a picture of me and my friends in front of the famous alligator mouth entrance. It was so cool to touch the teeth and quietly fantasize that I was really walking through the mouth of an alligator. Those same jaws served as a landmark along Orange Blossom Trail as I rode to Orlando with my family. I would obsessively scan the landscape for those big white teeth. Even as I grew up and the attraction became more popular, it remained a nice childhood memory and a touchstone in my life. I still catch myself looking for those teeth when I am there.

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