Some Things Never Seem to Change
There is an old saying that basically says: “The more things change, the more they remain the same.” I found some truth to this statement a few years ago when I traveled to Yellowstone Park with my daughter and son-in-law and their 14-month old son Aidan.
Fifty plus years ago when I traveled through Yellowstone, and on subsequent trips since, I ran into road construction and summer hail storms. This current trip was no different; even down to the way traffic in those situations was being handled.
On our first day into the park, we came upon a thirty-minute delay and sat through a heavy rain shower with some hail. More than a half century ago, I experienced the exact same thing. I’ve traveled Yellowstone enough to know this is to be expected (Yellowstone Park seems to have a perpetual propensity for road construction and thunder storms. I’ve never been there when there was neither of these at some time or another).
What amazed me on this trip is that construction delays were handled in much the same fashion as they were a half century ago. We sat for fifteen minutes or more waiting for the pilot car to return leading oncoming traffic through the construction zone, and another fifteen minutes for all those cars to pass by before we could proceed.
On the second of these delays, just for something to do, I started counting the cars that came by while we waited for our turn to move on. One hundred thirty-six, and there had been quite a few pass prior to the time I started counting. I’m guessing that it must have been pre-determined that they would let one hundred fifty cars go through at a time. I remarked to my daughter who was driving, that I thought it would make more sense and would speed the flow of traffic a little better if they limited the bunch to twenty-five or thirty vehicles at a time. A string of one hundred fifty autos certainly had to back traffic up for a mile or more.
And there are the “hypers” who travel 1500-2000 miles from California and points east expecting to tour the roads of Yellowstone Park at open freeway speeds. Yellowstone is not meant to be a fast drive-through even if there were no road construction. The sounds and scenery are like a fine wine to be consumed slowly and savored. Even if we had wanted to, rushing though the park was not a concern for us, because little Aidan was our anchor. We stopped at most of the geological phenomena and walked the boardwalks.
Thanks to Aidan, we took our time and paid more attention to the attractions. Aidan was very adamant in his desire walk along the various loops. He was not about to be confined to riding the stroller, nor was he keen on being carried—he wanted to walk. He was at the cusp of being able to walk alone without support, but not quite there yet; and he wanted the practice. As long as he could hold on to Mommy or Daddy’s finger and walk, he was a happy camper. He wasn’t quite ready yet to trust Pa-Pa’s assistance to this walking experience, so Pa-Pa was relegated to chauffeuring the empty stroller around the walkways.
Another instance where things seem to stay the same in the midst of change was illustrated by a segment I saw on the Turner Classic Movie Channel featuring a restaurant-deli in Hollywood. I didn’t get to see the whole piece, so I don’t know the name of the establishment or its exact location. This place has been in the same spot since 1945 and was–still is–a popular hangout for the top movie stars. The décor has remained the same the past sixty eight years; the business is still owned and operated by third generation members of the family that started it; and it still offers basically the same services and menu as it did in the beginning.
I think this is same establishment was also featured on another segment where the owners said John Wayne imbibed a bit too much one night and they left him sleeping in one of the booths. The next morning when they came to open up, they found him in the kitchen cooking his breakfast.
If memories of the past are your thing, perhaps you’d enjoy reading about Buddy’s adventures in Buddy…His Trials and Treasures. For a free sample, simply click on the free download button at upper right of this page. It’s also available for purchase at www.amazon.com.