The Plastic Hippos Of DisneylandTuesday, April 28, 2009
This is my first cousin David Humphrey. I took this Ektachrome in Mexico City while he was having his siesta sometime in 1961. He may have been 5. He was a likeable kid and I remember taking him for a walk in Chapultepec Park and the Mexico City zoo. It was there where David, unwittingly, taught me a lesson on the perception of reality. I proudly showed David the hippos which were basking in the sun, semi-submerged in an artificial lake. David told me, matter a factly, “ These hippos are boring. The ones in Disneyland make more noise and move more. They are not so lazy.” I pointed out to David that the Disneyland hippos were made of plastic and had internal motors that made them move. I told him that the hippos we were looking at were the real thing. David stuck to his guns and I was not able to dissuade him. After 1961 I never saw David again. From his brother Robin I have learned he is doing just fine, he is married and is a gemologist.
That evening when David and I got home I made a firm commitment that I would never go to Disneyland. In 1975 when Ale, Hilary, Rosemary and I drove to settle in Vancouver we stopped by Disneyland. I delivered my wife and daughters to the Disneyland entrance and I then maneuvered my way through the LA freeway to a big photography equipment store where I bought all the stuff I had been unable to buy in Mexico City. I had been teaching in Mexico City and when Rosemary suggested we move to Vancouver I had made the decision to start from scratch as a photographer.
Around 1980 we sent our daughters to visit friends in Mexico City. On the way back they met up with Rosemary in Los Angeles who was there on business. “My boss had left me a Cadillac so I took the girls to Disneyland.”
On September 11, 2001 early in the morning Hilary, her husband Bruce, Rebecca and Lauren were ready to go to the airport. There were going to Disneyland. Bruce turned on the TV to check the weather. They never went to the airport and both Rebecca and Lauren have yet to go to Disneyland. I wonder, are they are missing anything?