Thursday, September 2, 2010

Can you stand thrills?

It was to have been an album title(my age is reveled in that statement).

I am not sure when and where, but along I-10 from New Mexico/Texas border all the way to Picacho Peak north of Tucson; they sprang up on the roadside almost as plentiful and those yellow desert flowers seen all over. I remember in all of our family travels as I grew up, these wonderful tourist traps nee restaurants nee gift shops nee gas stations were a timely stop along the road for not only gas but usually a much needed stretching of the legs and usually a 'talk to a man about a dog'. Stuckey's comes to mind and with every visit my mom ALWAYS got a box of pecan brittle.

For some reason which I can not put my finger on, these little oasis on the roadside have become ablaze in my nostalgic reckoning like a classical pop art memory of certain paintings that never leave the minds eye. They radiate without neon and tend to proclaim 'OPEN 24 Hours'. They have amazing menu's of food never tasted, ice cream so yummy on a hot parched dessert trail with no end.

Stalls of little rocks with black fake satin bags to place them. Leather coats probably made by child or slave labor in some hapless country. Moccasins which you would be embarrassed to be seen in. Salt and pepper shakers in the form of anything you could imagine. Apple cider and bull whips to hang on the wall with rugs of Elvis and those dogs. Belt buckles and letter openers; the list is endless.

There is one such place on our journey today. It announces itself for miles with signs both East and West. In big huge black lettering in a font from a 1950's Drive In horror movie trailer....THE THING! One such yellow billboard long since gone asked without hesitation, Can You Stand Thrills?

I was happy to see, after all these years that the price of admission was still the same. In 1973 and as of this week; you can still be enraptured foe a mere $1.00USD. For a child, only .75 cents. I was blown away until I remembered that it probably was over priced still. Yes, I have plopped down the shekel to take the long walk. I was, ahhhh, hummm, well, I was, how does one say.... wtf? underwhelmed, LMAO pleased that it was not a lot to pay! Ahh, I jest; like most everything in life, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, well, you get the picture. If you do decide to see The Thing, be prepared to laugh with yourself.

I stopped, to pay homage to the trips of my youth, to look at things to purchase, to attempt a soft ice cream in a cup (I managed 2 or 3 spoon fulls), talk to a man about a dog and yes, I bought one of those long sleeve colorful wool style w/hood pullovers from Mexico for $5.39 USD. A bargain! Right?

As to the album, a friend and I from High School were into music and reading The Rolling Stone magazine in our striving to be somewhere other than where we were; saw the sign on a trip and laughed in unison and said out loud at the same instance; The Thing! Can you stand thrills?...what a great album title. Smiling for miles, we spoke of music and of the tensions in our little world of 1973. It was a magical time and it's too bad I blinked.

Next time, a turn North on U.S. Route 191 and a city comes into view.

1 comment:

Connie Moreno said...

I can't tell you how many times I begged my dad to stop at The Thing!! We would drive from L.A. to San Antonio every other year and I always, always, always would reach each sign aloud, much to my mother's dismay. I begged, I pleaded, I pouted. FINALLY, when I was 18, we stopped!!! I didn't know what to expect and I was disappointed that we only stayed for 15 minutes!

Years later (2005) I was driving to Texas once again with a friend and I asked if we could stop, LOL. Yay! I got to explore to my heart's content!