Friday, February 8, 2013

February 9, 2013: Bless you, Mr. President.

How times change. I remember taking the ACT when I was a senior in high school. It was October, we had a home football game the night before and a bunch of us from the football team had a bonfire after so we dragged in kind of late. I got up at 7:00 the next morning, went to the High School and took the ACT. End of story, no prep, no multiple retakes, just get the scores and move on.

Now kids start taking the ACT, or some version thereof, in middle school. Students are groomed, prepped, tutored and cajoled into ever-higher scores. Just take it one more time, you can take it again, one more point is all you need. Just doing your best is no longer good enough, you have to meet a minimum score even if that is way above your ability and then you must attend college even if that is above your ability and you run up debt that you’ll pay for years, even if you can’t afford it.

All that being said, this morning at 8:00 AM, my 16-year-old son is taking the ACT, for the first time. It will not be the only time because in Kentucky all juniors take the ACT, so he will take it again. I will not, repeat; will not make him take it any more. If he wants to repeat it, he can, but he is a great son and a wonderful human whether his score is 19 or 29 or 36. Oh, and no matter what, we’re going to Walt Disney World.

Until Ronald Wilson Reagan, William Henry Harrison was the oldest man elected President of the United States of America. Harrison, born in 1773, was also the last president elected who was born before the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

President Harrison was a military hero and, despite his age, was determined to exhibit his vigor. Harrison rode a horse to his inauguration, eschewing the carriage offered to transport him. Despite the fact that it was a very cold day that March 4th, Harrison insisted on delivering his acceptance speech outdoors, his two-hour speech. The President then attended a number of balls and partied well into the evening. Thirty-two days later he was dead from pneumonia. This led to the presidency of John Tyler and created one of only two occasions where three men have been president in one year, Martin Van Buren, William Henry Harrison and John Tyler. Later, Harrison’s grandson, Benjamin, was also elected President of the United State.

You know where this is leading, straight to the Hall of Presidents at the Magic Kingdom. In one fell swoop you can honor, Martin Van Buren, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler and Benjamin Harrison. Whew, I’m tired.


I love EPCOT. We are very organized when we go to Walt Disney World (within reason) but I could just wander randomly around EPCOT for days and enjoy whatever I stumble upon. Late one evening, we were in the British Pavilion getting some fish and chips from the walk-up stand. After getting our meal, we were looking for some place to sit and eat when we wandered upon an area where a concert was about to begin. This was a performance of The British Invasion, a Beatles tribute band. They were awesome. On this day in 1964 the Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show. The British Invasion did different sets and there is one where they dress and appear as the Beatles on the Sullivan appearance.

The British Invasion doing a "Sullivan" set

The British Invasion is no longer at EPCOT. They have been replaced by a new show featuring the British Revolution who play a wide range of British rock, from the Beatles, to the Kinks, the Who, and Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin. My kids love them, I still miss the Beatles but that is true in real life as well. Go to EPCOT and check out some fine classic rock and roll (and check out Off Kilter in Canada as well).

Meet the new show, not quite the same as the old show.

Remember, your best excuse is always: waiting for your dreams to come true.

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