Sunday, April 21, 2013

April 22, 2013: "At night I'm a Junk Food Junkies, oh, Lord, have pity on me."

Happy Earth Day! I’m not a touchy, feely, tree hugging kind of guy but we need to be good stewards of the planet the Lord entrusted us with and Earth Day should be a good reminder of that responsibility. The themes of Earth Day change, the first Earth Day warned us of the coming ice age and the dangers of global cooling, then it was global warming and the ice caps melting, now they’ve tuned it back to climate change since there has been no actual global warming for 10 or 15 years. Eventually, we’ll be talking about global cooling again. All that being said, we need to keep our planet clean, we need to use our resources responsibly and we need to leave things in good shape for our children and grandchildren. The Animal Kingdom is the perfect park for Earth Day and while you’re there make a little contribution to Disney’s Worldwide Conservation Fund and get a cool pin at the same time.

Speaking of The Animal Kingdom, the park opened on this date in 1998.  The park, which encompasses 500 acres, is a very interactive experience with aspects of an amusement park and aspects of a zoo (remember the “Not a Zoo” campaign?). Two of the three major areas, Africa and DinoLand U.S.A. , are open on opening day; Asia opens in early 1999. It’s Earth Day, go and enjoy.

On our first visits to WDW, Matt always wanted to dig the bones up.

April 22, 1868, Miss Flora Call was born to Charles and Henrietta Call in Steuben, Ohio, in Northern Ohio just a few miles south of Lake Erie. Flora had five children and loved to read stories and play games with them. I can’t help to believe that she was a major influence on her children especially two of her boys, Roy and Walt Disney. Flora married Elias Disney in 1888 and remained married to him until her death in 1938. I think every visit to Walt Disney World is a tribute to Flora and her famous sons.

It’s time for the Flower and Garden Festival at EPCOT and what better tribute for our next “excuse” than farming and growing, getting your hands in the soil and living off the land. Actor Eddie Albert, Oliver Douglas in Green Acres, was born on this day in 1906. Albert played the lawyer who left big city life to live on a farm in Hooterville. I always loved The Longest Yard where Albert played the warden who tried to shoot Burt Reynolds for picking up the game ball. Albert also has a little Disney history: The Barefoot Executive, Beyond Witch Mountain, Escape to Witch Mountain and Miracle of the White Stallions.

As you know, we always root for the locals and even though Larry Groce was born in Dallas, Texas in 1948, he has spent a number of years in Charleston, West Virginia. Larry does a lot of folk, country and children’s music and he has worked for a number of years with Mountain Stage, a public broadcasting program based with West Virginia Public Broadcasting in Charleston, West Virginia. Walt Disney’s Activity Records released his “Winnie the Pooh for President” and Groce also recorded the “Disney Children’s Favorites” and “Disney Christmas Favorites” albums on Disneyland Records. Groce’s shining moment of glory is a silly little song that I used to play on WVKY radio in Louisa, Kentucky, “Junk Food Junkie.” The song was not only a hit but Groce also performed the song on a 1977 episode of The New Mickey Mouse Club. There’s plenty of junk food at Walt Disney World and, in honor of Larry, chow down.

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

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