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Memory Monday, Week 29

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The Jones family eating popcorn in Tomorrowland

Back in April 1974, not long before I turned 13 years old, I was very lucky to take my very first trip to Disneyland — not with my parents but with a school classmate and her family. The Joneses had five kids, all girls; I was friends with their eldest daughter, Debby. When the family headed to Anaheim they invited me to join them, along with another girl, Angela, a friend of their second-eldest, Donna.

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This was very much a low-budget vacation — all nine of us traveled in the family’s Dodge van, and we camped out rather than staying in a motel. This was all high adventure for us kids, and we loved every minute of it! And we got to see more than just Disneyland. We had what seemed like a long list of high spots, and we hit them all. It must have taken the better part of a week.

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The two youngest Jones girls pose at the Chinese Theater

After driving all night from Sacramento to LA, our first stop was the forecourt of Grauman’s Chinese Theater (at the time it was called Mann’s Chinese Theater).

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One reason I was excited for the trip was that I had come into possession of my very first real camera and couldn’t wait to use it. The camera was actually somebody’s cast-off Kodak Flashfun II, a relic of the 1960s, but I was thrilled to have it. And although I was too shy to go around snapping pictures of everybody and everything, I still managed to record portions of this memorable trip.

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We spent quite a lot of time at the Queen Mary, exploring the Jacques Cousteau Museum of the Sea deep within the ship (the museum was only open for a few years) and climbing up to the bridge and the “top of the house,” where I captured the above image. The next day it was on to Disneyland!

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Donna at the Materhorn

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Dolores, Dee, and Dawn at Disneyland

Next week I’ll continue with our visit to Knott’s Berry Farm and the Japanese Village!

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