Pieces of Old Florida

parrotBeing a Florida boy originally,
there are times when I miss
the way the Sunshine State
used to be like….

that is,
before the age
of Dickie Rat Incorporated
and I-Drive ‘Theme’ Parks.

Well,
Bad news, kids…

The old ‘Parrot Jungle’
down on Red Road in Miami–kid

— oh sure,
you know the place:

with the world’s largest
man-made Christmas tree,

open-daily for traumatizing
children of all ages with
squawking, talking,Undated: Parrot Jungle.
nipping, pooping parrots

— crawling all over you–

ruining tourists’ loud
floral print shirts since 1936 —

has been bought, closed,
moved, and image-cleanseddancingchicken
to something so not
Parrot Jungle.

Man, I’m bummed.

I saw my first flamingo there.

And my first dancing chicken,
for that matter.

Err…a1
Scratch that.

Anyway,
I loved that old
funky, clunky place.

It was one of those things that
reminded me of the long-gonetook
rinky-dink but cool parks like:

Cypress Gardens
The Miracle Strip
Pirate’s World
Tiki Gardens
Circus World
Boardwalk and Baseball —
some of them
are featured
in a previous post of mine, here.

Oh, and don’t forgetaorange
Weeki Wachee, which
is still there, kinda.

Most of the really
interesting places
are gone today, really.

I know what
you’re thinking,
though…..

What’s a trip to Floridacypre
without getting
to watch a maniac
wrassle an alie-ma-gator?

Hey, I’m with you
on that deal, man.

And the good news is,
for all you
Old Florida fanatics…
that Gatorland Zoo is still operating —gatorland

(and still looks exactly
like shown in this old 1960’s postcard).

— for those of you who have
never visited the site on the
Orange Blossom Trail
in Orlando
(it’s been there since 1949)
well, you’ll think you’ve just
turned back the clock
a couple decades.
In a good way, I mean.a1a

Wrasslin’ with the gators is just
a walk in the park at Gatorland.

I hope you like reptiles, though-
— cause the place has acquired quite
an olifactory savoriness over the years.

Just sayin.

.

parrotgirl