Friday, July 22, 2011

Signs That Don't Lie


With the hot weather I have been staying inside. It has given me an opportunity to go thru a number of old photographs, one of which is this 1994 photo of a "No Swimming" sign at Gatorland in Florida. Located between Orlando and Kissimmee (Is there a between anymore?)on the South Orange Blossom Trail, Gatorland is one of Central Florida's oldest attractions. I can't imagine anyone wanting to swim at Gatorland as they have about a zillion gators there. We first encountered Gatorland in 1969 when I was transferred to Florida. Within two weeks of arriving we started having visitors, we were a handy spot to stay at when people from the North came down to take a vacation in Florida. Naturally they expected to be entertained and our meager budget was being eat up and then we discovered Gatorland. No admission cost, just a donation to get in, wow after that we were taking company to Gatorland about once a month. I liked Gatorland enough that when we took our daughters down to Florida in 1994 Gatorland was still high on my list. It was still just a donation to get in, I understand now they charge about $23 to get in. It was a classic Florida attraction that harks back to the time of roadside attractions that advertised giant squirrels, Piano Playing chickens, Monkeys and gators.

1 comment:

Chainsaw said...

I remember old touristy stuff like that.

Not far from where I lived in Florida was, "Florida Reptile Land."
http://www.lostparks.com/frland.html
A free, poorly kept zoo that relied on tourist traffic on highway 301 in the '50's and '60's that sold gas and took donations for the upkeep of the animals.
It finally faded away into obscurity.

In High School, we used to skip school and go to "Six Gun Territory" just outside of Ocala, heading toward Silver Springs.
We'd have the whole park to ourselves.
It finally died off too, but years ago I heard a rumor that investors were going to toss some money into it and give it another try.
Googling for those, I found, http://www.lostparks.com/index.html

I never stopped in, but there was, "Big Sam, The Giant Bull" attraction.
It was a faded, painted sign on a falling down fence, along 441 South, below Ocala, Fl.
More of a junkyard than anything, and was dead and gone by the mid-'70's.
I Googled it, and all that I could find was this: http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/22731