Are you old enough to remember roadside zoos? How about tacky "Indian" tourist traps? Going across country in 1967, I remember signs out west for hundreds of miles advertising a tourist trap featuring a "giant"jack rabbit. It indeed had one, a huge concrete sculpture and my brother and I browbeat my poor father into stopping. The joint, as I recall, was a let-down.
My dad then had to live through my brother wanting to stop at every Stuckey's we passed...pecan products and clean restrooms...because he was collecting the James Bond trading cards he bought at each stop.
The Mohawk Trail here in western Massachusetts had a bunch of "Indian" shops. One had a cage in which there was a baby rattler. Naturally the eight-year-old me thought it was a snake. I peered in as it was a baby rattle! Big joke on the kids!
I thought that era in Americana was over. After all the roadside zoos had a lot of sad looking animals in them. However there's a new place in Deerfield called Dr. Spooky's that seems to be reviving some of that Barnum-esque promotion that seemed so common when I was a mere boy and beardless youth.
Here's a press release I received from them:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: "I Boo!" A real wedding at Dr. Spooky's
Who: Liz and Sun will be exchanging their vows at Dr. Spooky's Animal
What: A real wedding! Complete with bride, groom, vows, and officiant!
Where: Dr. Spooky's Animal Museum, 220 Greenfield Road, South
When: Saturday, May 13th at 1:00 p.m.
How it happened: Liz and Sun were nearly finished with their wedding
plans - all that was was missing was the location! During a recent visit
to Dr. Spooky's Animal Museum, the final piece of their planning fell into
place - they decided to be married in Dr. Spooky's! Liz and Sun worked
with owner, Frank Campiti, to arrange for their wedding vows to be
exchanged in front of their favorite animals - the bats! Liz and Sun will
be married on Saturday, May 13th at 1:00 p.m. and welcome the public
to join in their festivities (general admission applies).
The amazing Mark Martin has been to Dr. Spooky's and had a mixed review, but I've not gone as yet. My wife is pretty dubious about the while thing.
Part of me hopes competent and trained people are taking care of whatever animals they have. I'll be pretty upset if I go and they're not.
But the eight-year-old in me is dying to find out what's going on there regardless.
As always these are my words and no one else's.