Learning About America, Three States Plus One at a Time
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Texas Tidbits: The Glass Bottom Boat and SpongeBob
Looking For SpongeBob
I was recently recalling one of my fondest child hood memories. It involved traveling south on I-35 to Austin, San Antonio and San Marcos. I can't recall what we did in Austin, but I think we went to the Capitol Building, which was real cool for a kid my age. I was maybe 6 or 7 at the time. In San Antonio, we of course, went to the Alamo. I still remember being that most sacred of Texas monuments and replaying the Battle of the Alamo, probably recalled from the John Wayne movie about the battle. In my little boy mind, I was Davy Crockett, fighting off the attacking Mexican soldiers with Old Betsy, my trusted long rifle. Bang! I shot one of the bad guys. Smack! A rifle butt to the chops! Davy (me) saves the day! Then reality sets in when my Dad calls me over to look at another exhibit in the mission. From the Alamo went up to San Marcos to visit something called "Aquarena Springs". I wasn't very enthused by having leave the Alamo before Davy Crockett (me) could save the day, but this was my fate. Aquarena Springs it was. I quickly changed my mind when I discovered that the boat we were getting ready to board, had a glass bottom! From Davy Crockett, I was now a miniature Jacque Cousteau, exploring the crystal clear waters of the San Marcos River. Through that galass bottom I could see all manner of fish, soft shell turtles, giant squid and man-eating sharks! I made up the part about sharks and giant squid, but a kid can pretend, can't he? That glass bottom boat was one of the best things I have ever seen in my life! I almost forgot about the diving pig! They put a pig on a diving platform way up in the air and a pig actually dived off of it! Way frakkin' cool. Here it is, almost fifty years later, and I remember that boat ride like it was yesterday, giant squid, sharks and all. :) My family and I are tryin' like hell to get a trip to Texas to fit into our summer plans this year. Maybe my two little girls will see the magic in that glass bottom boat that I saw on that summer day so long ago. I get this sneaky feeling that Bailey the 4 year old will say something like, "Daddy, I just saw SpongeBob!" And that will probably be her memory of the glass bottom boat fifty years from now. I know I'll believe it. After all, I saw that giant squid and those man-eating sharks.