Forever call it 'Marineland'

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Posted by Walt on July 20, 2006 at 21:38:48:

In Reply to: Old Marineland - final demolition begins today (link) posted by jlyle on July 20, 2006 at 07:49:49:

I had the privilege to visit this world famous, first of a kind park in 1964 while in vacation with my family. It was a pilgrimage to a place I had seen only on black and white television. And, oh, what a place it was!

I saw fish swimming that I had only seen pressed on the pages of National Geographic. Their colorful beauty and grace sparked my desire to one day be able to see them underwater. Then there were the sea lion, dolphin and killer whale shows! I had never realized that animals from the sea would interact with their human trainers, jumping to great heights, delighting and amazing the large crowds. What would it be like to see them in the sea?

The park was sparkling and beautifully landscaped, an oasis in the midst of a paradise, a jewel set on the bluffs and the azure expanse of the Pacific ocean stretching as a majestic undulating carpet before it. Clean, cooled by the gentle ocean breeze that bathed those tan cliffs burnt deeply into my memory.

Years later I would take my young daughters to this park to experience the joy I had as a youth. It was a beautiful a place as I had remembered, though the crowds had changed over the years from those of clean-faced amazement to maybe more jaded observers. Times had changed for we had lost our innocent ways during those turbulent sixties and were bombarded by fast-moving, superficial media.

But the park still offered that chance to see underwater life and return to a simpler time of humble pleasure and enjoyment. I believe it inspired my daughters, as they both have a deep love of the sea and its creatures. Sadly, the park closed. But the fond memories will never be lost, for it will always be Marineland to me. Goodbye, dear friend, you will forever be that inspiration to adventure living in my heart.

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