Independence Day – the Irony of It

Happy July!

Reading the OC Register this morning, I see that the California governor is going to tighten restrictions today. Who knows what that means but I’m hearing “bars and beaches.” Laguna Beach is talking about closing before the 4th of July. In fact, all of this is happening now to prevent a huge spike over Independence Day.

Oh the irony of that name. You may as well cancel the 4th, because, frankly, we don’t seem to have any independence these days.

But what does independence in this context mean anyway? The ability to not wear a mask? Not to stay socially distant? But if you don’t wear a mask, or stay socially distant, things close. Not much independence in being forced to stay home because nothing is open.

I’m especially concerned because for all intents and purposes, we’ve been locked down in Vegas since the end of September. Returning from our trip to California, we decided to go ahead and build a home here. During that time we were so focused and financially strapped and uneasy about leaving the cats with a new pet sitter in that strange rental, that we stayed in Las Vegas.

Ten months in Las Vegas straight is a record for us. Geographically and culturally, we’re basically a suburb of SoCal. And it’s normal for us to visit every six weeks or so during the warmer months of the year. Mostly Disneyland and the beach. And my old neighborhoods, of course. 🙂

No Napa Rose for my birthday celebration. And now maybe no beach. We’d give California the finger and cancel the trip if it we weren’t in such need right now to see the beach – the beach that belongs to not only California residents, but the entire country. Closing the beach is not the way to celebrate “Independence Day.”

I get it, but I don’t like it. Some people can’t be trusted and they’re deciding what I get to do and what I can’t do right now. Not feeling very independent at all.

Oh the irony. We escaped lockdown well before the 4th, so now we may be back under lockdown orders by the 4th!

Orange County on “Watch List,” John Wayne Airport

Orange County on “watch list” of counties that may go back under lock down greeted me this morning as I read the OC Register. If that happens, Disneyland won’t open, not even Downtown Disney. There go the birthday plans. But if the areas they are worried about are nursing homes, etc., why not just lock down those? Anyway….

Also, in the headlines, the Democrats are demanding a renaming of John Wayne airport.. As an Independent, I protest! I find this renaming of everything, wiping away of statues, reinventing history, etc., to be abominable. More of my childhood wiped out. Not only that, but my dad was a big fan of John Wayne (so unPC now, right? Sheesh!). I guess all of my childhood is now unPC, although we were thought to be heroes back in the day.

My dad was such a fan of John Wayne that he had “Wayne” legally added as his middle name because he wasn’t given a middle name at birth. Just “Johnny” was on his birth certificate. So after the official name change, he was “John Wayne Holmes.” His youngest brother, Steven, also thought of himself as John Wayne. He had this phrase posted on his FB account, “There’s only one John Wayne in this town.”  lol!

I’ve loved that the airport was renamed John Wayne, and I smile whenever I drive by the airport and see the name and the statue. It reminds me of my father, and he feels nearby. But that type of man is not allowed to exist any more. I’m not sure my dad would have worn a mask. Maybe he would have, I really didn’t know him that well to say. But I totally can’t picture my step dad wearing a mask. Nope, I’m sure he would have totally refused – lol!

It’s so easy to misconstrue what John Wayne or anybody in the past actually said or meant or why they said what they said. Life was different back then. That’s why you can’t judge the past by the present. If you haven’t lived it, you don’t understand it. Once you start down that path, there’s no end to what you might want to change or wipe out.

Sometimes I miss these days… my mother and I caught off guard by my grandmother. A peek into the real us.

My Orange County (CA) Life: Nostalgia, Disneyland, and Denny Pezzin

This morning Adam of The Daily Woo is eating his meal (Denny’s) at his favorite location outside the Anaheim Convention Center, talking about whether he will be interested in securing entrance to the opening of Disneyland. Well, of course, we would all love to since it’s happening on Disneyland’s 65th anniversary.

It’s really hard for me to be cut off from Disneyland. It’s one reason we moved back West each time we moved to Florida. The easy access to Disney World and the beach in Florida couldn’t compare to the much longer 4-hour drive to Disneyland and the beach from Las Vegas. Disneyland is special to many people, but especially to those who grew up there and maybe even more so to those who grew up there but no longer live there. Disneyland is family.

The years I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, working in Silicon Valley, were filled with trips to Disneyland just to touch that childhood nostalgia. My mother tells the story of us watching it being built when I was quite small and my step dad was in Korea. As soon as his stint was over, we went to Disneyland for the first time with my mother, step dad, his daughter (Sherry), and me. You might have seen this photo before:

Disneyland: then and now (me on the lower right, afraid of the “old Lady” in the rocking chair)

This was taken several years ago, perhaps around 2010. We updated the (now) version in the same spot just last summer when we were there on Rich’s birthday.

August 2019

As so many of us, I was also aware of being in Disneyland when Walt was walking around Main Street. My mother, ever so discreet, would say quietly, “There’s Walt.”

Back to my Silicon Valley days with trips to Disneyland in the 1990s. I would often stay at my favorite Embassy Suites where Denny Pezzin would perform his “One Man Show.”

Since then, he’d moved to Florida when we were there the second time around. His father was living there after his mother died and Denny was there to help him during his time of grief. Denny and his wife have since moved back to SoCal in the desert area where he performs at various venues with some trips to the OC (at least before the “Bob” affected our lives).

I subscribe to his YouTube channel and he uploads a performance daily (or close to it). So check out today’s Denny Pezzin performance, an Elvis Medley, “The Wonder of You” and “One Night With You.”

I’m really feeling the pull of my childhood and younger days and can’t wait to get back to my Orange County and Disneyland, especially Galaxy’s Edge, DJ Rex, and Oga’s Cantina.

Rich enjoying a Jet Juice at Oga’s Cantina

Grooving to DJ Rex