Summer is upon us and it’s time for some day-trips, which Gemini adores (being the ruler of short journeys). We’re already in triple digits here in the south, so someplace cool is out of the question but thankfully there’s an oasis of ocean and sea-breeze to be found in a day-trip to Tybee Island, near Savannah.
I remember going to Galveston on the Gulf of Mexico with my parents when I was about 15. The plan was to drive down and visit the Sea~Arama, watch the trick skiers, and see Shamu, the killer whale. (Are all killer whales named Shamu?)
My mom had a real way with words, but not in the way you would expect from a Gemini Moon. She got confused, very much a Mrs. Malaprop. Explaining that someone had undergone laser surgery, she waved it off saying, “Oh, they had that…you know…leisure surgery.” Can you imagine the operating room:
1st Doctor: Would you like to close?
2nd Doctor: Not really. You go ahead.
1st Doctor: There’s no rush, right?
2nd Doctor: Right…we’ll do it later.
I grew up in Dallas, so on my husband’s first trip to meet the parents, I asked my mom to tell him about the Kennedy assassination. My mom worked in downtown Dallas, and everyone was allowed to go out and see the motorcade. There was actually a photo of her in Life magazine. At least, we think it was her because of her tell-tale headscarf which she wore everywhere, tied under her chin “to keep the wind off.” So she started telling the story to my as yet unwed husband: “We were standing right there as they turned the corner and went past the book suppository on the way to the grassy mole.” That should have been “book depository” and “grassy knoll.”
So, back to that quick trip to Galveston and the Sea-Arama. Sadly, the Sea-Arama is closed now but it holds a special place in my memories. It’s listed on the Weird US website as part of Weird Texas and has a site devoted to its memory here.
My dad ~ like most men ~ got a little lost, but was always sure that he knew the way. After too much time had passed driving “all over creation” as he would say, we finally convinced him to ask for directions. It was summer and already scalding hot, so we finally pulled over to a little beach shack within ocean’s view to buy some cold drinks and ask for directions to the ever-elusive Sea-Arama. We all went in to get a quick blast of the air conditioning and behind the counter was the most gorgeous sea-boy I had ever seen ~ tall, tanned, hair blonde from the sun, all muscled in his shorts and tee-shirt ~ an absolute dreamboat. My mom, in her summer-sheer chin-tied scarf walked up to this Adonis and asked,
“Can you tell us how to get to the Sea-Aroma?”
(OMG!! Tell me she didn’t say that! I thought I was going to die!)
To which Adonis replied, “Yes ma’am. Walk right out the door.”
I actually felt my cheeks glowing hot with an embarrassment that no amount of air conditioning could cool.
So, we went on to the Sea-Arama and saw the killer whale, watched the trick skiers, ate fish sandwiches, and made some memories ~ completely under the spell of the beautiful, nostalgic scent of the sea aroma.