Gerry and I celebrated the New Year of 2016 in Myrtle Beach this year. I can't visit my mom the week of Christmas and keep my sanity, but I seem to do ok with New Year's, so that's what we do.
This was the first time in 22 years that Gerry and I have been to MB together without Wesley. It was really weird, but we had a great time. The weather was chilly but not too bad and the sun was out, which I haven't seen in a month. We ate a lot of good food, walked on the beach, played in the arcades, went for long drives and laughed a lot.
If all goes as well as this trip, the New Year is going to be a fine one!
I am always so sad when I go down to the boardwalk and see the empty lot where the Myrtle Beach Pavilion used to be. For years, it was the iconic spot where memories were made for families, teenagers falling in love, old folks people watching. It was full of sounds and smells and sensory overload. There was not another place like it on Earth. I miss it every time I visit.
When I go with Gerry, we have to make the pilgrimage to the arcades and play baseball on these ancient machines. I love the sound of the bell as a runner crosses home plate. Love the sound of the ball flicker thingy, I'm not sure there are any of these games anywhere but in this arcade. I have never seen any like them, except here.
I believe every meal I ate was either sugar or fried. I seem to lose all sense of diet control around the ocean. I ate fried shrimp, fried scallops, fried flounder, french fries, fried cheese sticks, pie, chocolate, pizza, bleh...... I should start a juicing fast today!
Apparently we missed the redneck olympics here at the Bowery. Dang.
Do you know the Bowery? Do you know the band Alabama? When I was in high school this was forbidden land for me with my mom. She called it "Sin City". And of course I went. I saw Alabama play here when they were just getting started. We thought they were pretty good and might be a success one day. Who knew?!
Fun Plaza was the first job I had at the age of 13. I worked in their gift shop selling Myrtle Beach
t-shirts, shot glasses, back scratchers, snow globes, postcards, etc. People can find the dumbest ways to spend their money.
It was a great job and the owner was very kind to me. He gave a lot of local kids jobs and took good care of all of us. This is where Gerry's favorite baseball games are. Its fun to see the beach through his eyes. His memories are of once a year visits with his family when he was growing up. Families that saved and came to Myrtle Beach in the 60's saw this place as bigger than life, it left life long memories. For me, it was where I grew up. I see it in a whole different way, its a surreal experience, either way though.
On my breaks from work at Fun Plaza, I would play skeeball. I played every day and got really good at it. I played this week and I sucked. Its still fun to put quarters in, hear those wooden balls roll down the track and try to win a stuffed animal, which everyone needs more of.
I shot a lot of pics with my new camera, trying to learn to shoot manually. I forgot how much I love having a real camera in my hands and getting a decent shot every now and then.
I have a good teacher :)
The boardwalk is new and doesn't hold the memories for me like the old one did. Still, beach music pours out of the bars, bells ring from the arcades, the smell of cotton candy, popcorn, corn dogs, pizza and beer waft out of the food stalls, all those healthy choices, you know.... the ocean and sandy beach are below, in the summer crowded with people inviting skin cancer to attack their cells, all lathered up with coconut smelling oils and baking in the hot sun.
Winter is the time for me at the beach. It is the time there I love the best. Not many tourists, its usually cool but not freezing and you can look around at all the incredible detail of a tourist town full of silly trivial bullshit. So great!
Gerry made a fine effort to keep me laughing, make the trip fun and help me survive the mental angst I get every time I am with my mom. It worked out well and we had one of the most fun trips to Myrtle Beach I have had in a long while. Thanks pal!
2016..... Bring it on!