Don't ask me to pronounce the title of my blog. I never took French. When I visited Paris, about the best I could muster was "Croque-Monsieur, s'il vous plait," which translates to "I'd like a ham and cheese sandwich please."
But back to the blog title... The most common translation of this phrase by nineteenth century French author and columnist Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr is "The more things change, the more they stay the same."
I was recently reminded of this when my uncle sent me a photo for Christmas. It wasn't just any photo. He'd taken the original, scanned it, enlarged it, cleaned it up, added a caption and put it in a very nice frame.
This is the photo and it dates from July 1959. I was nine years old. That's my sister on the left, and this was taken in Dodge City, Kansas. You remember Dodge City don't you? Gunsmoke and Matt Dillon? Chester, Doc Adams and Miss Kitty? And who could forget the Long Branch Saloon?
Dodge City, Kansas really exists and they've tapped into the fame of Gunsmoke to create the Boot Hill Museum, which includes a recreation of the Long Branch Saloon. In the evenings, there's a stage show complete with a honky-tonk piano player and can-can girls.
I remember walking down Front Street and watching the shoot-out they recreated for all us tourists. And then we went into the saloon, bellied up to the bar and all ordered a cold sarsaparilla AKA sasparilla. It tasted pretty much like root beer to me, but sarsaparilla sounded a heap more fun.
And you know what was really fun? Sharing that same experience with my boys twenty-eight years later in the summer of 1987. We watched the gun fight, read the tombstones in the Boot Hill cemetery, attended the saloon show and got us a sarsaparilla at the bar. I'm not sure how much of the trip they remember. They were four and eight respectively. Regardless of their memories, I have mine. And even though a few things had changed in Dodge City, much had remained the same.
Maybe some day I can take my granddaughter to Dodge City and get her a cowboy hat and boots, though I have a sneaking suspicion she'd rather visit some place with princesses and get a tiara and a scepter.
Have you ever recreated a childhood vacation with your children? Was it like you remembered or had things changed?
P.S. Belated birthday wishes to my mother who celebrated a birthday yesterday. I won't tell you which one. My mama didn't raise a fool. ;-)