So when you think Orlando, like what are you thinking?
For most, folks will think of Disney World, maybe the Botanical Gardens and Paddle Cruises. It is a place for family vacation, fun (and expensive), but great memory-making for the entire family.
When I think about Orlando, I think of a black Lincoln and Hubs. This is a true story.
You see, there was this seminar and it was to take place in Orlando at Disney. I was appointed to go. It only took a little begging. Rather than fly, I was assigned a black Lincoln Town Car. That's right and Hubs as my driver. Yep.
We took off at 6 on Friday evening. By 2 a.m., we had arrived in a small town near the Florida Alabama line and as we sat under a lamppost reading a map (this was in 2000), we suddenly noticed a sheriff's car circling us.
“Hubs,” I said, really rather calmly. “I think we have trouble.”
There we were out-of-towner's in a practically new Lincoln Town Car with dealer license plates sitting suspiciously in a convenience store parking lot. We looked at each other with big eyes. I mean I didn't have time to be arrested.
Then blue lights and sirens squealed all over the place and that's when I saw two culprits running out of the store. It was a drug bust and Hubs and I quickly made tracks south.
By 3 a.m. we crossed a bridge and standing upstream was (what I thought) a UFO, lights blinking and belching smoke. I mean it was 3 a.m. and we had just escaped a drug bust, but really this time, the object was only a paper mill. Good grief!
Finally we arrived to our destination. There was a Sunday afternoon reception where seminar attendees exchanged business cards and made small talk. The only thing was out of the 94 attendees there were only three women. Everyone thought Hubs was the participate.
This was a Ford Motor Company event and usually people in the car business are men, but not this time. So I spent most of the time waving my hand. “Hey y'all, it's me, not him (Hubs).”
Monday morning and officially the seminar began.
It just so happened on that morning a launch was scheduled at Cape Canaveral. So Hubs decided to hop in the Lincoln and drive down.
Later he said he told me and maybe he did but I was wrapped up in my classes I probably didn't pay attention.
I admit that I don't pay attention most of the time.
So he took off. When he arrived it was sort of crazy. I mean he was waved into the VIP section, directed to the VIP special seating (a good seat) right up front. His seating included beverages and snacks and a special packet of information.
Important looking folks welcomed him grandly and Hubs was impressed. It seemed as though the launch event (and it was event) was open to the public. And people were so nice.
But then, click, click. Hubs realized the black Town Car got him in the gate. And I will be the first to admit Hubs does look a little like a politician.
It was an experience of a lifetime for him. He says next time he will put little American flags on the front grill and maybe get to shake hands with the astronauts.
Hey, it could happen.
Anne McKee is a proud, native Meridianite and Mississippi historian. She is the author of “Remembering Mississippi” and “Historic Photos of Mississippi.” Anne is known as a Mississippi Storyteller and as well the Director of Rose Hill Cemetery Costumed Tour. See her website: www.annemckeestoryteller.com