Daily Archives: September 28, 2018

The Story Behind The Story . . .

Many of you have seen the photo below of Jan and I on a Roller Coaster at Tampa’s Busch Gardens back in 2009. But for many of you, this will be your first time to hear the story behind the story.

It’s a Small World After All . . .

(Insert annoying theme song here.)

About noon Jan and I headed over to Huntsville for some lunch at Rosie’s Mexican Cantina. We had first eaten here several years ago, and we always make sure to go back when we’re in the area. It’s that good.

After lunch we made a quick stop at Sam’s Club for kitty litter and vitamins, and then it was back to Athens, where we found a note on the door telling us to come over to my Uncle Ed’s for dessert about 5:30.

We ended up going over earlier so I could see my cousin Anna Jean, who had dropped by for a few minutes.

And now back to the small world.

Our regular blog readers may remember the story of this picture. It was taken at Busch Gardens in Tampa FL when we visited there in April of 2009. Jan and I were riding the ‘baby’ roller coaster in the kiddie area. Jan still swears it wasn’t the ‘baby’ coaster, but Busch Gardens disagrees and says it  it, but it’s now called the Sand Serpent.

To quote:

Travel to Timbuktu and you’ll find young kids’ favorite ride in the park, Sand Serpent, formerly Cheetah Chase.

This fun-filled family coaster zips, zooms and climbs five stories into the air before bringing riders back down in a roar of laughter.

As you can see one of us is having a good time, and one of us, not so much.

Anyway, when I first posted it here on our blog in 2009 it was apparently picked up by a reader and posted here on Awkward Family Photos.

Thanks a lot!


A few months later, we got an email from some friends back in Houston who told us our photo had gone viral. They said their son was in class the last day of school, and to kill time the teacher had brought in his laptop and was showing the kids some of the photos on AFP.

Finally the teacher said “And this last one is my favorite”. Our photo popped up and the class roared.  Then after a few moments, our friend’s son pointed at the screen and said “Hey, I know those people.” And the class really broke up.

But wait, there’s more.

In November of 2009 we were back here in Athens on our way back to Texas, and visiting relatives. Coincidently, my cousin Glee and her husband were up here visiting from Florida. Now, I hadn’t seen Glee since I was about 13, and I had never met her husband before, so we had a good time catching up on things.

Sitting around talking, it turned out that Glee and her husband lived in Tampa. So I then related the story and showed them the photo on my phone. I also mentioned that I had wanted to ride SheiKra, the big vertical dive coaster, and had convinced Jan to do it with me by not telling her that it was 200 feet high, and that at the end of the ride, it drops you straight down from that 200 feet at 70 mph.


Well, my devious plan was working until we took the train ride around the park right before riding the coaster. As we pulled into the station nearby, the conductor who had been narrating our trip, said he had ridden SheiKra once, and he never would again. He said it scared him to death, and he almost wet his pants. Well, of course, that ended any chance of getting Jan on the ride.


As I’m relating this story, Glee’s husband looked over and said, “At the end of the ride, did the conductor say, “If you enjoyed your train trip today, my name is Dave. Otherwise it’s Mary””.

I said, “As a matter of fact, he did.”  And then Glee’s husband, Dave said, “That was me!”

You can start humming the ‘Small World’ theme here, because there’s still more to come.

On our visit here this time, my cousin Jimmy who is visiting from Fort Myers with his wife Beth, and who I also don’t think I’ve seen since we were kids, mentioned he was a Chiropractor there.

I then said that one of my clients, Dr. Heimlich, that I do the computer and website support for in Houston, was a Chiropractor.

Jimmy then said, “Well I went to chiropractic school with a Myron Heimlich in Texas.”

OMG! Segue the Small World theme into the Twilight Zone theme.

I don’t know what it is about coming back to Athens, but strange things happen here.

Tomorrow Jan and I are having lunch with two of my second cousins, Anna Jean and Marjorie. We got to see Anna Jean for a while this afternoon, but with both of them together, it should be a hoot.

And for another coincidence, Yes,  my Dr. Heimlich’s uncle is the famous Maneuver guy.

Thought for the Day:

Rudyard Kipling and Mark Twain were talking about the problem of people plagiarizing their work. Describing one particular egregious example, “He’s dead now,” Twain said to Kipling, adding reflectively, “I didn’t kill him.”


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