Monday, February 16, 2009

President's Day

I can't remember the last time I got President's Day off. It is not treated as a holiday at work because Martin Luther King Jr. Day grabs that lone honor for winter quarter. I don't believe we got it off when I was a college student either, so unless my employer in my temp days after college (and before my fulltime job) granted it off, the holiday has gone unobserved in my routine since high school.

Believe it or not, President's Day really was a holiday I looked forward to as a kid. We didn't go on vacations very often, but one trip that we usually made was to Toledo every mid-February. I know, Toledo in the winter (or Toledo at any time) doesn't sound terribly exciting, but it was the chance to get out of the house and spend a couple nights in a hotel.

The purpose of the trip was for my dad to get the business and family's taxes done by his accountant in northwest Ohio. Come to think of it, I'm not sure why there wasn't someone in the Dayton area who could do them. Nevertheless, it made for a fun weekend trip.

The big attraction for us kids was the hotel. I can't remember its name, but I can picture it as it's where we stayed pretty much every time. The building on I-75 south of the city didn't stand out in any way on the inside or outside. It was just the thrill of being in a hotel. Plus, it had a large indoor pool. I guess we were easy to please.

If we weren't swimming , we were probably watching TV. I recall being sprawled on the floor watching an Olympic hockey game from Sarajevo, Yugoslavia. (No, I didn't sleep on the floor.) Hotels also meant HBO, which meant being lured by the siren call of the magnificent theme music and open introducing the next movie. If the timing was right, we could seeFraggle Rock and The Beastmaster. Or maybe it was Dragonslayer...or both. I never saw it, but Super Fuzz always seemed to be on in those days.

President's Day was for going into downtown Toledo. In those days the city had a brand new shopping center called, I think, Lakeside. The first year it was open may have coincided with when we made these trips, but by the time we stopped going, I recall that it was nearly empty save for seniors getting their walking exercising.

It's funny the things that one remembers, but one other memory that sticks out in my mind was hearing a street corner preacher on a downtown corner near the accountant's office building. We didn't spend much time in the accountant's office. Usually we were just there while we waited for my dad to finish up the time he spent with them. I recall being intimidated by the guy yelling hellfire and brimstone in the big city, so you can imagine how shocking it was to go up high in this office and still hear him inside. That guy had a set of lungs on him.

Now President's Day is simply a day without mail delivery, but for those years when it meant a weekend family vacation of sorts, it was something greatly anticipated that I remember fondly.

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At 10:16 AM, Anonymous LittleWit said...

That sounds like a fun trip. My brother slept on the floor a lot when we went on hotel trips. :) But then he actually kind of liked sleeping on the floor.


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