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Top GunThis week my daughter Stephanie has one of those birthdays and I have been thinking what to give her. She and my son-in-law are not into ‘things’ so I try to come up with something different. I’ve been writing things about my childhood and life as a way to communicate to my granddaughter Ellie sometime in the future, so I’ll just write one for Tef too. Back in the 70s and 80s, we made a lot of trips to Disney World, one when Tef was still an infant. But one trip that sticks out in my mind was in the late 80s; I want to say 1987 but it may have been 1989. (From my research, it seems that Pleasure Island opened in 1989, so it must have been 89). I’m thinking the former because that is when Top Gun came out and, of course, I just loved that movie. At the time I was working for an engineering firm in Mobile, BCM Engineers, and had just been promoted to Senior Vice President. One of the perks coming with that promotion was getting a new, and better company car. In Mobile, we always bought our cars from Joe Bullard, the Oldsmobile dealership. I had been driving an Olds 88 for some time and traded it for a brand new 98. The car was loaded and had a moon-roof. I remember proudly driving the new car to pick-up Steph at her school, Fairhope High School, and Steph of her friend standing up with their heads poking out of the moon-roof. I bought a CD of the Top Gun’s songs and we played them over and over again on the way down from Mobile to Disney World. And one that we played a lot, and sang to, was Danger Zone, the movie’s theme some. I seem to remember we stayed at the Hilton in Lake Buena Vista. We had a reservation, planned well in advance as always, but somewhere things got screwed up. So C did her thing with Hilton’s management and we got upgraded to the Honor’s floor with a suite. I have to say it was nice having C’s ability to do that; I just was not into confrontation away from the office. We had breakfast each morning in the Honor’s lounge on the floor that week. I usually got up a bit early and took a jog through Lake Buena Vista and enjoyed doing that. C and Tef slept in a little; you just can’t waste too much time when you are at Disney. We often walked to the shops and restaurants in Lake Buena Vista after returning from the theme parks. We had discovered Lake Buena Vista on our very first trip to Disney World when Tef was a baby. We stayed then at the Old Dutch Hotel, which was one of the early non-Disney hotels on the Disney World Campus. From there, it was just a short walk to the shops. I remember on that first trip, we took Tef to the Disney Breakfast on the Empress Lilly steamboat docked on the lake. She met several Disney Characters that morning; I don’t remember if she met Mickey or Minnie – I don’t think she did. But she did meet Goofy and Donald and was not taken with either of them. I remember the chairs had coasters on them and I pushed back from the table to give her some space away from the characters. In 1989, my memory is a bit fuzzy, as I think we drove to the movie theater that was part of Pleasure Island; not sure why. We saw the brand new Tim Burton Batman movie and then walked over the bridge to Pleasure Island proper. We found our way to Superstar Studios and decided to have some fun. I’m ordinarily a reserved person, at least I was then, but I agreed to make a music video with C and Tef. So we looked through the available music and I zeroed in on Danger Zone. So we took up our positions: I played lead guitar, Tef played rhythm guitar and C was on drums. We rocked the song. I couldn’t believe how much I got into it; I had never lipped-synced before as karaoke was just not my thing. Of course, they made a video of our performance, we had to pay for the privilege of performing. I seem to remember they gave us our video on tape, so somewhere there is a video of our performance lurking. Perhaps it will surface or so I hope. I think there may be some photos of our visit to Superstar somewhere also. Anyway, this is one of my favorite memories about Disney World and Tef. I hope it is one of hers as well. “Superstar Studio: The cheapest dance club in all of Pleasure Island, Superstar Studio features music performed impromptu by other guests — and charges guests for the pleasure of performing! We don’t know why it works, but it does and from a marketing perspective, it’s brilliant!” Happy Birthday Tef!