Saturday, July 03, 2010

4th .... and 5th of July

As the Director of Tourism for the state of Missouri in the 1970s, I was "forced" to travel back and forth to London.

British Caledonia Airways had started direct service from London to St. Louis and wanted to fill seats. Well, so did I.

In the late seventies when a destination state was seeking international visitors - and business investors - it would put together a travel mission.

Among other things I planned to educate and entice the United Kingdom travel media, agents and tour operators, I was going to bring an actor to portray Mark Twain.

Mr. Clemens would perform in the U.S. Embassy so that meant trips back and forth to handle many details.

My 16-year old daughter Amy asked if she could go along on one of the crossings. "I'll just play in Picadilly Circus while you have meetings," she suggested.

Sounded like a good plan to me.

The passport was no problem and a few weeks later we were cruising over the Atlantic at 34,000 feet when she asked "Do the British have 4th of July?"

Interesting question! I launched into a long response about the American Revolution, the colonies vs King George, the original Tea Party and all the pent up emotion that caused our young nation to rebel.

"So they would hardly celebrate THAT in England," I ended.

Smiling, but trying not to laugh out loud, she answered "Well Dad, of course they have the 4th of July...and the 5th, the 6th, the 7th..."

Later, when she asked for some pounds sterling to go see a knights-in-armor museum, I told her to stop calling the bills "colored wallpaper."

Hey, I was back in charge.

[Click on the photos to see more details. These were NOT taken in the 1970s although they could have been.]

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