Monday, July 23, 2007

This is no longer a vacation. It's a quest. It's a quest for fun!

My parents have owned the above canvas dinosaur for as long as I can remember. If you guessed that it is a geniune 1969 Starcraft Constellation Pop-Up Camper, you'd be correct, and quite possibly also a child of the 70s. Back in that wacky time there was no "minivans" or trips to all-inclusive family resorts with special schedules and activites designed specifically by age group to enhance or build on skill sets to create the next generation of adults with no idea of how to occupy themselves without an agenda.

In fact, if you started a family in the 1960s/70s, I believe you were issued one of these beauties with a station wagon (wood trim optional) a love of plaid, and a man-of-the-house that insisted that driving around the country was an "exciting adventure", "the only way to see the country" and "one of the best educational experiences we can give you kids."

I have many a "fond" memory of that camper. "Fondness" in this case referring to there being enough years past now that the sheer torture of being hauled around to significant bridges and historical creeks and staying at campgrounds with no swimming pool, video arcade games and grossly understocked canteens staffed by elderly folks who had never heard of "Pop Rocks."

Sadly, it is to be sold by my brother I've been informed. No more mustiness to greet me when it's unfurled. No wet canvas smell that seems to permeate everything for the whole weekend even though it rained for only 15min. No horrid cans of faded peas heated to lukewarm on the pseduo-stove before it ran out of butane. No fighting over who gets the "better end" to sleep in or making forts out of the day-glow floral seat cushions!

Okay, I'm really not quite that nostalgic!! ;) But, it was a fun little tormenting device of my childhood and thus has earned a wistful *sigh* at it's passing.

On a scary, weird, strange, funny bizarro note; while searching for my brother's craigslist ad , I ran across another similar model being sold in Mankato, Minnesota:

"For Sale: Nice 1974 Jayco Pop Up Camper. This camper is in good usable condition. It has a heater, three burner stove, sink, water tank, fridge/ice box, 110 volt inlets/outlets, excelent frame/axles, good tires, new spare tire, tows very nice. This camper is 33 years old, and is not perfect, but it is in good condition. $750. Cash or trade for firearms of equal value."

Curious, I looked up on a gun site to see what $750 would get this delightful militia -minded moron. Turns out, not much...while he could get most anything from the lines of the shotguns, handguns and rifles, only very low tier semi-automatics were in that price range. And machine-guns? Only if he had 3-4 mint VW Beetles to go along with his classic camper!


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