Disnee-Lande, Summer of ’74.


Papa promised a trip to Disneyland. It would have been the first trip away from their tiny town. All of their school friends had been there, and talked of the endless acres of fun. But Disnee-Lande was not the same. It was a dusty lot off the highway, in the middle of the desert. Luis tried to explain to Papa, but it wasn't getting through.
"There are rides," Papa said.
"That is a burro tied to a stake, Papa. I could feel his bones when I rode him," Luis replied.
"There was a parade," Papa said.
"Those were the workers starting their shift," Luis explained. "And the burro."
"Your sisters are laughing and having fun," Papa said.
"Yes but they are too young to know better," Luis reminded.
"You are right, Luis, they are too young," Papa said, quiet so only Luis could hear. "Too young to know that we can't have the things your friends have, that I am too poor to pay for real Disneyland. They are too young, but you are not. So. Now you can go tell your sisters."
Luis looked over at his sisters, playing on the burro. It was the happiest he had seen them in forever.
"No Papa," Luis said. "I will not tell them. I'll never tell them."
"Good boy," Papa praised. "How is your ice-cream?"
"It is really good," Luis said with a smile. And he had to admit, the ice-cream was really good.