Sunday, July 17, 2011

Dancing Chickens

When I was little, we went to the Lake of the Ozarks quite often. Dad bought a boat and drank. His buddies all had boats and they too, all drank...a lot! So we went to the lake a lot, with his buddies and their families and they all drank till stupid.


So, I have some not so fond memories of the lake along with some fun ones.


BF's daughter got married last week, at the lake. It was beautiful, she was beautiful, the hotel was wonderful and the reception was great fun, but it was hot. Very hot...103 degrees. A typical summer day at the lake.


We went down the day before the wedding and I got to take a walk down memory lane. Of course, I remembered the drinking and the chaos, but I also remembered going to the dam by boat. This dam used to be the "hot" spot. Lot's going on. but as you can see, it's pretty vacant now. This is a view from the top of the dam, looking down. When I was little, this was so scary! I'd walk out there and look down and it just scared me to death.
Now here's something I probably would have forgotten if we hadn't gone down there. There was entertainment, games and such, on the docks. We'd park our boat, then we'd look for fun things to do. There was bumper cars, haunted houses and pinball machines everywhere. Lots of souvenir shops, music was playing and of course, beer joints. Dad and his buds would head straight for the beer joints and the kids would scatter and look for things to keep us busy. I can't imagine this happening today. No way would parents let their ten and eleven year olds wonder around in such an area, but that's just the way it was back then.
There were many docks, such as the one pictured below. Some larger and some smaller and they all had these scenic tour type cruise ships/boats. You know, the Huck Finn's and the Tom Sawyer's. But here's what I really remember. They all used to have these chickens in glass cages with flashing lights and when you'd put in your nickel, dime, quarter???can't remember, probably a nickel, this chicken would play the piano, or that one would dance, or another one would hit some tambourines. Each cage had a chicken and every chicken did something for the food that our money and their activity would provide.
Oooh my gosh!!! and it was hot too!!!
Can you imagine anyone doing that today? This was called entertainment??? I can remember just standing there, looking at these poor chickens and wondering about them. I'd watch as people would put in their money and laugh at this "entertainment". I can remember looking at these people and wondering what was so funny? I'd look back and forth at the person, then the chicken...sickened...
This was supposed to be funny? I didn't get it, but I watched, first the chicken, then the person. Looking back, I think I was waiting for someone, an adult, to explain this all to me...
I'm still waiting for someone to explain this horrible scene to me...



Hmmm...some memory huh!!!???
I didn't get it then and I don't get it now...




9 comments:

Debra She Who Seeks said...

I saw those same chicken games at the Winnipeg Red River Ex about 15-20 years ago. Plus they had similar setups with rabbits as well. My sister and I both phoned the Winnipeg Humane Society to complain about animal abuse. Seeing those poor, desperate, half-starved creatures perform some stupid trick for a morsel of food just sickened me.

Out on the prairie said...

I have seen the chickens years ago. I had a summer home at the 52 mile marker.I remember drinking lots of Frosty root beer there.There was a cove where everyone got delerious nearby.Not sure what the fun was all the way.

Arkansas Patti said...

I never saw anything like that and am so glad I didn't. I will never understand that and am quite sorry that it was actually something people willingly paid to see. Yikes.

turquoisemoon said...

Debra, Good for you and your sister!!!
Steve, Party Cove!!! Nope, I never went there...my dad did and when he was much older. He never changed.
Patti, It was awful. Shame on them...

NitWit1 said...

I live relatively close to Lake of the Ozarks but never been there as I live on another Ozark Lake in Arkansas.

One large boat dock here has a far more humane entertainment . There are ducks, geese and a huge swarm of carp that live or stop by the largest dock in my town. They simply sell food to feed them. All you watch is the natural instinct to fight over the food. But nothing is in a cage

One Fly said...

I've never seen chicky's like that either. You tell very good/fun/entertaining story's TMoon. I'd put a dime into each slot to see what these critters would do for sure.We all have the mean old rooster chasing us stories I'm sure.The giant rooster with wanting to do only evil to you if should catch you. That one.

I used to like Misery a bunch and spent my share of time there but that thrill left some time ago. There is no open space like in the west and it's not just Missouri. You can't go down an interesting looking road very far before you come upon people. The last time I stayed it was like you described plus I got chewed all to hell around my sock line. It sucked.

But - many a good time has been had for sure and Columbia in the early 70's was just that.

Drove through the northern part just about three years ago a week or so before Halloween and was just amazed at the amount/intricacy and size of out door front yard displays and have thought ever since that I need to go back and see this again. That really stands out and I plan on driving out that way late spring next year.

Great Post!

Linda Starr said...

Oh my I thought they were mechanical chickens at first, I would have nightmares to this day about those poor chickens, I don't get it either and in that heat no less. Whenever I see a truck driving down the highway with chickens or cows or ones in feed lots, I feel bad for them nowadays. In California if you drove by a dairy farm, you'd scoff at the ads that say happy California cows, dairy cows there are not happy at all, at least the beef cattle get to graze in pastures, not true for the dairy cows standing in mud on rainy days; a few are grass fed and those are probably the happiest ones. I ramble on, sorry. Oh the poor animals, we do have to speak for them. That view from the dam is scary to me just looking today.

Teresa Evangeline said...

Hey you! I miss you! Anybody out there?

Towanda said...

This reminds me of that song, Bye Bye Miss American Pie. I can't even look down that dam to the water in the picture without getting nauseous. Ah, the good old days!