Much has happened in the City of Orlando and all of it has not been good. Shootings and a child towed under by an alligator has given the city a black eye that has tarnished its image as the City Beautiful. The city has grown into an entertainment mecca with theme parks and a clubs all over the place. Such modernity might be the in thing now, but it seems that the city lost a bit of its magic from the good ole days.
When I went to Naval Nuclear Power School in Orlando back in 1982, the city was still a sleepy southern town with a county population of just under 500,000 people. There was Walt Disney World, but that was pretty much about it as far as theme parks were concerned until the opening of Epcot in October of that year. Wet n’ Wild was the major water park where you could get in for $10 and the only nightlife in the town was Church Street Station which consisted of a few bars and from what I have read closed its doors almost 20 years ago. I took the bus a couple of times around Orlando, but the bus service ended around 7:00 p.m. as most people stayed at home to spend their evenings cooking meals and listening to country music on WHOO radio. Yes, there is so much more to do there now, but the hectic pace of going from one park to another and dancing the night away seems inadequate to filling the void left in the soul of man.
Perhaps it is time for people to set back and reflect on the meaning of culture and taking a break from the hustle and bustle or the rat race. Yes, the past might be somewhat silly according to this video, but it seems that families played together and stayed together and the pace was slow. Hopefully, places can once again become communities where people can associate with each without other things crowding out the natural growth of relationships. As Robert Nisbet said in his book “The Quest for Community” :
Other and more powerful forms of association have existed, but the major moral and psychological influences on the individual’s life have emanated from the family and local community and the church. Within such groups have been engendered the primary types of identification: affection, friendship, prestige, recognition. And within them also have been engendered or intensified the principal incentives of work, love, prayer, and devotion to freedom and order.
The Orlando of the past is gone and we cannot go back. However, it is not too late to preserve what’s left of the old culture where family, church and community was paramount. Let’s choose the right future.