I think I caught the travel bug from a View-Master. You know, the plastic stereoscope with the little circular cardboard disks of 3D photos. My grandfather had a whole stash of reels with titles like “Tulip Time in Holland” or “Africa – Cairo to Capetown” or “The Seven Wonders of the World”.When I was little, we lived in Washington DC and on those summer days when it was too hot and humid to be outside, my granddad would crank up the a/c and we’d spend hours looking at the View-Master. The forests of giant sequoias in California. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Kathmandu. Samarkand. Barcelona. Everything was so big and magical and different. I was only 3 or 4 but I was hooked on travel. Nowadays, you can get customized viewers and reels to suit just about every fancy – a talking Dora the Explorer, Disney classics, Nascar racing and countless others.
But, none of that stuff was around when I was first introduced to the View-Master. That’s a good thing. Because my life might’ve turned out a lot differently if my grandfather had been into Huckleberry Hound.
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