Bellah Brothers Reunion Trip: Three

Can you imagine how Rip Van Winkle felt after his long nap? I thought about Irving’s protagonist today after visiting Red River with Bob and Craig.

In the early ‘60s my dad bought a small grocery-store-ski-rental shop and a jeep touring company in Red River. Then, he sent Bob up to run the store and Craig to manage the jeeps (amazing in itself since Craig was just 18). Well, Bob, his wife Adrianna and Craig lived in the popular tourist village for nearly four years.

And none had been back—until today.

Their reaction: “It wasn’t the same Red River,” said Craig. “There’s too much glitz.”

“It’s not the sleepy little tourist town where everyone knew everyone else,” added Bob.

And so I’m wondering. Is it age that gives us that perspective? Do we old-timers always romanticize the past and mistrust the present?

Or is the present truly not as good as it used to be?

Can’t say for sure, but I know one thing: If I’m visiting Mayberry, I want Floyd to own the barber shop, Wally to own the filling-station (not a convenience store), Gomer to work there; Barney must be a deputy (with no more than one bullet in his revolver) and Andy simply has to be sheriff.

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