My favorite company is The Walt Disney Company. My affection for this company bloomed not when I was a child, but in adulthood. I grew up in Southern California, spending the first half of my impressionable years in a small suburb of Los Angeles called Westchester. My middle class family lived in a post World War II built house located across the street from the Centinela Adobe. The adobe was a historical home built in 1834 that had become a museum by the time my brothers and I came along to explore its mystere. For you historical buffs, it’s one of only 43 surviving adobes in Los Angeles County. Its acres of eucalyptus trees and lush groomed grounds provided countless hours of fun and make believe, a welcome escape from the symmetrical, single level, square, stucco homes that lined the streets of my childhood. As a kid, I vividly recall getting lost in what seemed to be a forest, although in hindsight, I know it was a scant vision of what it must have been in its once grand 25,000 acre setting. In my play dates with the Centinela Adobe it was still vast enough at one acre that I could get lost in its wilds and not give a second thought to the rush of traffic as it traversed the modern miracle of the 405 freeway that abutted the backside of the property.
When I was a young girl, my family of modest means visited Disneyland a handful of times. I recall early one morning we all piled into the family Ford Falcon station wagon and headed for Disneyland. My family and I were driving south bound on the 405 with my parents friends Ester and Knut, who were visiting from Canada. I recall Knut gushing over the sheer awesomeness of the freeway with its expanse of five lanes of traffic rushing in either direction, as if it was the eighth wonder of the world. I can not tell you much about what Disneyland was like on that day, except to say 1) It was more awesome than the Centinela Adobe, and 2) The E tickets were the ride tickets you coveted.
Back in those days your park admission came with a book of ride coupons with denominations of A through E, the higher the letter, the better the ride. B tickets, for example, earned you a ride on the Casey Junior Circus Train in Fantasyland. Which was alright I guess, if that was your thing. But an E ticket…well an E ticket got you into the Haunted Mansion, a ride on the Monorail, or better yet, the Matterhorn! As a kid you generally held onto E tickets as if they were gold, as you rushed from one glorious ride to the next, anticipating which rides would earn you the greatest thrill in exchange for those precious tickets. While Disneyland evolved and eventually discontinued use of ticket books, the E Ticket or an E Ticket ride still assimilates to an unusually interesting, thrilling or premium experience. Or, you could just say, it rocked. (Continued next page)