In 1994, I lived for Saturdays at Wet Willy’s in Gulfport.
We’d start at MiMi’s house in Bay St. Louis, where all of my cousins and I would scarf down dozens of doughnut holes from Daddy O’s in Wavleand. After we fought over the chocolate milk, our parents would load us into my Papa’s old-school van -- think velour and wooden panels – and trek to Biloxi.
After singing “Achy Break Heart” on repeat and getting into a heated argument over who the best Power Ranger was, my mother and aunts were thrilled when they could finally let us run wild at the water park.
After spending eternity climbing up that hill and grabbing a questionable foam mat, the joy of coming down that slide so fast was indescribable. Back in my day, lifeguards didn’t care how many folks were on the mat or which way you slid—as long you didn’t hold up the line, you were fine.
I left with ears full of water and legs full of bruises every time. We would always stop at the Wendy’s restaurant after our adventure for chicken nuggets and chili. Again, this was a highlight because I was chubby.
The moral of the story? Before there were iPads and Facebook posts and selfies, there were van rides, family bonding and the joys of summer.
If kids still got to enjoy Wet Willy’s today, would they be able to bring their GoPro’s and Life Proof case iPhones down the slides with them?
Summertime sadness? Never heard of it.