I went in an adult. I cringed at the prices, and raised an eyebrow at the stone and foliage-covered facade at the state fairgrounds. But I was urged on by a child - one that is at the core of our lives. That child in me wanted to see DINOSAURS; I could almost feel that hard green plastic brontosaurus back in hand.
The adult was back in the fore when I went in, and was faced with the very hokey mannequin in front of explorer's fire.
But the money was paid, and I went on.
Yes, the dinosaurs were nearly life-sized and moved - kind of.
They were in sets, with some that could be touched, mostly all with chipped paint and ill-fitting tails. And the adult began whispering things about, "A sucker born ..." Though I was honest - that included me since I had paid the money, But there I was, and with a bit of a goal, which was to test out my USB video camera. Yet as I wandered about - between roaring monsters - I watched the families too. Babes looked in awe - or terror - from their strollers, as did the toddlers. Slightly older children were torn between hesitancy and wonder as they reached out to touch the models.
And the green plastic brontosaurus became a phantom in my hand again.
A reminder that awe-filled imagination overlooks the imperfections; that the exhibits were somewhat like Plato's Shadows. The dinosaurs in the exhibits became the back drop, and the base, of dreams.
Maybe I need to find another green plastic brontosaurus to periodically remind my adult that there are times when the paint chips, and ill-fitting tails, are the illusions.
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I am a Springfield, IL based storyteller with a fascination for how folklore travels, and for history.