It's cooler today than it has been these past couple of days

in the vicinity of Orlando, Florida. I've been all over this city, from
the northern sections to Ocoee to the Disney Resort to the tourist trap
of Kissimmee. And in Kissimmee I stay my nights until I leave here with
mom a few days from now.
While getting my haircut two days ago, the hairstylist said that when she moved to Kisshee 15 years ago, the place was a small little town with only a couple of stoplights. She said that hse remembered the days when the insanely busy intersection of US 192 (Main Street) and Michigan Avenue ( ! I was a four way stop. It now has six lights: two facing east, two cfacing west, and two left turn lights in each of those directions. Kissimmee is the living example (or perhaps dead) of a land, and town
raped. At night it is hard to see driving down US 192 because of the glare
of all the light boards perched atop
signposts, blinking, flashing, vying for the tourists' attention. There is more neon here on this one street than I have ever seen before in my life (and that includes my tenure at Video Watch, the Candylaand of video stores ) . It is seconded in its garish decadence only my International Drive, west (Ithink) of here, at
one time a quiet city street, now so overcrowded with Hispanic-owned curio
and souvenir shops and so illuminated with neon and lightboards and signs
everywhere that it looks like a tropical Blade Runner. But only a few
miles away is a different place, the quiet, placid Florida country side
where I will be living.
I shall reside in a complex called Pine Club I, in the residential c m
unity of MetroWest, a collection of apartment complexes and office buildings
owned my Arnold Palmer. Yes, that one. It's a nice area, far away from
the tourists, and working at Disney, I'm sure
I'll want to be far away.
The contrast between City and Tourist Area and Countyside here is so often and so sudden that it quite frequently jarrs the mind. The statement made by the cashier at Alobar, a music and bookstore in the nortern part of Orlando, sums it up perfectly: when I told him my perceptions of International Drive, he looked at me quizzically and said, "International Drive? God, that's like an entirely different province." The capitalist rape of the land surrounding the Walt Disney World Resort
is precisely the reason that
Uncle Walt bought twenty-six square miles
01'

o f l a n d t o surround h i s Vacation Kingdom, having l e a r n e d h i s l e s s o n w i t h
i

second- rate g i f t shops k i s s i n g the d o o r s t e p of Disneyland i n C a l i f o r n i a .
W e t h e q u e s t s came, h e wanted hn

them t o be a b l e t o escape, and n o t b e bombar-

ded by Vegas- style t a c k t h e moment t h e y opened t h e i r h o t e l c u r t a i n s . F o r t u n a t e l y , t h i s Motel 6 i s set back from t h e street, s o I am s p a r e d t h e s i g h t as ell, d e s p i t e t h e f a c t t h a t I ingnore it when I do see it.

M r later. oe

6/11/93

6:51 P M

K i s s k n e e , Florida