THE GOODBYE PROJECT: Letting Go is Good, Yo! Episode 3–The Jurassic Park Stuff

About The Goodbye Project:

There are so many of us who can’t part with objects because of the sentimental attachment we have to them. You know—the graduation tassels, the barfed-on stuffed animal with the missing eye, the coat your late father bought for you because you begged. So what do you do when it’s time to let go of these beloved items because it’s absolutely necessary?

I’d read someplace that one of the best ways to let go of an object is to know that you have a photo. Sure, you can photograph it before you get rid of it. The Goodbye Project takes the idea a step further: go back and find photos of yourself actually with, using, or wearing that object, and blurb a bit about the memories it invokes.

Why? Everything has a story.

And because of that, the object deserves more than just a hasty trip to the Goodwill or the trash without a second thought.

EPISODE 3: JURASSIC PARK

I just love it when the camera captures something genuine. This is the moment in the Dinosaur attraction at Disney's Animal Kingdom Park in which the Carnosaur gets right in your face. In case you're wondering, that's me, left, freaking out. Nathan, on the other hand, looks like he's just made a new friend.

Like most kids, I had a thing for dinosaurs (I will confess here that I really wasn’t much into dolls). A few of my most exciting childhood memories: visiting the Museum of Natural History—I was very young, and it was the first time I saw real fossils. I remember being awed by the T-Rex skeleton’s mammoth proportions. The Geology Class field trip to dig fossils Freshman year in high school. I didn’t find any whole trilobites, but I found a leaf impression or two! A visit to the Peabody Museum—I got lucky and was there when Dolf Seilacher was giving a presentation on his exhibit Fossil Art. I was so fascinated I even got him to sign my copy of the book, in which I’d scribbled tons of notes (if you’d like more information on this, visit here: http://www.uv.es/pe/1999_1/books/fossil.htm)

Then there was the first time I visited Epcot’s Universe of Energy. When the curtains pulled back to reveal a prehistoric swamp teeming with breathing dinosaurs, I was so excited I wept. (Years later, I went on Dinosaur, and that wasn’t nearly as cool—I was too terrified to enjoy it. See it on my face in the above picture?) And let’s not forget the tons of fossil shark teeth I’ve picked up over the years.

And then along came Jurassic Park. And Jurassic Park: The Lost World. (By the way, before I go further: if you are a Jurassic Park fan and want to meet with like minds, I found a great community online at http://www.jplegacy.org.)

Being an ardent fan of Crighton anyway, I read The Lost World and was thrilled with some of the imaginative dinos I was expecting to see in the film (how about those ones that can change their skin color to match their surroundings? I was so petrified I had nightmares). When the movie came out in 1997, it was a big deal for me—and being the movie buff I am, the colorful promotional materials available were too tempting not to purchase—I’d just moved into Charles’ house and had loads of space (we even got our hands on a POP display Borders used for the release of the VHS).

Not the greatest shot of those stand-ups--I know there are better ones out there -- but you can see them on the upper left and right corners of the photo. Look closely! By the way, this photo was taken in 2002.

I was moving things around in the basement and unearthed a black box I’d forgotten about. The label on it read, “Jurassic Park.”

The storage box for my Jurassic Park: The Lost World collection.

I was surprised by the box, but more surprised by what was in it:

One of those giant soda cups. I think I might have gotten this for a few extra bucks at the movie theatre when the film premiered--in fact, I saw The Lost World at The Campus Theatre in Selinsgrove, PA, just after my brother Chuck graduated from Bucknell University. Check out The Campus Theatre here: http://www.campustheatre.org/index.html

At left, my brother Chuck, May 24, 1997, at his graduation from Bucknell University. That night, I headed out to the Campus Theatre in nearby Selinsgrove to see The Lost World.

No, I don’t have the Viewmaster or reels for this—honestly, I don’t know why I have the box, except that I suspect I might have given this as a present to my niece Andi and kept the box on Christmas morning. My sister and niece were still living in Connecticut at the time, so this explanation would make sense.

...turns out I DID have both the original Viewmaster and the reels that came in this box, all in mint condition. I had put them with my Viewmaster collection (will be addressed in a future episode).

I picked this up at store display in Stop & Shop on Exit 8. That was back when I used to shop there, and, in the late 1990s, even the grocery stores still sold more movie tie-in materials than they do now.

These are not from The Lost World; they’re Jurassic Park playing cards. I have a couple of sets of these, and I don’t know if I’m going to give away the other one yet. I’ll know when I find it; I have no idea where it is.

I used to wear this on my red barn jacket that I bought when I got married in 1994.

Here's me in that barn jacket, and you can see I've got the button on. This was taken at the Bridgewater, CT, firehouse during the Bridgewater FairWorker's Picnic, September 16, 2000.

What’s better than movie tie-in candy bar wrappers? And Hershey bars are my favorite chocolate, so this was a no-brainer. Don’t worry—the chocolate was eaten soon after I bought it.

I got these movie cards at my local CVS.

The PRIZE of the collection: the movie tie-in cereal. Scary, but unopened, meaning yes, there is 14-year-old cereal inside. The box was just so colorful and cool I couldn’t resist.

Fortunately for me, Charles was into going to Burger King a lot back then, so he worked his ass off getting me the entire set of tie-in watches. The watches have never been opened; I don’t even know what they look like. They’re in such mint condition I’m afraid to even take a peek. I think if I were going to keep one, it would be the “Something Has Survived.” That’s my favorite box.

My favorite dinosaur-related possession is a coffee mug my Dad bought me at the Museum of Natural History the last time we went together, which was so many years ago now I don’t remember when it was. I definitely will not be parting with that.

But as for the JP collection? Maybe it’ll dig up a few bucks on Ebay.

You never know.

The entire collection. I might find a couple of other JP items to throw in with it.

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About kristipetersenschoonover

A ghost story writer who still sleeps with the lights on, Kristi Petersen Schoonover’s fiction has appeared in countless magazines and anthologies. She has received three Norman Mailer Writers Colony Residencies, is a co-editor for Read Short Fiction, and co-hosts the Dark Discussions Podcast. Her work Skeletons in the Swimmin’ Hole is a collection of ghost stories set in Disney Parks; her horror novel, Bad Apple, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She’s also a member of the New England Horror Writers Association. More info: www.kristipetersenschoonover.com

Posted on May 25, 2011, in The Goodbye Project and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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