Friday Fictioneers… ROAD TRIP

Two smart-ass California kids weren’t about to wait in line to see her. Hey, that line had stretched for blocks yesterday.

Snuck onto the near deserted grounds and realized it would be pretty easy to get caught, and the security guards wore Trooper Hats.  So we made our way to the entrance, and hid between the concession stands until a crowd gathered. We mingled with and rode up on the first elevator to see her.

Looking out, there she was… Seattle.


This is actually a true story, so a Friday Memoir instead of Fiction.  In 1962, my best friend and I left Sacramento in his 1956 powder blue Thunderbird to see the Seattle Worlds Fair.  Two 18 year old kids on their first Road Trip.  We stayed with his cousins in Seattle and went to the fair every day.  The line to go up the Space Needle was worse than Disneyland and took hours.  We did hop the fence one morning and joining a group of suits, we went up on the first elevator of the day… which included the Governor of Washington. (True Story)  The fair hadn’t even opened and the dignitaries probably thought we were someone’s kids.  That was a fun road trip.

Last year I went up the Space Needle again… first time in 50 years.  I don’t remember what it looked like then (I don’t think we were too impressed)… now, it is a sight worth seeing.  And the souvenir  shop in the base of the Needle is the best gift shop I’ve ever been forced to exit through.  I bought some glasses…  


This edition of Friday Fictioneers is somewhat special for me. I took the picture used as this week’s Photo Prompt.  I didn’t know that Rochelle Wisoff-Fields was going to use it… but then I did tell her she could use any of my photos, and gave her the link to my PhotoLog… Oh, here it is, btw… TedBook’s Daily Pics.

To read some great stories by talented writers based on the Sunglasses Booth, go to…   

To join us and write your 100 Words, go to the Friday Fictioneers blog  and visit…  Rochelle…

69 responses

  1. Love your memoir Ted! I have been to Seattle but not to the Needle. It is on the list!

    1. Thanks, Susie… I don’t know if they will let Roxy up there….

      1. Drat! You are probably right….

      2. I know… you can pass her off as a service dog…

  2. I’ve never been to Seattle, either, Ted but you make it sound interesting. Very well written memoir. Thanks for sharing this and…um…sharing your photo.

  3. Thanks for sharing Ted, nice job, it must have been fun, take care, have a nice weekend

    1. Thank you, Aggie! You too.

  4. Ted, I had to backtrack from your comment on my blog. The link on Rochelle’s site didn’t work for me. It just said I couldn’t edit (which I didn’t want to do.) You might want to check that.

    I like using “her” to be Seattle. My first thought was one of the freaks or the fortune-teller. 🙂 I’ve been to Seattle, but not to the top of the Needle. I’ll bet that was beautiful. And I’m sure the way you got there made it even sweeter. 🙂

    1. That was a fun trip. Your story reminded me of the book ‘Timeline’… maybe you should expand it a bit.

  5. Yep, I see Janet already mentioned your link not working on the database (it’s the link from your edit post screen instead of the view post screen).

    This photo worked really well for me, I was able to get a story nearly instantly from it. Love when that happens!

    And if ever I get to ride the elevator up the Seattle Space Needle, I’ll remember your memoir. I enjoyed it 🙂

    1. Don’t forget the gift shop. Thanks. I have to go read yours. Good luck with your speech… I want to hear all about it… which I have no doubt will be the subject of a big blog soon…

  6. Dear Ted,

    You have some link fixin’ to do from long distance. I feel your presence on the island even as I type this…no wait…you’re on a plane… no wait…

    I liked this story. I have a few memories of the Space Needle of my own from eleven years later as a young seaman on liberty in Seattle.

    Your prompt caused me no end of grief. most difficult one ever. Wrote five stories before I found the right one. never done that before. I’ll get you for this.



    1. Don’t blame me… blame Rochelle, she picked it out. I like it when you are challenged… see what resulted? That was a fine post, Doug. I’ll be in your state tomorrow.

  7. Great one Ted!!!!

    1. Thanks, Jaime… I’m sure you recognize that booth!

  8. Nice little ride down the memory lane.
    And a good prompt too! You are a photographer with perspective!

    1. It was fun to remember. I was stuck at first, since it was my photo. Your story was very touching and very real.

  9. What nice memory told. Thanks for sharing and for contributing with the photo.

    1. It is a nice memory… we did get caught trying to sneak into a car race later on that trip.

  10. A nostalgic take on the prompt. Enjoyed it. Thanks for a photo prompt that seems to have stimulated peoples’ creative juices.

    1. Hi Sandra, I would never have picked that one, but Rochelle has better ‘vision’ it seems. Some really good stories. Here’s my photolog…

  11. Great take, Ted, and glad of the background since I’ve never been to America! (One day, maybe, when Spielberg calls lol).

    Thanks for an excellent prompt – I didn’t know what to write at first . . . and then BOOM I saw it! 🙂

    We’re in the link bank 🙂

    1. Hey don’t wait for Steven! This is the 50th anniversary of the Seattle World’s Fair and the Space Needle. Glad you liked it. It’s funny how inspiration works… Rochelle picked that photo, and I had no idea what to do either.

      Interesting what you guys do with the prompts and your points of view.

  12. […] piece is called “Easy Pickings”. It’s in response to a photo prompt provided by Ted Strutz and Rochelle Wishoff-Fields, of the Friday Fictioneers. More of my stories can be found here, and […]

  13. I remember my first trip up the space needle, and this was a great reminder of the anticipation and the reward at the top. Great job.

    Here’s mine:

    1. Ah, you know what I’m talking about. I never thought I’d end up living nearby, and every time I drive into Seattle, there it is standing tall, like an old sic-fi experiment.

      I loved your ending.

  14. Hello Ted, loved your photo for this week’s fictioneers’ cafe and your story is a tribute to the never-say-die spirit of adolescence…I hope you still keep a portion of this fire for a long while! Well done!

    1. Thanks, CO… I like that ‘fictioneers’ cafe’… I’m drinking a cup right now. Loved your love story. I keep waiting for it to flicker out, as I have seen in others, but it never does.. like I’m sure your flame never will.

  15. Thank you for the challenging photo prompt and for the story behind it. I loved the way you used “her” in your story. I imagined the boys were trying to get a peek at a freak show. What a pleasant surprise that it was Seattle — one of my favorite cities. 🙂

    Here’s my link:

    1. Hey, thank Rochelle… but here’s the link to my photolog… I think you will like it… … Glad I fooled you, and it is a cool city.

      I finally read your e-book on the plane to Hawaii… fun to revisit some of the blogs I had read, and the ones at the start before I knew you. Looking forward to ‘The Red Kimono’ in the Spring.

  16. I imagined a couple of teenage boys trying to sneak in to a girlie show, but the space needle would be a close second. I was surprised you bought glasses on the way out when they had all those cool coffee mugs 🙂

    1. Ha! They did have some cool mugs… Thanks for using me in your story.

  17. What a great story Ted!! Fun all of the way!!

  18. That surprised me that it was Seattle too. I like the use of “her” in there and how it turned into a nice memory. It took me a while to figure anything out for your photo – definitely a challenging one. Wish I could have seen those toys that fly!

    1. Thanks, Sheila. They were little helicopters, boy I was sure tempted to buy one. I liked what you did with the prompt.

  19. Ted you made it sound so magical in your story. Great job.

    1. Thanks, Atiya… I’ve tried to figure out what city you are in based on your Twitter page pics.

  20. […] to write a 100-word story or poem based on a photo prompt. This week’s photo was provided by Ted Strutz. Thank you, […]

  21. Fun memory for you and your friend. My introduction to the Seattle-Tacoma area was a ten-day visit with nary a glimpse of Mt. Rainier or, for that matter, the Seattle harbor. Fog, fog and more fog. Good friends, however, made up for the dreary weather. Great photo for the prompt.

    1. Hell, we never see Mt. Rainier… smog I suspect, I’m afraid… well, once in awhile it is clear and can be seen, even from my island. Thanks…. here’s my photolog, where Rochelle stole my pic…

  22. Ted,
    This was a great story of your wild earlier days. Great daredevil adventure. I mistyped my link in the list. Here’s the real deal: Ron

    1. I still can’t get to your link.

  23. Did you have dinner at the top? It’s nice when you enjoy dinner at the top and the view slowly rotates throughout your meal. I highly recommend it. It has been a while since I’ve been up to Seattle. I would love to go back there. I enjoy the wharf and underground city tour. There are so many fun things to see there. Not to mention friends.

    I think it’s really cool that you worked your memoir into this weeks fiction piece. It’s neat to visit those old memories. And we like it when you share them with us. Thanks, Ted.

    1. Hi Debra… no dinner at the top yet… I do plan on it sometime. I have never done the underground tour either. I mostly go to art museums and shows… and of course restaurants.

      So glad you joined the group… see you back this Friday!

  24. brought back some memories, good story

    1. Thank you, Bill… so you’ve been there? I liked your magic glasses…

      1. not to Seattle, but road trips and sneaking in, although never with dignitaries!

  25. i hear everything is green and blue out there. sounds pretty, like the story.

    1. You hear right Rich. Thanks, Bruce!

  26. Ted Liked your story, but it errored when I tried to connect via the linkz for Friday Fictioneers.

    1. haha… Me too! Your story made me think of a Steven King book.

  27. HI Ted ~ I sent Rochelle a note saying I could not access your site, so I’m happy to see you posted again. Thank you for your interesting photo and your delightful Seattle/space needle memoir/story. Would love to visit one day.

    1. Let me know if you do, Lora… I’ll show you around… Lots of story ideas at Pikes Place Market… that’s where they throw the fish. Thanks, glad you found it. I screwed up when I did the link.

  28. This is a cool story, Ted, and well written. I really liked the background too – I wish they still did these, but alas. Sounds like a great roadtrip. Thanks for sharing the picture with the rest of us Fictioneers!

    1. Thank you, Brian. It was a good trip. I haven’t done a lot of fiction, mostly memoir and observation stuff. The Fictioneers is a good group. I like the 100 word challenge.

  29. I love this line:

    “The souvenir shop at the base of the Needle is the best gift shop I’ve ever been forced to exit through.”

    It sounds like you were a naughty boy up there. You know, it sounds like you were escorted out. I know that was not what you intended, but it is how it comes across. Unless, of course, you really were a naughty boy up there.

    Ted. Did you pee off the top of the Needle? 😉

    1. Ha! I see what you mean. No, we were very well behaved. I don’t think there was a gift shop then, but there sure is now… and like art museums, you can’t get out without going through the gift shop.

  30. Great! Oh, and your picture was a super contribution, Ted. Thanks!

  31. What a great story Ted and lovely to combine it with a memoir as well. I enjoyed the flip between potential nasty ending and fun.

  32. I know someone who lives in Seattle, so I might have to put this on my ‘oneday’ list. Admire the daring of the two smart-ass Californian’s, though I probably will wait in line and waste a few more hours of my life 😉

    1. Let me know when you are coming and I will take you guys up myself. No lines these days.

      1. Wow, thanks! Will do… 🙂

  33. Awesome story, chief. I am always happy when I read ‘1956 powder blue Thunderbird’ – Dunno why but I am.

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