Although we moved around a bit, I spent most of my childhood in Solvang, California. I don't like to overuse the word surreal, but in this case it fits. It was a surreal way to grow up. A huge tourist trap these days, it was more a real village in the 50s and 60s. There were still some of the original Danish immigrant famiilies in those days and the lederhosen and dirndls were worn for everyday wear, not just for tourists' cameras. Men, women and children wore wooden shoes for real and men smoked long clay pipes for real. Even I had a Danish outfit and I learned to dance the Polka and to understand the difference between Carlsberg and Hamms.
Hey, my old man used to play drums on that beer wagon! And see the little house mounted up on the storefront? That's one of many speaker boxes he built, painted, rigged, and wired throughout the entire town just for the annual Danish Days festival. Sigh. I miss you, Dad.