Trip Back East

 

1966

 

Later, in 1966, we decided to get rid of the Pontiac.  We bought a Ford Galaxy, a demonstrator model.  We also decided to go to the East Coast and visit all the relatives.  Locked the house, left the key with the Armstrong, and put a hold on our mail. Bob had been transferred to Idaho Falls, so just Carl and Dorrie would be going with Van and me.

It was summer and a warm July when we left, but the car had air-conditioning, which was great.  Our neighbor showed up a short cut through the dessert that we could take to get on the main freeway east.  We stopped to eat at Blythe and when I opened the door, the air took my breath away.  It was l23į F. However, the restaurant was very comfortable.

When we left the restaurant Van said that he would take a nap, so Dorrie and Carl sat in front with me.  We were still following the route that the neighbor told us about.  Then, all I could see was forest and hills.  I asked the kids if they could see the road up ahead.  We couldnít but kept on going.  Finally, we did see the road going up the mountain side.  It was a two-lane narrow road and very curvy.   Not only that, but 18 wheelers were coming down in the other lane too fast for me.  Finally, the kids asked me why my foot was shaking on the pedal.  Van woke up and could see what I was facing and he just stayed very quiet.  But, this was the first time that I had driven this car and I was a bid scared.  So just as soon as I saw a wide spot on the side of the road, I pulled in and stopped.  Van let me know that he was awake and had been for awhile and said he would take over.  I was sure relieved. He drove the rest of the way to Prescott, Arizona and continued on the way to Williams to spend the night.

The next morning, we were on our way to the Grand Canyon and spent some time taking in the beautiful country that God and nature made.  By noon we were on our way again on I-40 to the East Coast.  We enjoyed this trip better than the early one to California.  A more comfortable car with one less passenger and no sand storms.

After a stop for lunch, Van decided to try to nap again and we were on the freeway and he was sure that nothing could happen like a mountain again.  We travel for several hours and then it happened.  We had to stop for a RED LIGHT  and construction.  When I stopped,  Van sat up and yelled ďWhatís wrong now?Ē I told him that the road was under construction and I had to stop.  He couldnít believe it.  So from then on, the kids would wonder how long I would drive before we would encounter something.  The drive went smoothly until we reach my cousin Ireneís place in South Carolina.

Irene and George Adams bought a lot on Lake Marian after he retired from the Navy.  I think it was four acres with three little cottages for rent.  They lived in one of them until their house was built.  They also rented to campers and there was a landing for boats.  Lots of fishing going on.

We stayed a few days and the kids enjoyed camping out before we headed for Massachusetts and New Jersey.  Irene and George also made us welcome.

The trip to Massachusetts was uneventful and we stayed at 312 Durfee Street as usual.  Now that Leo and Betty had the apartment upstairs, we were a little crowded and Grandma was no longer with us, we didnít stay too long.  It was no longer home without Mom there.  Pop was doing okay.  Betty was taking good care of it.  They had a special routine and he was no problem for her.  He also took care of the books for Leoís business.  His handwriting was so beautiful for a man who only had a fourth grade education.  He was slowly losing his eyesite, but doing quite well with the sight he had.

Pop would walk uptown every morning for the newspaper. One morning Van went with him and Van said that Pop told him where every hole and crack was in the sidewalk.  He said that Pop did very well walking and his speed for his age.  He was almost 70 at the time.  He watched baseball on the TV but listened to the commentary on the radio.  So he was keeping busy.  The other great grandchildren came to visit and he always had a candy bar for them.

Dorrie and Carl with Uncle Leo

Aunt Betty and sons

We left Fall River and drove to Lake Wallkill, New Jersey, where Vanís mother and step father lived.  The kids really enjoyed it there since there was a huge late for swimming, if you can stand the cold, cold water, boating, movies at the clubhouse.  They had a regatta and a young man ask Dorrie to go in his boat.  She was thrilled but we didnít think to have her wear a hat, and she sat in the hot sun all afternoon and got real sick that evening. She was okay the next day, and we found a hat for her.

While we were there, we went to visit Vanís brother John and Pat and their four boys.  What a busy household that was.  Boys were well-manned but very active.  They kept Pat busy all the time.  I think John had a flower business at this time and Pat who is a nurse was working part-time at the local hospital.  We were glad to finally meet the rest of Vanís family.

John and Van

Grandma Joan (Van's mom)

Grandpa Bos and Van

We stayed a few days longer, then decided to take to the road again for our long trip back to California.  We took our time and stopped when we saw something that might be interesting.  One day, driving through Pennsylvania, It started to rain while Van was taking his nap and the car started hydroplaning on the wet road.  As soon as I could, I drove to the edge of the highway, and Van took over the driving.  I had never experienced anything like that before and I didnít like it.

When we drove out of the rain later, Van decided that maybe we should have the tires checked.  When we saw a big Wards place in Richmond, Indiana we drove to the auto section.  Since the car was new, they had cheap tires on it, and they were not very good.  We ended up getting four new tires, but we felt a lot safer on the road.  The trip was uneventful until we reached Salt Lake City.  We stayed there a couple of days,  Van wanted to have the car checked and a wash job.  That was okay, but when I went into the ash trays later for toll money, the tray were empty.  The vacuum must have sucked all the change.

Idaha Falls was several miles north of Salt Lake City . so we decided to pay  Robert a visit.  We had trouble finding him, but when we did find the apartment, he was at work.  A neighbor whose children Bob entertained with stories etc., came out and introduced herself and told us how to get to where Bob worked.  We took a ride out to where it was thinking we may see him when he got off work.  We missed him and ended up driving home in the dark and almost hit a deer on the road.  We finally got in touch with him, had a short visit and returned to Salt Lake City.  Bob told us that he would probably be transferred soon.  He missed the bus the next morning and had driven his car to the base, which was a big infraction of the rules.  We would be seeing him soon in El Cajon.

Right after we left Salt Lake City, west bound on Interstate 80, we crossed the dry lake and there were race car drivers testing out their cars going over a hundred miles a hour.  They had quite a audience. This is where most of the worldís land speed records are set, as the dry bed of an ancient lake is a smooth stretch of salt and covers miles .We stopped at a parking area and watched for a while, then continued on our way to Las Vegas.  Carl was fascinated by the slot machines.  They had penny slots at that time and when we would stop at a grocery store or gas station, he would try to use them.  Several times he was told that it was illegal for children to use the slot machines, so he stopped, or had Dad or I do it for him.  We stayed a few nights and saw all the night lights and Hoover Dam before we started the last part of our journey home.

Las Vegas

 

updated: 20.11.2011