1970- 1971


Now that Dorrie's wedding was over, we could relax a little. .  In the meantime Van was getting ready to retire.  He was still in the Navy and still in the Police Reserves.  Working for the Navy days and the as dispatcher for the Police Dept from 3 to 11pm.  I use to listen to him on the scanner. I noticed that every night about 8:30 every night, he would almost  lose his voice.  He stayed with the dept. until he was finally discharged from the Navy. That was in August 1970 after almost 30 years. Just before he started to work as a dispatcher, the East County had a huge fire and it traveled very fast thru Alpine and down to Jamul.  He worked as traffic controller for several days until the fire was distinguished. 

The Armstrong had a trailer and they were really enjoying camping with their club on week ends.  They talked us into renting a small trailer from the Navy and go camping with them.  We were to go to the Anza Borrego Desert.  Carl and his friend were to go with us.  We would follow Howard through    Ramona and down Montezuma Grade.  Howard drove so fast that we could not keep up with him.  Found out later, his brakes went out and he had to really watch where he was driving.  When he got to the bottom of the hill, he pulled to the side of the road and let the brakes cool off.  The camp ground was nearby and we were given a  spot for the night.  That little trailer was tiny and so was the bed.  The boys  slept in sleeping bags on the grass.  It was a new experience.  We had the dog, Sandy, with us.  And when the boys came back from a walk, she started barking.  It was the first time we ever heard her bark.

We began to think about camping after that experience and went looking at trailers.  We couldnít make up our mind about the whole thing.  We told Carl we were looking and found one that we really liked.  He wanted to see it, so we decided to show him.  When he saw the IDEAL, he said this is what you want.  We thought about it some more and then we went and bought it.  When Van pulled it home with the Galaxy, I thought the whole transmission would fall apart.  So we looked at trucks.  Itís funny how one things leads to other things.   We were beginning to live without the children around, but it didnít last long.  We went out with the trailer and the Mission Bells.  One day Van was downtown and met an old friend, Ken Wilson, from Subic Bay.  He found out that Ken had a trailer also, so he made plans for us to go camping together.  The Wilsonís belonged to a Kenskill Trailer Club and eventually, joined us in the Mission Bells.

Ellen 1971 




updated: 20.11.2011