It was time for us to move on, so we started on our way to Irene and George’s home on Lake Marion.  We usually take our time traveling with the trailer and stop in the afternoon about 2:00 o’clock, that way we have a better chance of finding a campground and get settled.  This trip we stopped at St. Augustine and stayed 2 nights.  St Augustine is a very old city and they held a pageant in the evenings at an old fort.  It was the very interesting story of the old city.

We arrived at Summerton, SC early in the day.  It was the first time we had been there since our trip in 1966 with Dorrie and Carl. George had made many changes and he had a spot for us to hook up to electricity and water and sewer, which was just what we needed.  We were very surprised at all the land that they had.  They built their home and had 3 small cottages that had full kitchens, shower and bedroom.  They had spots with hook-ups for other trailers to rent and a boat landing for fishermen that bring their own boats.  They keep busy all the time with people coming at any time of the day and mornings.  George had a huge garden and Irene did all the preserving. Her cupboard was full.  One little old lady that stayed there said that when Irene would preserve this years corn, she would have to throw out or give away corn from last year.  Irene loved to cook and she worked hard.  She also loved the sew and do crafts and I would bring down a copy of what ever crafts that I would have made at home.  They were usually different ideas from what she would have seen.

We had planned to stay a month.  They made us very welcomed and Irene was so glad to have someone to talk too.  But I was being bitten alive by chiggers and nothing seemed to help the situation, so we left after 13 days to go to Van’s mothers.  She and Bill now lived in Oak Ridge, NJ. 




On the way to NJ, we stopped at Gettysburg Battle Field.  We took a bus tour of the field and it makes one wonder how does one fight in such an area, hills and trees and very few hiding places.  After our visit, we resumed our trip to visit Van’s mother and Bill in Oak Ridge, NJ.  We were anxious to get there since we had news from Dorrie.  She had Carsten on March 6, 1974, and now that he was just 4 months old, she and the baby were coming to visit us in New Jersey.


We found the folks okay in a Mobil Home Park and they suggested that we park our trailer at Mahlon-Dickerson Reservation; It was very nice with lots of trees and not too many trailers.  We were to pick Dorrie up at JFK airport at one o’clock the next day.  It was some distance from where we were to get to the airport so we started early to time ourselves for the way back.  The plane was due at one in the afternoon and we were there in plenty of time.  But the airport was having trouble, no planes were landing.  They were going round and round the airport and Dorrie’s plane was one of them.  She finally landed at ten o’clock that night.  Said they had to fly to Connecticut to get more fuel.  Too many planes wanting to land at the same time.  We had the truck then and Carsten was in his baby bed and being very good.  Dorrie said that it was good that she had enough bottles with her since they were stuck in the air over nine hours.  The highway was jammed on the way home, so traffic was slow, but we made it okay.  We had everything set up for their arrival, so we settled down pretty quick.


Carsten was a cute baby and Dorrie was a good mother and we were so pleased that she wanted to make this long trip for us. We sure enjoy the baby and her visit so much.  And it was good to see Michael again.  He had a flight that took him to South American and on his way back he would stop in New York, so that was why Dorrie had flown over with Carsten. She flew back to Germany on Michael’s schedule trip back to Germany.


4 generations

Dorrie - her dad - her son, Carsten - her grandma

pity the photo is such poor quality


We stayed there almost three weeks.  It was great that we got to see our first grandchild and great grandmother saw him also.


Van’s mother had another panic attach while we were there.  She was so worried that she would have to entertain Dorrie and the baby.  At that time, we didn’t know that she was having what we now call panic attacks.   .But she always got sick when we visited and something came up that she didn’t want to do.  Now they have medicine for that.



Soon after Dorrie left, we were on our way again. Our next stop was Fall River, MA. We stayed for two weeks at Blue Acres Campground in Westport.  We visited with Pop and Leo and Betty and the boys.  They were now in the upstairs part of the old house.  My old bedroom was their living room.  They seemed to be doing okay there.  One problem thought was they had to go through Pop’s house to get to the cellar. They put a lot of thought into the layout but there were some changes that should not have been made.


One thing that happened because of the change.  The house was built in 1865 and they plastered very pretty ceilings in the double parlor downstairs. While the room upstairs was a bedroom, there was little activity, but when they made it a living room, there was a lot of activity. In fact, so much so, that one day, Pop was listening to the radio in the double parlor downstairs and heard a loud noise.  He got out of his chair and went to the kitchen to see what had happened.  Nothing. But in the double parlor where he had been sitting was the plastered ceiling from above.  Had he been in his chair, he would probably been hurt. They couldn’t imagine why it happened but I finally came to the conclusion that it was all the traffic of the living room in the old bedroom.

While there, I visited some old school friends and people I worked with. All of Main Street was changed.  The old stores were gone.  Nothing looked the same.  We did drive out to Westport Beach where I use to go swimming. It looked the same and the Atlantic Ocean was a lot warmer than the Pacific.

After leaving Fall River, we stopped to see brother Bill and Doris in Chicopee, MA.  All doing well and very busy people.  From there, we headed for Niagara Falls, and camped on the Canadian side for a couple of days. After leaving the Falls, we headed for Michigan and saw all the tulip fields in Holland, MI and continued on our trip to visit Jack and Joanne Griggs in Des Moines, IA.  We parked the trailer on their front lawn and enjoyed remembering all the good times we had had in Subic and Hong Kong. When we left there, we were heading for home, but when we reached Tucumcari, NM, we started to have trouble with the Dodge truck.  It was running very hot and they couldn’t find what was wrong, so they took the thermostat out and told us to drive without it.  We did, but didn’t feel right without it, so he took it to another garage when we got to Flagstaff, AZ.  They couldn’t find the problem either, so we headed for home.  We had traveled over 14,000 miles on this trip.

When we arrived home, Carl was home from the Army since June and he took care of the house and found himself a job.  After we were home a couple of weeks, we thought we’d like to go the Los Angeles for l0 days or so.  So that is what we did.  While we were there, we attended 26 TV shows.  (13 different ones) including Johnny Carson, Merv Griffin, Dinah Shore, Odd Couple, Good Times, and most of the game shows except “The Price is Right”.  We enjoyed all of the shows.  Got tickets to review new shows and give them a rating.  Some were okay, but others were terrible.

Time to get home and get ready for Christmas.  All the kids would be home for Christmas this year.  First time since 1963.  Dorrie, Michael and Carsten would be coming from Germany, Bob and Mary live in the area now and Mary was expecting James in February, and Carl was home from the Army.  Just before the holiday, we received word that Pop, my father, was also coming out for Christmas, and to see his first great grandson.  It was a good and happy Christmas.

After the Christmas Season was over and everyone left to travel to their homes, it seemed very quiet and lonely.  But it didn’t take long to get back in the scheme of things.  After the January outing, the Wilsons, Smiths and Goodholms, thought about taking a trip to Death Valley and we agreed to go along with them.  Death Valley is half way to Las Vegas.  It is a very different place.  It is 282ft below sea level to 11,049ft at its highest.  It also has Scotty’s Castle, which was built in 1920.  It is furnished with beautiful furniture and has a wall of water inside that acts like an air-conditioner.  It is amazing to see something like this in such a desert area.  And it really is a desert, lots and lots of sand and rocks.  It has quite a few canyons and the group planned to go up one of them.  I had overheard someone saying how rough it was to walk, so I told the group that I better stay behind, since I sprain my ankle so easy.  So after they left, I slid down a gravel hill of ten inches and you guessed it, I sprained my ankle.  I used an umbrella for a cane the rest of the trip.  In spite of that, we all enjoyed our trip, which you only take in the wintertime because in the summer the temperature can go as high as 120 ° F. and that’s hot.

Well, we made it home okay and just in time for Mary to go to the hospital to have James.  I had promised to help her when she got out of the hospital, but my ankle was hurting more and Van insisted that I go to the hospital to have it checked.  Well, they took x-rays and found that I fractured a bone and I would have to have a cast.  The cast was made of plaster of paris and so heavy. I could hardly move it to walk.  So I couldn’t help Mary with baby James.  He had some problem with jaundice, so he had to be checked at the hospital every day, so Bob asked for some time off.  They make out okay and James got over the jaundice and Mary was able to do everything by herself.  He was born February 2, 1975.


updated: 20.11.2011