Spring 1967. Unpacking the luggage from our 1963 Chevy Bel-Air.
We were returning home from a cross-county road trip from Ohio to California and back to visit my brother who was stationed at Ft. Ord, California, near Monterey. It had been a wonderful trip but a grueling drive both ways. No seat belts in those days, no A/C, and a radio that picked up only local stations along the way. No CD players, cassette players, or even 8 tracks at that time.
We weren’t world travelers. We were farm folks and this trip to us was like a trip to the Moon. We stayed in cheap motels along the way. We packed food and ice in a picnic basket and ate at roadside rest areas. Our first night we slept in a little motel in Tucumcari that had pink neon lights trimming the entire roofline. We were exhausted from driving almost 3 days straight. At Ft. Ord, we slept on the Army base in a barracks set aside for family visitors. There were no trips to fancy restaurants and no pricey tours or events. Just simple living as cheaply as possible. We saw the Pacific Ocean for the first time. We traveled through a desert. We explored San Francisco and saw the Golden Gate Bridge. We drove through Carmel, looked at the beautiful homes, and dreamed of what it must be like for “the other half”. We got lost in St. Louis in the middle of the night and our water pump went out on a Sunday morning in Albuquerque . We teased my mom when she pronounced San Jose and Mojave with a “j” sound instead of an “h”. We were totally out of our element but loved every minute of it.
The joy in my mother’s face as she unpacks the trunk is priceless to me. This picture was “lost” for many years and just recently discovered. It’s how I love to remember my mom.
Glad to be home.