Barb, Linda, Nancy
This is a journal of a trip taken by Barbara Howard (now DeLong), and Nancy Cooke (now Carter) and Lynn Myers (me). Barb and I graduated from Holt High School together. Nancy was one of the girls I lived with in a downtown Lansing apartment.
When our mutual friend, Jan Beurman, moved to California the day after High School graduation in 1953, we began to talk about visiting her. We can't remember whose idea it was, but when we decided to go, all three of us started putting away money for travel expenses-enough so we could go without working for two to three months.
I was a typist for the State of Michigan making about $2,600 a year. In 1955, I bought my dad's 1953 Willy's 4-door sedan (standard shift, over-drive, 78 horsepower, no air-conditioning) with money I saved. This would be our home for the trip west. We called it "the baby buggy."
None of us had traveled much, but we were footloose and fancy free and wanted to see the world. We were young (I was 19) and naïve and had no idea what an odyssey like this entailed. We were just going west to visit Jan. As it turned out, we took a lot of side trips, many planned the day before. In the end, it turned out to be a trip of a lifetime. This was before power steering, cruise control and seat-belts.
Our Baby Buggy
The three of us took diligent notes each day. When we got home, I put together a chronicle of those nine weeks. Since then, my notes, scrapbook and photos lay in a box on a shelf for 47 years. When the three of us got together in June, 2003, we decided to dig out the old stuff and relive that trip. I can't believe how much we did and how much we saw. And the prices! They may seem cheap now, but you have to compare them to our gross weekly salary of $40.00 to $50.00.
This book is an edited version of my original journal. I thank my travel mates and all the people we stayed with for putting up with me for two months and one day! I also want to thank my husband, Jim, as well as Barb and Nancy for helping get the journal into a form that could be read by others.
When Barb Howard and I left her house about 2:15 PM we shed a few tears. Silly, huh? We almost turned back, but naturally we didn't. We picked up Nancy Cooke at her house and left there at 3:00 PM. The trunk and back seat were packed full, so three of us had to sit up in front. The mileage read 23406. I had put 14.9 gallons of gasoline in the tank for $4.35.
The Baby Buggy packed
After packing Nancy's luggage in the car, we couldn't get the trunk closed-it wouldn't latch. We drove around looking for someone to fix it. We finally stopped at the Gulf gas station out towards Aunt Bernie's on the west side of Lansing, and asked them if they could fix it. When the attendant tried to close the trunk, it latched. It wasn't even broken. Upon leaving the gas station, we headed due south.
4:30 PM. Traveled once around the town square in Marshall (which was in a circular shape) because we missed a right turn. About 4:40, we stopped at Te-Kon Grill to relieve ourselves of excess baggage. I waited in the car while Barb and Nancy went in.
We arrived in Coldwater at 5:10 and Nancy took over driving. The three of us are enjoying our supper-peanut butter cookies. The countryside is very colorful. Sometime we'll have to take a tour of Michigan. This is a beautiful time of the year. Riding along and thinking, I don't feel as sad as when we left. Barb just told a funny. Nancy and I didn't catch it, which is unusual, so she explained. Ha, some joke. We are going through another small berg-oops, we're out of it already. I said it was small, didn't I? We are back to peanut butter cookies. I think I shall indulge.
At 5:25 PM, we entered Indiana. Didn't get a chance to stop at state-line sign to take pictures.
6:05 PM. We are back to peanut butter cookies. Only three left. We are in Auburn, Indiana and on the wrong road. Oh, we're okay-only on the truck route. Better road, I guess. I'm half-way lying down, if that is possible with three in the front seat. I can't see, only feel. From the feel of things, I think there are only railroad tracks in this town. Oh well.
Maggie, David, Newt and Jerry
6:35 PM. Just took a wrong turn in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Car stalled halfway into the intersection. A truck missed us by about a foot. We couldn't do anything but sit and wait for the light to change green because it had turned red after we stalled. We finally got back on the right road. It's dark now and Fort Wayne is all lit up. Doesn't look very jumping for Saturday night. I'm not too tired yet. Why should I be-I had three and a half hours sleep last night. We are all getting kind of restless, though. Barb took over driving just outside of Fort Wayne.
It's 8:00 PM. We arrived in downtown Marion, Indiana. Stores are open. Looks like an interesting enough town. We are all tired of sitting. I guess we will get used to it, though. I'm glad Barb knows her way around this town, because I'm lost. Nancy showed us the relief depot she stopped at last time she went through here. Just passed Delton Howard's (Barb's uncle) car dealer place. Pretty classy looking.
Saturday night we stayed in Marion. First we went to Newton and Maggie's house (Barb's relatives.) They were surprised. We went with them to Meredith and Donna's and met Letty and Gene, Phyllis and Delbert. They are all Barb's dad's relatives. Then we came back to Newt and Maggie's. Jerry, their oldest son, came home for awhile. We sat around and talked and watched TV. They all seem very nice and hospitable. We went to bed about 12:30 AM.
We traveled a total of 195 miles today. Long haul, huh?
10:30 AM. We got up and ate a nice breakfast which Maggie fixed. My cold has gotten worst. I'll probably live, though. Loren, another uncle, and his daughter, Carol, came over and brought Dave (Newt and Maggie's younger son) home. About 12:30 PM we went for a ride in Jerry's new Plymouth. Went to Letty and Gene's for a minute.
Back at Newt's about 1:20 PM, we took pictures. We then left there and arrived at Grandmother and Grandfather Howard's about 2:20 PM. They had company-and a Hammond Organ. We ate ice cream and cake, then returned to Newt and Maggie's.
At 3:30 PM, we left there and headed for Kentucky. Maggie gave us some fried chicken and pumpkin pie to take with us. Barb is driving now. The weather has been sunshiny and wonderful so far. Knock on wood.
It's 4:22 PM and we just finished the chicken. When we stopped for a red light in Noblesville, Indiana, I got out to throw the chicken bones in a trash barrel. Didn't make it back to the car before the light turned green. I almost got left. We are now eating the pumpkin pie. All very good. 5:07 PM found us driving through the heart of Indianapolis, Indiana. It sure has some big buildings. Some of the architecture is beautiful. At 5:36 PM, we stopped and got gas at a Shell station somewhere out in the country.
7:00 PM. Stopped in Bloomington, Indiana for a cup of coffee (10¢ a cup). We spent our first dime. I took over driving from there. At 8:30 PM we decided we needed some more coffee, so we stopped in Shoals, Indiana. Nancy rested in the car while Barb and I got our coffee. We are now in the hilly country and it is dark out. It's a beautiful, clear night. There isn't too much traffic. I think my cold has broken up some.
We arrived in Owensboro, Kentucky at 10:30 PM, their time-or 11:30 PM our time. Stopped at a wonderful place to eat called the Cadillac.
We got to Grannie's (Barb's mother's relatives) about 11:45 PM. Grannie and Uncle Elmer were already in bed but got up to talk. Uncle Dickie was still plowing and came in later. When Ray, Rene and Shirley came home, we sat up until about 3:00 AM and talked.
We traveled 274 miles today.
Barb’s Grannie and relatives
Got up at 9:45 AM and ate breakfast. Shirley didn't go to school today. Later we went driving around the countryside and stopped at Gatewood City. Big town! Went to Gipe's store and bought flour, sugar and candy for the family. Beautiful day out. At 2:00 PM we drove into Lewisport. It's just like the small towns you read about in books, real quaint. We took Shirley up to school to get her assignments. I sent postcards to the office where I used to work, to Jane Bower, Mom and Dad, and the Howards. At 3:00 PM we were back at Grannie's eating dinner. We had the best pot of beans I've ever tasted and chicken to boot.
6:00 PM. Nancy, Barb, Elmer and I went down to Dorsie's and Barb to call her folks. She talked to everyone and they're all fine. Dewayne Howard (Barb's oldest brother) wanted to know if we had "conquered the west" yet. Heck, he knows we're only in Kentucky. Barb told Pinky we had three flat tires already. I wonder if he believed her.
8:50 PM found Grannie, Elmer, Shirley, Nancy and me just sitting around the grate. Barb is cutting Rene's hair. She is going to give her a permanent. We just broke up a gab session from around the kitchen table. They are all so nice. Elmer is sure broke up about his wife taking their kids away from him. I don't blame him. Ray and Uncle Dickie are out working. The rest of us are listening to Jimmy Rogers sing "He's in the Jailhouse Now." Uncle Dickie should be here. 12:00 midnight, bedded down in the ole feather-tick for the night.
We put 25 miles on the car today.
At 6:00 AM, we arose from the cozy tick in front of the grate and ate a big breakfast. We got cleaned up and repacked the car. They gave us some canned peaches, tomatoes, apple butter and jelly. We took some pictures including some of Grannie in her nightie. We wouldn't let her get dressed.
We left Grannie's at 8:15 AM. It's another beautiful day. We went back into Owensboro and stopped at Barb's Aunt Lizzie's. Junior's boy, Dewayne, is sure a smart kid. He's only two years old, but can talk, say ABCs and all sorts of things. Junior and his wife weren't home. It was 9:35 AM when we left Owensboro.
10:15 AM. We stopped in Evansville, Indiana to get gas. At 11:10 AM we crossed the Wabash River toll bridge into Illinois-cost $.50. About 12:30 we stopped in Mt. Vernon, Illinois to get something to eat. It is very warm, up in the 70s. We stopped at a little cafe to eat, then we looked for postcards and stopped at a gas station for a minute. Barb took over driving.
At 2:45 PM, we can now see St. Louis, Missouri in the distance. Should be there soon. Four fly-boys in a Cadillac just passed us. They had been following us for quite a ways. We thought maybe they were from Michigan because they kept honking, but they weren't. They were just men. They passed us, just looked and grinned from ear to ear. We just grinned back. Then that big Cadillac took off like a bird. I told Barb to race, but she just laughed. I don't know why.
3:01 PM. We are now entering Missouri, at St. Louis over the MacArthur Toll Bridge. It cost 10¢. What we've seen of St. Louis has been dirty so far. It has some interesting looking buildings. It sure is a big place. Most of the buildings are pretty old. Boy, is it hot here. Just went by White's Baking Company. What a delicious smell. We are now on an expressway and I think we are finally getting out of this city.
Around 3:50 PM, we stopped just outside of St. Louis to get gas. Nancy took over driving. The expressway has now changed to a three-lane highway. 5:35 PM finds us still driving through Missouri. The sun is just starting to set. It is beautiful. It has a lot of rolling, high hills. The leaves haven't started to turn color yet and everything is green. We are about 150 miles from Kansas City. At 6:20 PM, we stopped at Columbia, Missouri, at a place called the Pla-Boy Drive-In and got something to eat. Columbia looks like a good sized town. I took over driving from there.
At 9:40 PM, we crossed into Kansas from Missouri. The Kansas cities are sure lit up. I thought maybe we would get lost, but we didn't. About 15 minutes later we stopped and got gas and coffee. We decided to try to drive all night or until we got to Colorado Springs, Colorado, which ever came first. At 10:30 PM, we left Kansas City with Barb driving. It was midnight when we stopped just outside of Topeka and Barb and I had a cup of coffee. I took over driving from there.
2:15 AM. I couldn't drive any further and Barb and Nancy were too tired also. So we stopped at Sunrise Motel in Clay City, Kansas. It cost us $5.00 all together. It was nice. Barb and Nancy took showers and Barb washed her head, but I just went to bed.
We traveled 667 miles today.
We arose at 10:10 AM. I took a shower and washed my head. We all feel 112% better than we did last night. At 11:00 we left the motel. Nancy drove while Barb did up my hair. It's another beautiful day. Kansas is mostly a flat state with a few rolling hills. It isn't too green or colorful now.
12:10 PM. We stopped at Beloit, Kansas to get gas and something to eat. At 1:15 PM, we stopped at Cawker, Kansas to get a loaf of bread (19¢). The water jar we got in Kentucky started leaking all over the car. More fun.
About half-way through Kansas it started to warm up. Around two o'clock we stopped at a roadside park and ate Grannie's home canned peaches. They were delicious. We took pictures and got on the road again at 2:45 PM with Barb driving.
4:35 PM. Just passed through Colby, Kansas. I would sure like a nice cold drink of water. We are up a lot higher now. The towns are few. Only about 40 miles to go to the state line. At 4:45 PM we stopped and got gas and had a cup of coffee and ice cream (21¢). I took over driving. We crossed the Kansas-Colorado state line at 6:00 PM.
We are driving due west and the sun almost blinds you. It's a pretty sunset. It seems like you're on top of the world waiting for the sun to go down the side. The whole western part of the sky is red.
8:30 PM, Colorado time. We are now two hours behind the time at home, 10:30 PM. We arrived at Fran and Kayo Fluke's in Colorado Springs, Colorado. They are friends of ours from Lansing. They've got a real cute apartment. Kayo is out in the field for nine days, so we won't get to see him. Fran looks good and says she is feeling okay except her clothes are rather uncomfortable. She only has about one more month to wait before their first baby is born.
Boy, you sure can notice the higher altitude. I can't hardly breathe after I come up the stairs to the apartment. We sat up and talked for hours. We finally went to bed at 1:30 AM.
We traveled 464 miles today.
11:00 AM. We got up and ate a fine pancake breakfast. Today is another beautiful day. At 12:20 PM, Barb and I left Fran's. As we walked out of the house, we saw our first mountain and that was Pikes Peak. An awesome sight. It looked like a picture. I took two pair of my slacks to the cleaners, and we got gas. The attendant said the mountains were eight miles away. Then we stopped at a tour place and made reservations to go up to Pikes Peak tomorrow morning. We headed for the Garden of the Gods and got there about 1:30 PM. It's a beautiful place with red rocks all over.
Linda at the Garden of the Gods
We stopped at the Trading Post. I almost bought a pair of earrings made out of polished petrified wood and sterling silver, but they cost too much. They were beautiful, though. I did buy a 50¢ ashtray. Then we stopped at Steamboat Rock and Balanced Rock. We climbed up another rock somewhere in that vicinity and Barb and I almost fell over a cliff. We started running and we couldn't stop. Barb grabbed a tree and stopped, and I fell down and stopped, naturally. Skinned up my knees and elbows. More fun. We took pictures and walked around a lot. I think the gravity isn't so strong up here, or something.
Then we started driving on this little gravel road. We ended up driving 16 miles into and over the mountains. It was the first time either of us had been in mountains. What a way to be broken in, huh? We were on the Rampart Range Road. We drove for hours around hairpin curves that made my teeth chatter when I looked down. There aren't many guard rails. It was really beautiful scenery. It just didn't seen like it was real-Barb and I driving along this narrow mountain road, looking down into bottomless canyons, looking out across the plains, and practically looking Old Baldy (Pikes Peak) right in the face.
We thought maybe we would end up at Pikes Peak, the way we kept going up. We would get up so high and we would just know we couldn't possibly go any higher, because there just wasn't anything that high, but we would still keep following the road (what else could we do) and we would still go even higher yet. It was a new and interesting experience. We were awed by it.
Barb at Rampart Range Road
We met these two guys from Ohio and we asked them where the road went, and they said that you would eventually end up in Denver. We decided to turn around. After we left the Garden of the Gods, we came home via the Mesa Road.
We got back to Colorado Springs at 6:10 PM. It was just starting to get dark and it was all lighted up. It sure was pretty. Went to a camera shop and Barb had the guy load Dewayne's camera while I bought some film.
We finally got to Fran's at 6:30 PM. Boy, we were two hungry little gals. We hadn't eaten since breakfast. We had a good dinner of beef roast and the trimmings. Then we all sat around the table and talked.
At 10:15 PM, Barb, Nancy and I went out to a drugstore and bought postcards. We stopped for coffee, then drove to Manitou Springs. That is strictly a resort town, too. We got home about 11:30 PM and retired at midnight. We have to get up early tomorrow.
We put 71 miles on the car today.
7:30 AM. We got up and ate breakfast. I sent a letter to Verg. At 8:45, a Cadillac limousine picked Barb and me up at the apartment. Mike was the driver. There was a young honeymoon couple that went, too. We drove up to Pikes Peak. It was really unbelievable. The toll road was 20 miles long and the start of the toll road was 10 miles from Colorado Springs. It cost us $6 each for the tour.
Linda at Pike’s Peak
The trees stopped growing around the altitude of 10,000 feet. The top isn't very fancy-a block square with restrooms and a store-but you can see for 200 miles. You are 14,110 feet up and can see the Continental Divide, some mountains in New Mexico, part of the Kansas plains and just miles and miles of land.
The Aspen trees still have some yellow leaves. It was cold at the top. The temperature was in the 40s. You feel lightheaded up there. It really was an unforgettable experience. We took a lot of pictures. I bought my brothers pennants and a jackknife each.
We got back to Fran's about 1:30. We just stayed around there all afternoon. I wrote postcards and tried to sleep, but couldn't.
At 7:00 PM, Nancy, Barb, and I took Fran out to a pizza dinner-to a nice place called Maretta and Dalpiaz. They all had Tom Collins and I had a 7-7. The pizza there wasn't as good as the ones at home. While riding around, we met three guys. They said they represented the Junior Chamber of Commerce and wanted to know if they could help us in any way. Joke. We asked them where there was a good place to dance. They told us about Harvey's and showed us where it was.
It looked pretty nice, so we went in. Fran decided to go home so Nancy took her home and came back. The guys were Bill, Pete and Russ, all from Colorado Springs. Then we decided to leave Harvey's and went down to the Hotel Antlers. That's the biggest hotel downtown. It had a trio for a floorshow, but you couldn't dance there. So we went to a place where you could, The House of Oscar. It was a nice place, but not as high-toned as the Hotel Antlers. And they had a good dance band there. We stayed awhile, then the guys took us sightseeing.
We went passed the Hotel Boardmore. That is a fabulous place-private lake, golf course and everything. Then we went up to Lookout Point where we could look down on Colorado Springs. That sure was a beautiful sight. We gals kept things going by talking all the time. They acted like perfect gentlemen though, but they were loads of fun. They sure treated us with respect. We just had a good ole time.
We got home about 3:30 AM. Boy, were we three tired gals. It didn't take us long to get to bed.
We put 23 miles on the car today.
10:15 AM. I got up and we helped Fran clean house. I went downtown and picked up my slacks from the cleaners ($1.82), picked up Barb's pictures, and went to the store. Barb, Nancy, Pete and Bill went sightseeing. Russ was sick-well he was sick all last week with the flu and he was sick again last night. He probably shouldn't have stayed out so late last night. Poor guy. He sure is a wonderful dancer.
Barb and Nancy got home about 5:15 PM. Come to find out Russ has been going steady for six years. I had asked him if he was married and he said no. Well he might as well have been. Barb, Nancy, Pete and Bill went on a picnic tonight. I stayed home with Fran and watched TV and wrote a letter to my folks.
We only put 5 miles on the car today.
We got up at 12:30 PM and ate a hearty breakfast. Bill and Pete came up. We are going to stay here until tomorrow. When the guys left at 3:00, Barb and I went up to the Seven Falls which cost 85¢. The light was starting to fade, so it wasn't too pretty. We went from there to the Will Rogers Shrine (50¢). That was a beautiful sight. It was real inspirational. I almost passed out at the Shrine. I got all shaky.
At 7:30, Pete came over while we were eating supper. He sure looked sharp. He wanted to know when we could be ready to go out and we told him to come back in an hour. At 8:30, Pete Greening, Bill Waugh and Terry Dirster came over. We left and went down to the Chieftain Theatre. The show wasn't over yet, so we walked around for about half an hour. Then we went in.
It was a very good show, "Blood Alley." Towards the last of the show Pete did something very surprising-it shocked us gals anyhow. There was hardly anyone else in the balcony and he just pulled out a cigarette and lit it and started smoking. He didn't do it to act smart-he just wanted a cigarette. I guess they do that if there is no one around in the theatre. It sure was comical though, the expressions on our faces. After the show we went out to Harvey's and got a cup of coffee. Then we went back to the apartment and the guys stayed for about half an hour and then left. They are trying to talk us into staying longer.
We put 24 miles on the car today.
We got up at 10:30 AM. Barb washed her head. We started repacking our clothes. Nancy and I went uptown. We mailed some cards. I got a card for Doris Hayes but left it in the store. We bought a blanket ($4.95 my share) for Fran. It is a real pretty charcoal one. I would have liked to have bought one for me. Bill came over this afternoon and talked Nancy into staying here tonight.
At 6:00 PM, Barb and I went downtown. We got a cup of coffee, then went to the bus station where Barb called her folks. I talked to Barb's brothers, Budley and Dewayne. I've got a bet with Dewayne. He says the car won't make it over the mountains. We'll show him. Then I called my house. My mother was real scared at first. She thought something was wrong. I talked to her and Verg. It seemed good. Mom sent checks for $70 and $25 out to Jan's by Registered mail. I hope Jan signs for them.
It was 7:00 PM when Barb and I left Fran's and headed for Denver. Nancy stayed and Bill is going to bring her to Denver tomorrow night. Barb took over driving about halfway to Denver.
At 8:45 PM, we arrived at Hunter's (Barb's friends) in Aurora, Colorado. Didn't have hard time finding their house. Mrs. Hunter was there alone, except for the dogs, of course. They have Lady, Monty, Pup and Tony. Tony is a striking dog. They say he is half wolf and he looks like it. They have a nice, comfortable home. When Mr. Hunter came home later, we sat around and talked. We finally went to bed about 12:30 AM.
We traveled 76 miles today.
We got up at 10:45 AM and ate breakfast. Then we did the washing. It's a beautiful day out. I guess there is very seldom a day goes by that the sun doesn't shine some. We have had beautiful weather all the way, except for about an hour of rain just outside of Topeka, Kansas. Mr. Hunter got out his fiddle and played a couple of tunes for us. It sounded good, but he needs another string for it.
At 1:45 PM, we took Marguerite (Mrs. Hunter) to the dentist. She was only there for 20 minutes. Then we went to the City Park. They have some beautiful rose beds there. Next we went to the Natural History Museum. It was an interesting place. The second floor was beautiful with stuffed animals set in their natural habitat. Next we went to the grocery store. I bought some cocoa and cigarettes (25¢). After that we went out passed Fitzsimmons Hospital where President Ike is.
Later, we went over to Stapleton Air Field for awhile and watched the planes land, then went home. We were sitting around when Mr. Johnson, a friend of the Hunters, came over. He is an elderly man but very young at heart. He is a Mormon and knows a lot about the West. The four of us had a good supper of pork roast and apple sauce-something I had never heard of before.
About 8:00 PM, Bill W. brought Nancy here, then they left again. We did some more of our washing tonight. After Nancy returned, Marguerite took us down to the basement to see Burton's room. I've never seen so many interesting things in such a small place. He's got most anything down there, including a jukebox. He has a lot of interesting ceramics, too. He sure has an imagination. Later, I washed my head and Nancy washed hers. Then we had our usual midnight snack. I read until 2:00 AM.
We put 20 miles on the car today.
We got up at 11:30 AM and ate breakfast. It's another lovely day. At 1:00 PM, Nancy, Barb, Marguerite and I left Hunter's to go up into the mountains. We stopped and picked up Mr. Johnson. We went through Denver, west, out Highway 40 and up to Lookout Mountain. Up there we saw Buffalo Bill's grave and Table Top Mountain. Very beautiful scenery. From there we went to Central City. That is up in the mountains, too. It is a city that was established during the Gold Rush days. Very little has been changed. People still live there. We stopped at one saloon and this gal named Pat was really pounding out some music on this old tinny piano. I would have stayed there all day, but the rest of them dragged me out and we went and ate lunch at Ramsteader's Cafe. I had the best butterscotch pie I've ever eaten.
After lunch we just walked around and looked in gift shops. That place is a big tourist attraction. We left there via Virginia Canyon Road. That is a high, gravel road that goes between Central City and Idaho Springs, which is where we ended up eventually. Marguerite didn't enjoy that part of the trip very much. I was complimented on my driving ability, believe it or not. From Idaho Springs we came back to Denver. We dropped Mr. Johnson off and then came home. Marguerite and Mr. Johnson really gave us some interesting facts about some of the things we saw.
We got home about 6:30 PM. A friend of Marguerite, Louise Rose, dropped in. She is head of the Multiple Sclerosis Drive out here. A very nice, likeable woman. Barb did up my hair. She was tired and went to bed early. Nancy eventually went to bed, too, and then Marguerite and Bill. I made up a bed on the couch and watched TV until about 2:00 AM.
We put 110 miles on the car today.
We got up at 11:00 AM and ate breakfast. We didn't do much all day. I ironed. Barb's not feeling well. I played "Our Love is Here to Stay" on the piano. Nancy and I had a feast on green apples. We had our first rain shower since we've been here. It lasted only a minute. In the afternoon I took Marguerite to the grocery store and then we went over to Stapleton Field to mail some cards and letters. After we got home, we all just sat around and talked and watched TV. We went to bed around 1:00 AM.
We only put 7 miles on the car today.
Barb, Linda, Mr Johnson, Marg Hunter at Red Rocks
It was 10:30 AM when we got up. We left Hunter's about 1:00 PM (Marguerite, Nancy, Barb and I) and we stopped and picked up Mr. Johnson. Got gas, then went up to Red Rocks amphitheater. It can seat 13,000 people. You can hear anyone speaking from the stage all the way to the top. It was really a beautiful place. There is one place there where you can coast uphill in your car. We did it. I think it's just an optical illusion, but a very good one. We left there and drove on up through Bear Creek Canyon, through Evergreen. They have some beautiful homes up there, $70,000 "cabins," as they call them and millions of evergreens. I drove up, Barb drove back. I was tired.
After we dropped Mr. Johnson off around 5:00 PM, the rest of us went to the grocery store. Next, we came home and Marguerite cooked us a good spaghetti dinner. It tasted just like real Italian spaghetti. Then we sat around and watched TV.
About 10:30 PM, Barb, Nancy and I decided to go down to the Loop Drug Store-that's the place where Burton used to hang out, but it was closed when we got there, so we just drove around Denver. We drove by the State Capitol. Denver is a big town. It is called the "Mile-high City" with an elevation of 5,000 and some odd feet. They have some impressive buildings here. We ended up stopping at Harvey's Drive-In to get something to eat (32¢ for hamburger and fries). After that, we went home. Bill (Mr. Hunter) got home the same time we did. We sat around and watched TV until about 1:00 AM.
We put 90 miles on the car today.
I got up about 10:00 AM and helped clean house. We didn't do much today. Later I took Marguerite to the store. We went to bed at 1:00 AM.
We got up at 7:00 AM and were going to leave, but guess what? There was about an inch of snow on the ground and more coming. The Road Commission said the mountain passes to Utah were impassible. The weather sure changed fast. We debated and debated on whether or not to leave via the Southern route or wait. We decided to wait until tomorrow and see how the weather was.
For dinner, Barb fried chicken, Nancy baked an apple pie, and I did the rest. Marguerite was ill. We listened to Burton's Blooper records-some mistakes! I read a lot. We watched TV. Variety Hour was very good.
We went to bed early, about 11:00 PM. About midnight, Marguerite reminded us that it was going to get down to about 20°. So Barb and I hopped out of our cozy, warm bed and stumbled out into the cold night and took the Baby Buggy to the gas station and fed it some anti-freeze. On the way home we stopped and ate a sandwich. We finally got home at 1:30 AM. I think the car is stuck in the mud out in front.
We only put 13 miles on the car today.
We got up at 7:00 AM and ate breakfast. We were kind of tired. I couldn't get the car out of the mud, so Bill had to do it. Marguerite still feels under the weather. We left Hunter's at 9:00 AM. Marguerite helped us pack a lunch. They are really nice. A lot of the snow has melted. There isn't any on the roads. I'm driving. It's a very clear day and the sun is shining.
At 11:00 AM, we passed over Berthoud Pass. The elevation is 11,314 feet there. We are driving straight through the Rockies now. There is ice on the road in spots and snow everywhere except the road. It is pretty up here. The driving isn't too bad if you take it easy. At 11:30 AM, we stopped in Highway Park, Colorado and got gas. We are still in the mountains and probably will be off and on all day.
By 1:15 PM, we went over Rabbit Ears Pass, elevation 9,680 feet. Not so high, huh? It still is pretty with fir trees all over. It was 2:00 PM when we came into Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Stopped long enough for Nancy to take over driving. We stopped again at 3:00 PM in Craig, Colorado. I was half asleep and didn't see anything. Barb took over driving. The country is hilly now and very dry with little vegetation except sagebrush. There are mountains off in the distance.
4:05 PM. We are about 40 miles from the Colorado-Utah state line. The roads are getting lousier all the time. They have gravel on them. I guess they are trying to fix them up. At 4:45 PM we stopped and got a cup of coffee just before Artesia, Colorado, which is right on the state line. Nancy took over driving.
It was 5:11 PM when we crossed the state line into Utah. The roads are a lot better. The sun is shining right in our eyes. It's quite difficult to see. We are still up high, but the road is pretty much of an even straightaway. Every so often the sun is hidden behind a mountain, and if you don't think that is a pretty sight, you're crazy.
At 5:50 PM, we stopped and got gas (33¢ a gallon) in Vernal, Utah. It's starting to get dark. The sunset is beautiful. We stopped in Duchesne, Utah at 7:00 and I took over driving. It's now dark and we are still in the mountains, but the driving isn't bad at all. It's a beautiful, clear night out with a half moon peeking over the peaks of the mountains.
At 11:00 PM, we arrived in Salt Lake City, Utah. SLC is at the base of the Wasatch Mountains. Took a wrong turn about 25 miles before we got there and went about 6 miles out of our way, so I had to double back. Not too bad, though. We stopped at Hot Shoppes Restaurant and had a Chicken-in-the-Basket (97¢). Very good. Midnight, we stopped at Se Rancho Motor Lodge and got them down from $7.50 to $6.00 for a very nice two-room with bath.
Put 556 miles on the car today.
Nancy & Barb at Salt Lakek
We got up at 11:00 AM. Another nice, warm day out. At noon we left the motel and went to a place named Fred and Kelly's and got something to eat. Then we took the Baby Buggy to the gas station next to the restaurant and had it filled up with gas. We told them we wanted a grease job and an oil change, too, and to be sure to wash the oil filter. While the attendant was doing this, we walked around that part of town and ended up back at Fred and Kelly's where I had a limeade. Then we picked up the car and headed towards Salt Lake itself. It was 3:00 PM when we got there, after going through a couple of little mining towns. "Can a girl from a little mining town in the West, be the wife of a wealthy and titled Englishman?" Excuse me. I got carried away.
Well, back to Salt Lake. We couldn't see too much except lots of sheep. It was real misty over the lake. It's 19% salt, 125 miles long and the deepest part they have found is 90 feet deep. I guess you can float around all day in the lake, because of the salt. In the summertime they say it is packed with people floating around and reading books. It has an awful odor. Nothing lives in the lake. We took some pictures there and then headed back to Salt Lake City. We left Salt Lake City, Utah at 4:30 PM and headed Southwest.
At 5:30, we stopped at a fruit stand and bought some apples and peaches. Barb took over driving. We aren't driving through mountains now, but they are all around us. We seem to be driving around the base of them. These mountains are different than the ones in eastern Colorado. These haven't any vegetation on them. They look like mighty fortresses, something like you would imagine was in Korea. Which reminds me, I finished a very good book last night, To Hell and Back, by Audie Murphy.
We ate supper at 6:30. We all had some spilt pea soup and milk. Very good. It is dark now. They have wonderful highways through Utah. There are many deer hunters here. At 9:30 PM, we stopped at Cove Fort, Utah and got gas. I got a bottle of Seven-up. It has been raining off and on, and the wind was blowing up a torrent.
We arrived at Cedar City, Utah, at 10:45 PM. I took over driving about 15 miles before we got there. We stopped and had a snack. We bought some post cards and I wrote one to my folks and to Carol Heipel. About midnight we stopped at the El Patio Motel in Cedar City and got one double bed for $4.50. It's real nice. The left-front tire is getting pretty bald. Be riding on the rim soon. We got to bed about 3:00 AM.
We traveled 314 miles today.
Nancy and I got up at 11:00 AM. Barb wasn't feeling well. I took a shower, wrote some post cards, ate some peaches (breakfast) and washed my head. Barb did my hair up. It's another nice day out. I only have $9.46 left to get me to California.
At 1:30 PM, we left the motel and headed for Las Vegas, Nevada. I'm at the wheel. The mountains are all red now. They are really pretty. It is getting hot out. At 2:30 PM, we stopped in St. George, Utah to eat lunch. Barb had breakfast as usual. We got gas here, too. It was 3:15 PM when we got on the way again, after a very good lunch.
At 4:10 PM, we crossed the Utah-Arizona state line. I guess we are in desert country now. It isn't as I imagined it. It is real dry, but we are still going through foothills and some mountains. Once in while we hit a mesa top and it is flat for miles. There are a lot of cacti here. We saw an old dead steer beside the road with it legs sticking straight up and bloated up like a balloon. A pretty sight, huh? We've seen some buzzards floating around, too. The Arizona highways aren't too good.
We crossed the Arizona-Nevada state line at 4:30 PM. We saw a lot of Arizona, didn't we? It is still real hot out, but the car hasn't started to heat up. We've got a pretty good Baby Buggy. Nevada has good highways.
At 5:00 PM Las Vegas time (it is 6:00 Utah time), we drove into Las Vegas, Nevada-just when they start turning on the lights. It looks just like Times Square. Of course, the buildings aren't as big, but there are just about as many lights. We drove around town a little bit, fascinated. At 5:30, we got a room at the Vagabond Motel for $6.00 on Fremont Avenue which is one of the main drags. It has the Golden Nugget, Pioneer Club, Las Vegas Club and many other big gambling places on it.
It was 6:45 PM when we decided we were hungry, so we left the motel in search of a place to eat. Drove down Fremont and turned left in front of the Golden Nugget-which is 5th Street-went down 5th to Sill's Drive-In and had grilled hotdogs for 87¢. In most places out here the hotdogs are grilled. We stopped at a drug store on the way back to the motel. I drove from the drug store down Fremont to the motel with no lights on. Lucky we made it. I guess I've been driving too much.
At 8:00 PM, Barb and I went to the drug store to get a cord for the iron. We had got ready to iron our clothes and, guess what? We had an iron, but no cord. Oh well. After buying the cord, we came back and got ready, and at 9:30 PM Barb and I left for downtown Las Vegas. Two country gals wanting to see the big lights. Nancy didn't feel well, so she didn't go.
We parked by the El Cortez Hotel. It's a few blocks from the Golden Nugget. On the way up town we met these three guys, Wally, Ron and Jim. We talked to them and asked them all about Las Vegas. They're in the Air Force and stationed at Nellis Air Field, just outside of town. I guess the places downtown are just gambling places. They told us about The Strip, which is out 5th Street. That is where the fabulous hotels are and such stars as Eartha Kitt, Red Buttons, Four Aces, Ames Brothers, Woody Herman and numerous others are playing now. They wanted to know if we wanted them to take us for a ride out to The Strip. Being as how we had just met them, plus the fact we wanted to see the downtown first, we told them "No thank you." So Barb and I started walking again. We had to walk about four blocks to the Golden Nugget.
We went in there and it is just unbelievable. Slot machines of all kinds all over the place. All kinds of gambling, Twenty-one, dice, Keno, roulette. Money passing hands all over the place. Old ladies with shawls on, just sitting and feeding money into slot machines. People of every size, make and dress in there. Carpets an inch thick all over. The decorative scheme is just like the gambling houses you see in the movies. They had a good Hawaiian floorshow there. Barb and I went to sit and watch it. We saw those guys in there again. Wally came up and bought us each a Tom Collins, which was really just lemonade, I think. It sure tasted like it.
After the floorshow, Barb, Wally and I walked in and out of several places near there, such as the Pioneer Club, The Westerner, Las Vegas Club. They are all the same as the Golden Nugget, except on a smaller scale, and they don't have any floorshow. We got kicked out of the Las Vegas Club, because we didn't have anything to prove we were 21.
After walking around, the three of us ended up back at the Golden Nugget. They were having another floorshow, an American Combo, this time. They played some fine music. We met Ron and Jim in there again. They said they had just gone and had a cup of coffee. I told them I didn't think they had any coffee anywhere near where we were. All I had seen were slot machines and liquor. So to prove it to us, they took us to a restaurant down the block and bought us coffee.
The five of us sat in there an talked for about an hour. Upon leaving there, they again asked us if they could take us to see The Strip. We thought it over and decided we were a pretty good judge of character and they seemed like nice guys, plus the fact that we wanted to see it, and so said "okay." Ron drove. He has a '53 Olds.
Ron and Jim are from Boston and Wally is from Ohio. The drive out The Strip was quite unforgettable. Just millions of dollars worth of lights and scenery, swimming pools and gardens. We drove passed the Sahara, The Sands, Riviera, Dunes, plus many other hotels. I can't remember their names. We stopped at the Riviera and went in. Very expensive looking. Carpets, soft lights, except for the ones hanging over the dice tables, of course. I didn't see any slot machines in there. Woody Herman was playing in the lounge there. We listened to him for awhile and then left. The guys felt a little underdressed.
Upon our departure from there, Barb and I were asked if we had to go home yet, if not the guys wanted to go back to the base and change their clothes and then they would show us some more of the town. We agreed to follow them out to the base in our car and wait for them while they went in and changed their clothes, which we did. We got there at 1:30 AM and waited until 2:15 AM for them. They said they would only be gone 15 minutes. Talk about women!
While sitting there we saw a drunk sergeant bump into a post. The guard really gave him a bawling out. It was rather amusing and helped to pass the time away. When the guys came, there were only two of them, Ron and Jim. They pulled a smarty on us. We were hoping all three of them would go. It would have kept things more groupidified (no such word, but it will do) if you know what I mean. And we could have a ball, the FIVE of us. But, as I said, they pulled a smarty on us. Barb and I took the car back to the motel and then went with the guys.
We went to a place called the Showboat first. It was built to look like a showboat, naturally. They had excellent entertainment there, even a stripper. No big names, but they would have been considered first class in Lansing. We stayed there for a couple of hours, and then left. I noticed on the way out that there was a swimming pool for the river effect. We left there and went to get coffee at Sill's where we gals had eaten supper. Then we went to the Silver Slipper. It is one of the very few places in town that has a dance floor.
When we got there, at about 4:30 AM, there was still a small Combo playing, so we danced for awhile. The Combo quit after awhile. There was even a jukebox in there. It looked kind of out of place. That was the first jukebox I had seen in Las Vegas. They seem to have slot machines in place of jukeboxes in restaurants around here. When we left there it was light out. We were really surprised. The night went so fast. Then they started in about us staying for tomorrow night. We told them we didn't know, that we had planned on leaving for San Bernardino, and besides we couldn't say so without asking Nancy first.
We got back to the motel at 6:00 AM and we were still going round and round on the subject. We finally decided to go and ask Nancy. Well, when we got in, we found her wide awake. She said she had been worried about us. I just can't understand why! She readily agreed to stay another night. So we made a date for 8:30 tomorrow night-I mean tonight. They are going to bring Wally, too. Barb and I finally crawled in bed at 7:00 AM. Nancy got up at the same time we got in. What a night!
We put 214 miles on the car today.
It was 3:00 PM when Barb and I woke up. It's another nice day out. Nancy has been up since we went to bed. Barb got dressed and the two of them went out and got something to eat, while I stayed at the motel. They brought me back a malted milk. About 6:00 PM, Barb and Nancy went down and picked up our cleaning-I had my black slacks cleaned. Ron, Jim and Wally picked us up at 8:30 PM (on time).
First we went to the Sands Hotel, but we didn't see any floorshow there. We were just in the cocktail lounge. Then the six of us headed to the Riviera and stayed a couple of hours. They had a pretty good floor show of music. Next we went to Sill's to get something to eat, but tired of waiting, we left. We went back to the Riviera and went into the Clover Room where they were having the main show. We were surprised we could get in without reservations. There was no cover-charge, just a $2 minimum per person. We saw Larry Best, Birk Twins and the Ames Brothers. It was really a terrific show. The Ames Brothers are comedians too. They were wonderful. Larry Best was a hilarious comedian. There was money reeking all over the place, fur coats and everything. After the show was over, we went to get something to eat at the Askew Drive-In.
After that we stopped at the Silver Slipper where we saw a show that was a little off color in parts. Then we went into the cocktail lounge and danced for awhile. Ron is a good dancer. Everyone sat around half asleep for awhile, and we finally ended up going home. The guys were all extra tired since they have to work every day, except weekends, of course. We got to bed about 6:00 AM. Another full night.
We put 13 miles on the car today.
As Nancy says, "We were held over by popular demand." It was 3:30 PM when we got up. I didn't feel too good. Cold or something. Another nice day out. At 4:30 PM, we got something to eat. We ate at Turf's Cafe. Last night the guys talked us into staying one more night. They said they would try to get reservations so we could see "Guys and Dolls," a stage show with the New York cast playing at the Royal Nevada Hotel. They said they would get in touch with us today, so we left a note at the motel saying we had gone to eat breakfast. When we got back the guy in the office said someone by the name of Sullivan (that's Jim) had called and said they would be here at 6:30 or 7:00 PM.
It was 7:15 PM when Wally, Jim and Ron came-a little late, but not much. We went to the Riviera Hotel first. There is a real nice waitress there named Murphy. She remembered us from last night. From there we decided to show Nancy the big downtown and lights. We went in the Esquire Bar while Jim and Barb went to call for reservations for Guys and Dolls. We met them at the Esquire. From there we walked through the Golden Nugget and Horseshoe Club. They have a million dollars in $10,000 dollar bills in a show-case in the Horseshoe Club. That's a lot of money. Then we went down to a restaurant to get something to eat. Ron and I ordered milk. Pretty potent stuff.
Oh yes, when we went to the Riviera earlier, I ordered milk in the cocktail lounge. Boy, did I get razzed. We didn't get the reservation, but we decided to go down to the Royal Nevada Hotel anyhow and see if we could get in without reservations. We stayed for quite awhile. Barb played the slot machine and on the second quarter she got 13 quarters back. Well, between all of us we soon put them all back in the machines.
We stayed there for about an hour then decided we weren't going to get in without reservations, so we left about midnight to catch the midnight show at the New Frontier Hotel. We had to hustle some, but we got there in time so as not to miss any. We saw the Four Step-Brothers. They are tap dancers I've seen on TV, especially on the Martin and Lewis show. They were terrific. Then we saw the Four Aces. They have wonderful voices and sang some beautiful songs, but they didn't put on as much of a show as the Ames Brothers did.
Then Red Buttons came on. He had everyone in stitches within a few minutes. He is some performer. He did a good takeoff of a punch-drunk fighter. It was a very enjoyable show with production numbers and pretty girls and music in between the big acts.
After we left there, we got something to eat and headed to the new Thunderbird Hotel. It wasn't quite finished yet, but the part that was done was nice. The gal there checked the guys' IDs and asked us if we were 21 and of course we replied, "yes." She must not have believed us because she went around the table and asked what year we were born in. Nancy and Barb both said 1934. I was going to be different and say 1933. I had my mouth open and all ready to say, but she didn't even ask me. I was disappointed.
We sat there through one drink and then went to the Riviera. They were unusually strict tonight there, so we didn't stay. We decided to go home about 5:00 AM. We got back to the motel and the guys were trying to talk us into staying another day so we could go on a picnic. We all went into the motel and sat staring at each other, all too tired to think of anything to say. We decided to go get a cup of coffee. Nancy was too tired to go, so the rest of us went.
The drive-ins were all closed and we couldn't go into any place because I hadn't worn any shoes. Not that they hurt my feet, but I'm just more comfortable without them. I told them when we left, that the only condition under which I would go was if I didn't have to wear any shoes. They all readily agreed at the time. We finally decided to meet them at Sill's Drive-In tomorrow afternoon, after we had checked out of the motel. We are going to make sure we leave tomorrow. Barb and I finally got to bed about 6:30 AM.
We only put 5 miles on the car today.
At 10:10 AM, I dragged myself out of bed. Boy, if you don't think I was tired. Only about three and a half hours sleep. We have to be out of the motel by 11:00. The lady who owns the place was very nice and wished us good luck on our trip. We left the motel at 11:00 and went for breakfast-yum, good. We were at Sill's by 12:15.
It was 1:30 PM when the guys finally made it-they were an hour late. Come to find out Ron had let someone borrow his car and the guy hadn't got the car back in time, plus the fact that Ron didn't get up until 12:30 PM. I guess he was a little tired, too. Of course the guys should be. They have been working all the time, after being up all night, whereas, we have been sleeping all day, excepting today, of course. The five of us, (Nancy, Barb, Jim, Ron and I) decided to go out to Hoover Dam. It is half in Nevada and half in Arizona. It was an interesting sight. I would hate to fall off it. It's quite a drop to the bottom.
We took some pictures. Barb lost her purse, but someone turned it in. Barb felt a little foolish, the dumb bunny. We left there and stopped at Lake Mead. That was a marvelous sight. Mountains framing the lake and granite islands jutting out of the water. The colors were indescribable. The water was clean, but there was no sandy beach, just stones. I went wading. We took a few more pictures. We watched the sun go down behind the mountains in front of the lake. The bright colors faded into beautiful pastel shades.
We finally left there and headed back to Las Vegas. We had to go through Boulder City, Nevada. Ron wanted to know if I was going to drop him a line when I got to San Bernardino. I asked him what kind of line he wanted me to drop him. He said a clothesline or any kind of line. You would have to know him to appreciate that. He's really a crazy guy, one of the swellest, though-which is the kind you want to meet on a trip like this. Easy come, easy go. All three of the guys were nice and treated us well and really showed us a wonderful time in Las Vegas. I saw more in that town than I ever expected. Ron Schille was from the "small town" of Maiden, Mass-only 60,000 people in it. I like to hear their accent. I would like to go through here on the way home.
After we left Lake Mead, we came back to Sill's and got something to eat and finally left Vegas about 8:15 PM. Hated to leave, but must go on to "conquer the West." Stopped and got gas and ate something just outside of town. I'm at the wheel.
At 10:08 PM, we crossed the Nevada-California state line. We almost bawled, from joy, of course. It was always a far off dream, but it came true. We made it to California. About 120 miles out of Vegas Nancy took over driving. I am tired, but I can't seem to sleep. About 35 miles further, we stopped at a little Cafe on the highway and got some pop to go. Barb took over driving. I finally crawled into the back seat and dozed off. We stopped again some time later, but I stayed in the car and slept. Nancy and Barb were gone for about an hour. The country is dry, but mountainous.
It was 3:00 AM when we arrived in San Bernardino, California. The gals woke me up, or I should say, half woke me up. They were trying to locate Jan's place. About a half hour later we got to Jan's. I followed Nancy and Barb up to Apartment 2 (I was still half asleep) and they knocked on the door. When no one answered, we walked in. Jan was just staggering out of the bedroom half asleep and didn't know what was happening. It sure was a happy reunion. She said she had almost given up hope, or was afraid something had happened to us. It took three weeks to get here.
We sat up and talked the rest of the night. Charlene and Virginia have sure grown. They have put on weight, too. Jan has lost weight. She hasn't worked, for the past four weeks. She just got straightened around from an emergency appendectomy and started back to work yesterday. She works in a yard goods store. She hasn't changed much in the past two years.
We put 254 miles on the car today.
Jan & Louise (mom) in San Bernadino
At 7:00 AM, Jan and I went to pick up Louise (Jan's Mother). She is working nights as a nurse at a hospital. Jan was telling me about this John that she was engaged to. I guess they aren't going to get married. She has still been dating him, though. Louise hasn't changed much either. They aren't doing so well financially. I guess Louise is going to try to work two jobs soon. She is going to kill herself yet. We came home and Jan and I got ready and went over to pick up Phyllis so she could take care of the girls today, while the rest of us went to San Diego to see Jan's brother, Bud Beurmann, and his wife, Shirley. That is about 100 miles from here.
We left for San Diego around 10:00 AM. It is sure hot out. I have wool slacks on-I'm going to have to buy something cooler. There are funny trees around here. We passed some orange groves. Most of the oranges have been picked. We got about halfway and I let Jan drive. Soon after that, we had our first flat tire of the trip. It wasn't the front left one as we expected it would be. That one is really bald. It was the back right one. We must have picked up a nail. It happened on a hill. All five of us females climbed out and between all of us we changed the tire. Then we went on our merry way once more.
We got to San Diego Naval Base about 1:00 PM. Bud and Shirley live right across from the base. Bud is in the Navy. They have a cute apartment. Shirley is real cute and seems like a wonderful gal. Bud has changed since I saw him about two and a half years ago. He is thinner, but still has a wonderful build. Even his voice has changed. He has matured a lot. Last I knew him he was just a pest to Jan and me. It was probably vice versa, too. He is really nice. He was showing me all of his Navy stuff. He plays football in the Navy, too. His ankle is hurt, so he hasn't been playing the last two games. His next door neighbor, Bobbie, came over and between the two of them, they had us in stitches relating some of the times they have had after games and other times. Shirley and Louise were up stairs when all at once Louise yelled, "Oh really, Shirley." Bud was sitting downstairs with us and he just grinned. We all thought the same thing, and we were right. They are going to have a baby in June. They are so happy.
They have got the cutest dog called Tag. Bud was telling us about the couple of times they got Tag drunk. It was funny. Barb and I are going to go home and try it on Dolly, Budley's dog. Shirley made some pizza in the afternoon, which we ate while watching TV.
We went to get the tire fixed. The nail in it had slit the tube in a couple of places, so we had to buy a new tube. Otherwise, we had a very enjoyable day. We were all so tired, though. I wasn't too tired until I laid down on the floor to watch TV. Then I went to sleep.
It was 6:15 PM when we left Bud and Shirley's. It was dark out and very foggy. We had a little trouble getting out of San Diego. Stopped and got gas. About 20 miles out of San Diego, we stopped and Jan, Barb, and I went and had a charcoal-grilled hamburger. Very good. Nancy and Louise slept in the car. Later the four of us gals were sitting in front while Louise slept in back. We sang and talked and had a ball. Louise has to work tonight. She is going to be dead tired. We got home at 10:10 PM. Jan and I took Phyllis home. Then we came home and everyone got ready for bed except Louise and me. Louise got ready for work. I took her to work about 11:00 and went to bed about midnight. First night in ages I've gone to bed.
We put 246 miles on the car today. That's pretty good-3,900 miles before having a flat tire.
At 8:30 AM, Louise came home and got Jan up and then Louise crawled into bed. Jan got me up at 9:00 AM and I took her to work. She works in the House of Fabrics on E Street. It's a wonder I made it. I couldn't keep my eyes open, no kidding-my right eye kept going shut. I came home and stayed up for about a half hour and then fell back in bed. I didn't get up again until 2:00 PM. Then Nancy got up. Chuckie got home and then she and I went to the store. I cashed my $38 check and bought some groceries. I got a letter from Mom today. I've got to write them. I haven't written anyone since Salt Lake City, Utah. I dropped Bonnie and Jim Oliver a note congratulating them on the birth of their baby girl, Rebecca, born October 26. I've got to write Ron, too.
At 5:25 PM, I left to pick up Jan from work. I took Pete and Chuckie. We stopped at the store and got some more groceries. When we got home we started supper and washed a couple loads of clothes. Then we ate supper. Louise got up while I was gone to pick up Jan.
At 10:00 PM, Nan, Barb, Jan and I went to pick up Sylvia Handy. She is a real cute little blond, and nice too. We drove up the mountain to a little town by the name of Crestline. It was real foggy in spots and the road was almost all curves. Crestline is right on the top of the mountain. It was really dead and, after driving around for about an hour, we came back to San Bernardino. We decided we were hungry, so we looked for a place to eat. We drove through a couple of drive-ins and finally stopped at a restaurant. Just as they started to bring water to the table, we decided we wanted a pizza and got up and left.
We went to a place called The Mug. We drove up in front and the outside lights were off. It was about midnight and we thought they were closed, which they were. But one of the owners called us in and they lit up the oven and made us a couple of pizzas, and we ate them. They were having a private party and invited us to join, and we did. We drank Pink Champagne, none the less, until 5:00 AM. We had a ball, singing, dancing and talking. Everyone was feeling fine, until we got in the car to come home.
Then someone got sick-me! Oh lordy, that was the first time I can remember being sick-and I was sure sick. Nancy was driving and we were just heading towards Sylvia's when I told her to stop. I hopped out with Barb right behind me with a box of Kleenex. We stayed there a minute until the people whose house we were in front of turned on the porch light. We decided we had better leave. We had to stop once more before we got home. When we got home, they undressed me and put me to bed on the sofa. I don't know why-I could have done it. I wasn't high, just awfully sick. I remember everything that happened and I'll never forget being sick. Barb rubbed my head until I went to sleep. No more Champagne for me, please. We got to bed about 6:00 AM.
We put 68 miles on the car today.
At 1:00 PM, I got up for awhile. Nancy was up. I didn't feel so very good, so I went back to bed. When I got up a couple hours later, we all sat around and talked for hours before getting dressed and fixing supper. Janet made tacos-they are a Mexican food. I think I like them. Jan and I washed our heads and Barb did my hair up. We did another load of washing for 25¢.
About 8:00 PM, Barb, Jan and I left and went to Riverside to see Paul and Bee Cook, Jan's uncle and aunt. They live in a big, wonderful house. We stayed there for about an hour, then we went to Mary's house. She is a friend of Jan. We sat there for some time. She sure has her troubles, and we heard about them all, I think. She is nice, though. She is almost deaf. We left there and came back to San Bernardino. We stopped at the Antler's Hotel and Jan called up John, her boyfriend-kind of. He wouldn't even come down to the lobby and see us. He is Jan's ex-fiancé. Jan is mad at him now. We got home at 12:30 AM and got to bed about 2:00 AM. Jan didn't work today.
We put 43 miles on the car.
I got up at noon. I let Jan take the car to work today. She is supposed to come home for lunch. She got home at 1:15 PM and I took her back to work about 1:30 PM. We cleaned up the house this afternoon. I wrote a letter to my folks and sent $5 for the telephone bill.
Nancy and I picked up Jan from work at 5:30 PM. We dropped some clothes off at the cleaners, stopped at the store, came home and got supper. Later Jan and Barb went out for while. They got home about midnight. Nancy and I stayed home and read and listened to records. I wrote a letter to Ron. We all sat up and talked until about 2:00 AM.
At 12:30 PM, we got up, or I should say we woke up. Nancy and I wore our little flannel nighties to bed last night and we about roasted. No more nighties until we get where it's cooler. Jan came home for lunch. I asked her to pick up my pictures from the drugstore. At 5:30 PM Jan came home from work with my pictures. They were mostly of Colorado.
Barb went to the store. We had a Beurman Special for supper-tuna fish on toast. Very good. Later Barb, Nancy, Jan and I went out. We went to see one of Jan's co-workers, but she was in bed. So we went to Snow's Drive-In to get some coffee.
While sitting there this guy called Brooks came over and sat in the car and talked. Jan knows him. He is from Brooklyn, New York, and is stationed here in the Air Force. We talked to him for awhile. We talked to George somebody, too. Upon our departure from Snow's we told Brooks we would return in half an hour. The four of us gals then went down to the Antler Hotel to meet John West, Jan's ex-fiancé. It was around 11:00 PM when Jan got him out of bed. Then the five of us went around the corner to get coffee. We sat and talked for sometime. John seems quite nice and very likeable.
Going back the hotel, Barb and I got the giggles-more fun. About 12:30 AM we left John and headed for Snow's. Brooks was still there. We sat around quite awhile and talked. Later we took Nancy home and the rest of us ended up at a place called George Jr's. We drank coffee and talked until about 4:00 AM. We came back to Jan's and danced. Brooks is a very good dancer.
We finally went to sleep at 6:00 AM. When Louise came home from work she saw Brooks sleeping in the chair and was a little surprised, to say the least.
At 10:00 AM, we woke up. I got a letter from Mom. Brooks went home to get cleaned up. We had planned on going to Knott's Berry Farm today, but I doubt if we will leave in time. At noon Brooks came over and was ready to go. We gals didn't think he would be back so soon, so we weren't even dressed.
After we got ready, I went for a ride with Brooks in his convertible. It's a beautiful day out. The temperature is about 80°. While riding, we ran into Brooks' roommates, Bob and Jerry. Jerry has a MG. I guess they are going with us. After Brooks brought me home, Nancy, Jan and I went downtown. We told the guys we would be back in about an hour. All three of the guys waited for us gals to get back. I bought a pair of capri pants (blue-green, $4.14) and a white blouse ($3.11). I lost my purse. Boy, was I scared-until I found it. It took us two hours.
When we got home Barb had gone with the guys to get a coke. They came back soon and we got ready. We hemmed and hawed, deciding where to go. We finally headed up the hill to Crestline. We took two cars-Brooks' convertible and Jerry's MG. Jan rode with Jerry. Nancy, Barb, Bob and I rode with Brooks. Jan lost her hat once on the way up. It was really a scream. After we got up there, we went into the Rim of the World. We were told we couldn't stay in there unless we were 21. We were dressed in jeans, so we didn't even try to tell them we were 21. We got up and left.
We drove around looking for a place to have a picnic. It was a lot colder up in the mountains. We had to put the top up. Then we decided to go back down to San Bernardino. Jan said she didn't want to ride down with Jerry. Bob got real mad and took off with Jerry. Brooks brought us girls home. Jan went in the house. Nancy, Barb, and I ended up going to Snow's with Brooks. We saw the other two guys there. We were ready to come home, but we ended up going to a drive-in movie with the guys.
We got home about 12:30 AM and to bed about 2:30 AM.
We got up late. Jan had to work. I picked her up at 5:30 PM. We stopped and bought ice cream and cake to celebrate her mother's birthday-which is tomorrow, but we won't be here. At 8:30 PM Nancy, Barb, Jan and I took off for Los Angeles. It is about 56 miles from here. We got a later start than we had planned on. It was 11:00 PM when we got a nice motel right on Sunset Blvd, about five blocks from the Palladium, right in Hollywood. LA is sure a big place. The motel cost only $7.00.
As soon as we were ready, we went to the Palladium ($1.50). It's a huge dance hall. Eddie Grady and the Commanders were playing there. We didn't have any trouble finding dancing partners. They were all good dancers, too. We saw John Williams, who is Judy Kirkham's stepbrother. He is in the Marines and stationed near here. It sure was a surprise. As the saying goes, "It's a small world." The dance wasn't too extraordinary, but it was nice.
It was over about 1:30 AM. There were three guys that wanted us to get a cup of coffee. A couple of them were real rough talking, so we ditched them. The one I had been dancing with, Dave, was real nice, but we lost all of them and went and got something to eat. It was about 4:00 AM when we got back to the motel. We were kind of tired.
Sketch of Linda
At 11:30 AM, we were awakened when someone opened our door. Come to find out we had left the key in it, on the outside, all night. Aren't we smart. We got up and departed from there about noon. We went to a place called the Parkway Grill and ate a nice breakfast. Then we headed for Beverly Hills. We drove by a lot of the movie star's homes (map - $1.00), Joan Crawford, Bing Crosby, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnez, Jack Benny and Mary Livingston, Anita Louise, Alan Ladd, Art Linkletter, Judy Garland and lots more. They were nice homes, but nothing too impressive. Most of them looked deserted. There was a little girl standing in front of Art Linkletter's and we asked her what her name was and she said Dawn Linkletter.
We finally got tired of that and about 4:00 PM we headed for Long Beach. We got there and went to The Pike. It's an amusement park right on the beach. They have a roller coaster called The Cyclone. I rode on it four times for 25¢ a ride. Barb, Nancy and I bought some salt water taffy for $1.54. I sent mine to the folks.
I had a portrait sketched of me for $1.75. It looks something like me. I also had my palm read for 25¢. The Park was right on the Pacific Ocean. We left there and headed for San Berdoo.
About 3:30 PM, we stopped at Knott's Berry Farm. It was real interesting. We didn't have a chance to see too much. Barb and I lost Nancy and Jan, so we went up to the information office and had them paged. They were right outside the door as we went out.
We left there about 9:30 PM. Got to Riverside and Barb and Jan started singing "In My Merry Oldsmobile," so I stopped the car and told them to get out and walk, which they did. This was all in fun, of course. Nan and I drove around town for awhile and then went back to where we had left them off at and they weren't there, naturally.
We continued to drive on down the highway and passed them walking. We parked on up the road where we could watch them. They had two or three offers for rides. They walked right by us. We waited until they had walked further up the road and then drove along them and asked them if they wanted a ride. They got in gladly. They had walked a good mile.
Only 10 more miles to San Bernardino. We stopped in Colton and talked to three guys for awhile. Finally got home about 12:30 AM. We had a very full and interesting day.
It was noon when we woke up. Jan had to be to work at 12:30 PM. I stayed in bed until about 2:00 PM. I don't know why I was so tired. After I got up, we did the washing, ironing and other cleaning up. I got a letter from Mom and Bill. I sent a money order for $10 to finish paying for my linens and another for $4.71 for my magazines.
At 9:00 PM, I picked Jan up from work. Barb gave Louise a permanent and cut Jan's hair. Nan, Jan and I all washed our heads and Barb did up our hair. Jan and I finally went to bed. Nan came and tucked us in and told us a bedtime story. Some bedtime story. Then Jan and I laid there and giggled and talked just like old times.
About 8:15 AM, we got up, that is all except Barb. We finally dragged her out. I took Jan to work about 9:30 AM. We are getting ready to leave and head north. It was 11:00 AM when we left Beurman's. I'm driving. It is a beautiful, bright day. At 11:40 AM, we stopped to get gas and went into the King of the Road museum. They had a lot of old, famous cars. We didn't go in to see them. I bought some film.
At 1:00 PM, we got to Los Angeles. I didn't turn at the right place, so we drove around for about an hour trying to find highway 99. We asked a cop and then got all messed up again, so we stopped at a gas station and asked the attendant. He was cute. We got to talking and come to find out, he had been through Lansing a couple of years ago. We finally left LA about 2:00 PM.
It was 4:00 PM when we stopped in Bakersfield for something to eat. We called Dixie and Max Johnson and got to their house about 5:00 PM. (Barb knew them when they lived in Holt.) Max wasn't home from work. Dixie and their son, Bill, were there. Bill is 14 months old and is as cute as a bug. A well behaved kid, too. He sure looks like Max. They have a very nice house, and they have a boxer dog with eight pups.
Max came home about 8:00 PM. We drank wine and ate spaghetti. More fun. Max is really a card. Well Dixie is, too. We finally got to bed about 1:00 AM.
The temperature was 85° here today. We went 204 miles.
Linda in her mechanic’s suit
At 7:30 AM, we got up and ate breakfast. Max left for work. Everyone is fine except little Bill has a cold. We gals all sat around and talked. When we left the Johnson's at 9:45 AM, we promised we would stop on the way back to San Bernardino. Dixie sure seems happy.
It is a very nice day out. It is supposed to get up to 86° here in Bakersfield, today. Bakersfield is in the desert and has cotton farms. Barb is driving. I'm lying down on the back seat trying to get a little shuteye. At 11:15 AM, we stopped to get gas at 31¢ a gallon. At noon we stopped in some little berg and bought ice cream and cookies. Nancy ate a pint of ice cream. Her and her ice cream. I think she could eat it until it came out of her ears.
12:50 PM. We just had a race with a freight train that was going along side of the road (on tracks, of course.) Darn, that thing was long, but we finally beat it. Hurrah! There was a hobo sleeping on top of one of the cars. He didn't seem to have a care in the world. What a life.
At 1:15 PM, we stopped at Merced and got something to eat. I went to the restroom at the gas station next door. While in there, my zipper on my mechanics suit, which I was wearing at the time, broke. It's one of those deals that zip all the way down the front, naturally. Well, there I stood. I couldn't go out and I couldn't fix it. So I just lit up a cigarette and sat down and waited for Nan or Barb to come in to see what was keeping me. Nan finally came in. She got quite a bang out of it. It was rather amusing. In fact, it was down right funny. We finally decided to pin it. So we pinned it with two pins, if you can imagine. Then I walked out quite nonchalantly. We weren't going to tell Barb and see if she noticed. Well she noticed all right, and about laughed her head off.
Barb, Pansy & Ed Coates
We left that place with Nancy driving and me wearing my pinned up suit. More fun! At 3:30 we stopped in Stockton and I changed my clothes. After all, I didn't want to see my Grandmother Coates for the first time in 11 years looking like a ragamuffin. I took over the wheel from there.
It was 4:13 PM when we drove into Antioch, California. Looked in the telephone book for Pansy Pearl and Ed Coates, but they don't have a phone, so I couldn't find out their address. Then we went to the post office substation, but they didn't have it either. They called the main post office and they finally gave the address to me. Then we stopped and ate supper.
We got to my grandmother's (Dad's mother) about 6:00 PM. They live in a very small trailer in a trailer court. She didn't know me and when I told her who I was, she started bawling. I didn't know I looked that bad! She looks young. About 8:00 PM, I put in a person to person call to Dad, but he was at work. We'll call again in the morning.
We sat up and talked until about 11:00 PM. The flowers are still in bloom here. Gram and Ed are going to move down by Riverside soon. It seemed good to see them. I don't remember Gram and I had never met Ed Coates before. Their little bird got out of its cage and Nan was afraid of it (flying around). After the bird was recaged, we went to bed on the studio couch about 11:30 PM.
We put 285 miles on the car today.
We got up around 6:00 AM. It was kind of crowded in the trailer, but we all managed to get along. At 7:00 AM, Gram and I called Dad from a pay phone. It was the first time in 11 years they had talked. She moved away in 1944 and came to live in California. I talked to Mom, Dad and Grandma Bird (Mom's mother), too. Then we ate breakfast and chatted. After that we went outside and took some pictures. It was 9:15 AM when we finally left. They gave us a bag of English walnuts. We told them we would stop on the way back. I'm driving.
10:15 AM. We stopped in Sacramento for gas. We went past the capitol. I couldn't see it too well. At 11:15 AM, we stopped in Woodland long enough for Barb to take over driving. I crawled into the back seat and laid down. It sure is hot out. I bet it's around 85 or 90%. At noon we stopped in a small country cafe along the road and ate (72¢). I cashed my vacation check for$25.73. We left about 12:15 PM.
At 1:00 PM, guess what we had? Yep, a flat tire. More fun. It was the left rear one this time. Two men who were traveling in the opposite direction stopped and asked us if we needed any help. We said yes (we are lazy), so they fixed it in about 10 minutes and we were on our merry way once more.
At 1:30 PM, we stopped in Willows, California at a gas station. They fixed our tire and put it back on for us. Our spare is bald. That's the one that was on the left front. They told us the front end was out of line. That's why it shimmies. It sure is shimmy-ing now.
By 2:10 PM, we are on our way once more. Barb is still driving. It's still very hot. We are eating some of the walnuts Gram sent along. At 3:15 PM, we stopped just outside of Redding and Nancy took over driving. From LA to Redding it has all been flat, dry land, and very hot. After leaving Redding, the terrain is changing to hilly country with a lot more vegetation, and real trees.
It's 4:15 PM and we are now driving through mountains. The vegetation is somewhat like home. The trees and bushes are all different fall colors. At sunset we saw Mt. Shasta. We just passed Shasta Lake. The scenery is just beautiful along here. At 4:30 PM, Nan and I stopped and got a bite to eat. I wasn't hungry.
We got gas at 5:15 PM and I took over driving. It was almost dark and we were still driving in mountains. It was 7:15 PM when we crossed the California-Oregon state line. Just before we got there, we ran into a slight sleet storm. Some welcome.
At 7:45 PM, we stopped in Ashland, Oregon and ate a full course supper for 65¢ - no sales tax. Nancy wasn't feeling too well. Barb took over driving. It was sleeting and snowing off and on-not too bad, though. Took us 45 minutes. At 10:00 PM, we stopped at a roadside cafe and Barb and I got a cup of coffee. I took over driving.
At 12:30 AM, we stopped for gas in Cottage Grove, Oregon. Barb and I went in and had more coffee. Barb took over driving. It was 1:30 AM when we stopped at the "Y" Motel in Junction City, Oregon. We got a room for $4.00-the cheapest yet and a real nice one, too.
Today was a long day. When we started out, it was real hot and when we stopped, it was real cold. I hope we don't run into snow. These tires are so bald. I wish I had my snow tires with me. No, not really-we don't have enough room.
We put 594 miles on the car today.
We got up at 11:00 AM. Sis (Barb) and I washed our heads. She did up my hair. Sure was cold out. It was 1:00 PM when we left the motel. We ate breakfast (70¢) and left Junction City about 1:30 PM. It was raining as we drove through Portland, Oregon and over the Columbia River.
At 3:00 PM, we stopped in Vancouver, Washington to get gas (34¢ a gallon). I called Paul Delong, a friend from Lansing who was stationed at Ft. Lewis, Washington. He had already left on a 3-day pass. I hope we can find him in Tacoma. There are only 147,000 people there, plus all the service men. Barb took over driving. There is snow on the ground now. It looks a lot like Michigan. This is the first snow of the year here, and it came about two months early. You might know we would hit it. Odd thing-driving in snow and we rounded a hill and no snow! Rounded another hill and snow again!
Around 6:00 PM, we stopped at a small cafe just outside of Toledo, Washington. Barb and Nancy went in for coffee while I stayed in the car and took down and combed my hair. We are right in the midst of a blizzard. I take over driving-can hardly see the road-just following the tracks in front of me, and driving between 10 and 15 mph. There are a lot of hills. We are about 74 miles south of Tacoma. We laughed our heads off. I think it was because we were so tensed up. We saw a station wagon go in the ditch and an accident where two cars hit head on. I'm surprised we are getting anywhere on these bald tires.
It was 9:00 PM when we finally made it to Tacoma. We stopped at Ft. Lewis, about 15 miles south of Tacoma, but we turned around and came right back out of camp without stopping. We went into Tacoma and drove around looking for Paul who is in the Army here. Oh, Paul where are you? We drove up and down Tacoma highway.
We finally stopped at Mt. View Motel. They said we could get a double bed for $3.50 so we took it without looking at it. I called from there to Ft. Lewis again and left a message for Paul to call us at the motel if he happened to come back to base. Then we went to see our room. Room?? It was a cracker box, believe me. The wind was blowing in through the cracks around the windows and we could see the highway through the crack between the door and wall. It was sort of drafty, to say the least. The temperature was in the low 20s and windy. You might know the one night we really need something cozy and warm, we would end up in a place like this. Oh well, that will teach us to buy before we look.
We left there and stopped at Lee's Pagoda and ate supper. We found out that the main drag in Tacoma was Pacific Avenue. We left there and proceeded to drive around town. We got lost and ended up back on Pacific where we saw a familiar looking green Buick with a Michigan license plate. You guessed it. It was Paul's. It was parked in front of a roller skating rink. We were really surprised to find him-especially not knowing any of his hangouts.
We went in, but he didn't act too surprised. He said he was too shocked to act surprised. We met his buddy, Jerry Cook. He seems nice. Paul had mentioned him in his letters. The five of us left there and went to Bush's Drive-In and got coffee and talked. We left there and rode around for awhile and then went back to our motel.
It was mighty chilly when we got there, in fact it was cold. The guys stayed for about 15 minutes and then left. We gals immediately jumped into bed, which was the only halfway warm place we could find.
We got up and dressed and were just about ready to leave around noon when Jerry and Frank Shaft (a guy from home) drove up and said they had to go pick up Paul. Frank went to school with Paul and is now stationed at Ft. Lewis, too. He is married to a girlfriend of Nancy and has a new baby girl which he has never seen. Both he and Paul will be home for Christmas. Anyhow, to get back to the subject at hand, we told them we would
go down to Bush's and eat breakfast and meet the three of them there. So we did.
The six of us went sightseeing around that vicinity. We could see Mt. Rainier. It is a beautiful sight. It is about 50 or 60 miles away and is snow-topped. We went across the Narrows Bridge which spans part of Puget Sound. Then we stopped and had a cup of coffee and chitchatted for awhile. We also went shopping and spent several minutes watching a couple of apes playing in a cage. It was really hilarious.
About 5:30 PM, we went back to Bush's and we gals got our car and went to the Dittmore Motel ($12.00 - 2 nights) which we had picked out earlier. We moved out of the cracker-box. At 8:30 PM Paul, Frank and Jerry came and brought some refreshments. We all had a drink and then went to a dance at the Spanish Castle which is south of Seattle. We had a good time and spent most of the time laughing and dancing.
We left there about 12:30 AM and went back to the motel where we tried to finish the refreshments. We sat around and talked, sang, laughed and had a gay ole time until about 5:00 AM when the guys finally left and we retired. What a night.
Linda & Barb, Northern California
At 9;00 AM I got up, after spending a couple of restless hours in bed. I couldn't sleep. I got dressed and took off driving toward Mt. Rainier. I drove about 43 miles up into the mountains and then turned around. It was really beautiful. There was snow up there, naturally. I got back about 12:30 PM and Barb and Nancy still weren't up. Jerry, Frank and Paul came over right after I got home.
We sat around until about 2:30 PM and then went out and got breakfast. We drove around the rest of the afternoon. Drove out by Puget Sound. We stopped at an aquarium and saw all kinds of fish, clams, crabs, an octopus, a penguin and a seal. All very interesting, except they gave me the chills. Besides it was freezing out. We ended up back at the motel.
Nancy started reading her log. Everyone got a big charge out of it. After awhile the six of us went out and ate supper and returned to the motel. Again we just lounged around. A very lazy day. I read part of my log, too. The guys left about 10:30 PM and we gals immediately retired. It has really been a fun weekend, but all good things must come to an end.
Got up at 8:30 AM. When we got ready to leave, the motor wouldn't turn over, so we called a couple of gas stations. Finally, about 10:00 AM, a mechanic came and gave the car a push and it started. I then took it down to the gas station and came to find out the middle cell in the battery was dead so we had to purchase a new battery for $14.42. I went back to the motel and picked up my waiting friends and we went to eat breakfast.
We left Tacoma about 1:00 PM. It sure is cold. The mountains are so picturesque with snow on the tops. I'm driving. There hasn't been any fresh snow today, but the road is still icy in spots. We are on our way south to sunny California. Nan and I played some card games such as Fish and the three of us played 20 Questions on the trip. At 7:00 PM we stopped and ate an actual meal for the first time in ages.
9:00 PM finds the three of us weary travelers fixing a flat tire and having lots of fun doing it. We had a blowout on the right front tire while Barb was driving. It happened on a mountain road, but we were lucky it happened at a wide part of the road. It ruined the tire and the tube, naturally. It was cold, but we had fun changing it. I'm glad Pinky Lott sent along that trouble light.
At 11:30 PM, we stopped in Medford, Oregon at a gas station to have the tires checked. Sure enough, the back left tire had a slow leak in it and we had to have that fixed. More fun. All the tires are going at once. After getting that fixed, we got a motel right there in Medford for $6.00. We didn't get to bed until 2:30 AM. We had fun dancing, singing and talking. The cold weather isn't helping our colds.
We put 461 miles on the car today.
We got up at 11:00 AM. Nancy washed her hair and Barb did it up. We left the motel at noon and went back into Medford. I cashed my two remaining bonds for a total of $37.50. After we had breakfast we went tire hunting. We ended up at a Willy's dealer and bought a Firestone tire and tube for a total of $31.25. Seems like a lot of money, especially when you don't have much, but they said that was the cheapest they could find and we had to have one.
It was 2:30 PM when we finally left Medford. Barb is driving. It is a very hazy day. The mountains all have haze around them but are still beautiful. What's so surprising is how the scenery changes so much. At 3:25 PM we crossed the state line into sunny California-only it isn't sunny and we are still in the mountains and snow. We stopped about a half hour later and took some pictures of the Klamath River and of us. Then we stopped a little further down the road and took some pictures of some cows that were walking along side the road.
We saw some real live cowboys herding cattle down the road. They wore chaps and everything. At 4:20 PM we stopped at Dunsmuir, California and ate supper. I took over driving. We are still in the mountains and will be until we get to Redding, California. It was about two hours later when we got to Redding. We stopped just outside of town at the Crab Pot and had coffee. The roads are a lot better now.
A little later we stopped and had some coffee and pie. Hungry gals. Nancy took over driving just before we got to Sacramento. Before we got to Gram's we had to go over a draw-bridge, but they had it up; so we got out of the car and watched two boats go through. Barb and I went right up to the edge of the drop-off. Just then the boat blew its fog-horn. We darn near fell in, it shocked us so. It was interesting, though. It is a lot warmer here.
We finally got to Gram's in Antioch about 1:30 AM. We got them out of bed. We sat up, had cupcakes and coffee and talked. Gram told us a man had been stabbed to death since we were there last time, close to their trailer. Finally got to bed about 3:00 AM.
We put 408 miles on the car today.
At 9:00 AM, Gram dragged us out of bed. We ate breakfast and talked. We gave them Jan's phone number. We said if they have moved down to Riverside by Thanksgiving, we are going to spend the day with them. At 11:30 AM we left Gram's. They gave us some grapes, walnuts and pomegranates. It was raining.
When we got into San Francisco around 1:00 PM, it was still raining cats and dogs. We came in over the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. It is really a mammoth thing. The toll was 25¢. We could vaguely see Alcatraz through the mist.
We drove around and went down Market Street. We finally asked a nice looking cop how to get to Chinatown. When we got there we parked the car and walked around. It is a fascinating place. It is the biggest Chinese settlement outside of China. Barb and I bought ourselves rings and some post cards. I also bought Mom's Christmas present ($9.00) and a little present for Carol ($1.30). We finally ended up at this restaurant and had a chow-mein dinner for $1.10. We didn't like it much. When we went back to the car, guess what we had on the window. Yep, a parking ticket! Now we have to locate the courthouse. More fun.
We stopped and asked a cop who was kind of cute, and he directed us. Barb and I ran in and paid the $2.00. They asked why we paid it, seeing how we were from out of state. Nancy got a bang out of that. That was what she had been saying all along.
Nancy takes a picture of Barb taking a picture of Linda taking their picture
We headed for the Golden Gate Bridge. As we went across, we couldn't see much because of the rain and mist, but at least we can say we've been across it. Then we wanted to turn around and go back, so we drove up this little road near the bridge. Come to find out it led to three army bases. When we got up to this little house, we told the MP that we had made a wrong turn and he told us to go on in and turn around, which we did. We had more fun.
We finally went back over the bridge. It cost 25¢ each way. We went down Lombard Street the "crookest street in the world" but only one block long, and headed for Telegraph Hill. Then we started hitting some of San Francisco's famous hills. It was really terrifying at times. We finally made it up to the top of Telegraph Hill. They have the Coit Tower up there where you can see most of the city. We didn't bother going up into the Tower since we couldn't have seen anything anyhow because of the rain.
At 5:00 PM, we started to leave the city and got caught in the five o'clock traffic. It took us about an hour to go five miles. I was driving and I about tore my hair out. It was still raining. I would rather drive through another snow storm then through another traffic jam like that.
It was 7:20 PM when we got into San Jose. We stopped and ate. I got Jane Bower's brother's address out of the phone book. This little old man sitting next to Barb gave us the directions on how to get out there. He was really comical. So we went about trying to locate Monroe Birky's home. It's on a mountain.
We finally found it after very much searching. I told him I used to work with Jane and he invited us in. There are him, his wife, Dorothy, and six kids ranging from the ages of 10 years to 8 months. The kids are all just dolls. After getting the kids to bed, Monroe, Dorothy, Barb, Nan and I sat and chatted around the kitchen table.
We really got an education concerning fruit. They grow a lot of apricots. They also grow figs, oranges and some other fruits and vegetables. They were really wonderful people, considering we were perfect strangers. You might know that being relations of Janie, they would be real hospitable. Wait until I tell her. I bet she didn't expect us to really stop and see them. We sat around until midnight talking, drinking coffee, eating cookies, walnuts, apricots. Had a wonderful time. As soon as we left there I crawled into the back seat and went to sleep.
At 4:00 AM, they woke me up. We were in Paso Robles, California, which is about 112 miles from Bakersfield. We stopped and ate. I took over driving. It was 6:30 AM when we arrived at the Johnson's. It had just gotten daylight-and was raining, too. We came the last 30 or 40 miles on an empty gas tank. I couldn't find a gas station open. I finally found one about 5:30 AM. They put in 16.4 gallons. I think it's a 17 gallon tank, so you can see how close we were to running out of gas.
When we got there, we got Max and Dixie out of bed. It's kind of chilly and damp here, but not cold. We sat around and talked and washed clothes. We gals finally went to bed about 11:00 AM.
We put 430 miles on the car.
At 5:00 PM, Dixie got us up. I took a bath. We didn't do much except lounge and talk. A couple of people came and took a couple pups. The mother dog was shot to death after we left here last time and left eight orphaned pups. They are only a little over three weeks old. Little Bill is the darlingest kid.
Max finally got home from work about 8:30 PM and we ate supper. Don Griffin came over shortly after. He's from Holt and is going to college here in Bakersfield. Max has told us some amusing things about what he and the other guys from Holt used to do when they were younger.
We sat up until about 1:00 AM. Nancy washed my head and Barb did it up. Lazy, aren't I?
It was 10:00 AM when we got up. Did the washing and commenced to clean house. It has cleared up today. In the afternoon, Nan and Barb went downtown to buy cigarettes (25¢). I did some ironing. Not much else except working, lounging and talking. Dixie fixed Spanish rice for supper. She dragged her memoirs out and we sat up until about 3:00.
We got up about 11:30 AM. We were all kind of tired. Dixie and Barb took the Willy's for an oil change and grease job. The attendant said the Willy's was the hardest car he'd ever serviced! I can't find my first notebook. I know it's here somewhere. Nancy and I are taking care of Billy. I just finished The Night and The Hunter. Very good. I'm now starting The Bad Seed. We ate chili for supper. Max's brother, Jerry, and his wife came over. Jerry took us for a ride in his MG. More fun.
It has been damp most of the day. I guess the rainy season has started. The seven of us sat around and had a little party by ourselves. We played a lot of Max's Dixieland records. Nan, Barb and I went out and had pizza later. To bed by 2:00 AM. We had fun. I hope my check is at Jan's by now. I wrote a letter to my folks today.
We got up about 1:00 PM. We didn't get around to eat supper until about 7:30 PM. It was roast beef and Nan made an apple pie. Max painted the kitchen ceiling. We gals played jewelry party. Dixie has about $600.00 worth of jewelry.
Helen and Jiggs (next-door neighbors) came over later. They showed us how to do the Balboa dance. Max and Dixie also showed us how to do the Palmdale Strut. Wow! We really have had a wonderful time here, although it's been raining. That's what it does in winter here.
Michigan State goes to the Rose Bowl again this year. Maybe we will be back out to see the game. To bed at 12:30 AM.
We got up at 8:00 AM. It was raining out. We fed the pups, fed Billy, packed and ate breakfast. Then we sat and talked. Dixie invited us to come back anytime. Maybe we will. They sure are a nice family and I just love little Billy.
We finally left there at noon with a broken trunk. We went about a mile when Nancy discovered she left something, so we turned around and went back. We left there again, within a few minutes. It is a very dreary day, but the scenery is still pretty. It is dry vegetation and very different. Barb started driving. I read until I got sick, so I laid down and went to sleep. Nancy took over the driving while I was sleeping. There were lots of curves and mountains on Hwy 466. We went through the Mojave Desert. It was raining at the same time the sun was shining. Lots of rainbows. We stopped and got some goodies to eat in the car. I finally finished The Bad Seed. A very different and interesting book with an odd ending.
It was 3:45 PM when we arrived at Beurman's in San Bernardino. It's raining here, too. As soon as I got here I drove down to the post office to pick up a certified letter from my folks containing my retirement check in the amount of $310. Now I have some money. After I got through paying my debts and sending in car payments, I only had about $100 left. Oh well.
I met Jan at the drug store and walked back to work with her. Then we both left, cashed my check and picked up my colored pictures-I had turned in three more rolls of film. Not so very good. We went home and ate supper and then lounged around. Louise fixed us a wonderful meal. Jan washed her head and Barb did it up. We got a letter from Bonnie Oliver today. They had a baby girl October 26. I can hardly wait to see it. Jan also fixed the zipper on my mechanics suit. We went out later and got something to eat at Snow's.
We got to bed about 12:30 AM. We put 175 miles on the car.
Linda at Rim-of-the-World Drive, Calif
At 8:00 AM, I got up and had a cup of coffee with Jan before she left for work. I went back to bed after that. It was noon when I got up again. Jan called to say she was coming home for lunch. She was home right after that.
12:30 PM. I took Jan back to work. Then I went to the Post Office and sent two car payments to the Holt Bank ($79.07) and bought some stamps. Next I dropped my brown slack suit off at the cleaners, then stopped at the store for shampoo, toothpaste, hand lotion, books and a record for the little girls. When I got home, Nancy and I decided to take off. Barb stayed home to wash her head.
Nan and I went up the mountain on Highway 18 and drove on the Rim of the World Drive. It was very scenic. We went on up to Lake Arrowhead. There was some snow there. We stopped at Lake Arrowhead Village and bought some things; I bought a cigarette case for $1.00. We also had a cup of coffee. After coffee, we headed down the mountain because we had to pick Jan up from work at 5:30 PM.
Nan and I went into a drugstore after we got to town and picked up my pictures. Then we had another cup of coffee and waited until Jan got out of work. We picked her up and came home. It didn't rain at all today. It was warm enough to go without a coat down here. It was colder up in the mountains, of course. We ate supper when we got home.
Later Jan, Nan, Barb and I went over to Mina's house. She used to work with Jan. She has a darling little girl that is two and a half years old. The six of us went out to get coffee. We had more fun with Shirley Ann (the little girl). We were riding in Mina's 1955 Buick Century. What a change.
We left Mina's at 11:30 PM and the four of us gals headed out to The Mug. That's where we had the pink champagne party last time we were here. We went in intending to have just a cup of coffee. We ended up having another little get-together which lasted until 4:00 AM. We are getting better. We had lots of fun dancing, singing, talking. Bill and Tony own the place. There was an art teacher there, too. I don't even remember his name. Everyone called him Teach. He was real interesting to talk to.
At 11:30 AM, I got up and woke Nan and Barb up. Jan had to get up and go to work this morning. We will be going to Gram's. The sun is shining. Gram called me Monday night after we got here to ask us if we could come up to Goshen, California for Thanksgiving. Goshen is 70 miles north of Bakersfield. It seems we will never get away from Bakersfield. Ed had an accident while hauling the trailer. It jack-knifed on him. No one was hurt, though. So there they are up in Goshen on US-99 and we gals are leaving today to go up there. The guy that was driving Gram down in their car went back to Antioch. They want me to drive their car down to Riverside for them.
It was 1:30 PM when we finally left Beurman's. I started driving, Nancy took over in Palmdale, then Barb later. It was 6:30 when we arrived in Goshen. We had to look real hard to see the town. Kind of small-one grocery, gas station, a restaurant and a motel. We saw Ed's truck on the highway where the accident occurred Sunday. Just as we went across the street to buy something to eat, we saw Ed drive up. We quickly drove over there and he was just starting to put out red flags. Ed was very surprised to see us. We went to their trailer. It was parked in front of the shop where they had the welding done. Barb and Nancy in my car, Ed driving the truck and me driving Gram's car.
Later we gals left to find a gas station. Ed sent some toilet paper along with us in case there wasn't any at the station. He really pulls some corkers sometimes. He frets like an old mother hen at times. You can't help but like him, though. Anyhow, it was pretty yellow paper. We really got a charge out of it. I can see it all now. We stopped for a cup of coffee, too. Then we trotted back to the trailer.
Later, Barb, Nancy and Ed went to the store. While they were gone, Ed got stopped by the police for going too slow on the highway. More fun. When they got back we sat around and talked until 11:00 PM. Then we went to bed, except for the fact that Barb and I stayed up and read until 2:00 AM. I'm reading Polly Alder's A House Is Not a Home-an interesting, but different book.
At 8:30 AM, Gram dragged us out of bed. Boy, it sure is cold in the morning. We gals drove after breakfast to locate a gas station so we could wash up. We found one and then we went to search for a grocery store where we could buy some fruit. We finally found one in Tulaire. We stopped at a telephone booth where Barb and Nancy called home. Barb was told that Rod (one of Duane's friends) was on his way out to Max and Dixie's. I tried to call home, but no one answered, so I called down to Uncle Rakey's, but my folks weren't there either. I don't know where they were. When we got back, dinner was almost ready.
2:00 PM. We ate a very good Thanksgiving dinner. It was the first time I had been away from home for Thanksgiving. I'm glad we ate dinner with Gram and Ed. We had chicken, dressing, baked potatoes, Waldorf salad, cranberry sauce, corn and home made biscuits. It was topped off with delicious pumpkin pie. We ate until we were stuffed. Then we sat around digesting. Barb and I finally got at it and did dishes.
Along towards evening, we were forced to locate another gas station, so the three of us gals took off. We ended up in Hanford, which is 13 miles away. We were in a jovial mood and we sang and laughed all the way there and back. More fun.
Around 8:00 PM, Gram and Ed went to bed. We gals stayed awake, eating, talking, and reading for two or three hours. Ed and Gram talked and laughed as much as we did. Today has been an extra nice day.
Nancy and Linda
At 8:30 AM, Gram dragged us out of bed again. We took off and got gas. We were told the air filter should be cleaned. When we got home, Ed cleaned it for us. He also fixed the trunk. We really appreciated it. We ate breakfast and sat around and talked. It was 11:00 AM when we departed from Gram's and we promised to visit them at Riverside, if they get moved down there before we leave. I'm driving and it's a very nice day. We are headed out 198 towards Sequoia National Park, which is about 38 miles from here.
We arrived at Sequoia, about 12:30 or 1:00. We stopped at the gate and took some pictures. To our surprise, we had to pay $$2 to get in the park. It was well worth it. Wonderful scenery. We saw several deer and took pictures of them. The higher up we got, the colder it got. The road turned icy.
We ended up in the Giant Forest Village. We went in the Winter Lodge and bought some presents. Barb and I each bought a Swiss hat; real cocky looking. We took some pictures and admired the Big Redwoods and some of them were really big, too. We were only 20 miles into the Park, but we couldn't go any higher, because of the snow. The road was closed. We were up some 6400 feet. With snow on the evergreens they looked like Christmas trees. There was snow all over, but it wasn't very cold. We saw some people from East Lansing and we talked to a U.S. forest ranger who had gone to U of M. All in all we had a very enjoyable time. It's great to be young and carefree. We finally left there. We took some more pictures on the way down.
At 4:00, we stopped in a town just outside of the park called Three Rivers. We ate supper in a very nice restaurant (87¢). The owner gave us his business card and told us to send him a card when we got home. I guess he and his wife are getting cards from all over the U. S. from people who have eaten there. It was getting dark when we left there; Barb took over driving on Hwy 99. About 60 miles from Bakersfield, we stopped at a gas station to have our tires checked. We had too much air in them. Nancy took over driving from there.
Linda feeding deer
We pulled into Max and Dixie's around 7:00 PM. They were surprised to see us. Rod was there. He had just gotten there this morning. He left Michigan Tuesday and came out here via bus. That must have been a devil of a trip. Bob Griffin had been here today and left but will be back tomorrow. We sat around, drank coffee and chit-chatted. Nancy and I washed our heads. Barb did mine up, after she went and picked up a pizza pie. Nan and I took baths and we really felt 112% better.
We finally got to bed around 11:30 PM. Rod had to sleep on an Army cot in the dining room. I succeeded in pushing Nancy out of bed, but she just wouldn't stay on the floor. Darn it. Oh well, it's warmer with three in a bed. I've almost forgotten how to sleep alone.
We put 211 miles on the car today.
At 8:30 AM, we were awakened. Almost as bad as at Gram's. Boy, we sure have a rough life. We had a delicious pancake breakfast. Mmm, good. Then we did dishes, sat around and talked and wrote. I should write a letter to Uncle Rakey explaining about the telephone call Thursday. I hope he wasn't worried for fear I had been trying to get hold of my folks for an important reason.
We took some pictures of the house. Oh yes, last night I finished A House Is Not a Home. Now I'm starting Guys and Dolls. Barb made some cocoa for us. At noon we left Max and Dixie's again. Barb is driving. It's a clear, sunny day out.
At 2:10 PM, we stopped in Palmdale and bought cheese spread, cookies, milk, etc. at a grocery store. We had more fun eating them in the car. I took over driving from there. We arrived at Beurman's at 3:45 PM. There was a letter from Mom waiting for me. She said Carol Heipel was getting married today. I'd give a million bucks if I could have been there for her wedding, if I had a million, of course. Mom also said they spent Thanksgiving at Aunt Bernie's and Uncle Willie's-so that is where they were when I tried to phone them.
A little after 4:00 PM, I decided to try to call Carol at her house. It cost me $4.01 to phone. It was 7:00 their time and I thought maybe per chance they were having the wedding reception at Heipel's. Well, they were. I talked to Carol, who is now Mrs. LaVerne Allen and has been since 10:00 this morning. It sure seems funny. I almost bawled because I wanted to be there so bad. Everyone was there. I talked to Frank Albrecht. He said they were all getting pretty well tore up (drunk).
At 5:30, Nan and I went to pick Jan up from work. We took some pictures in before we picked her up. We went over to Phyllis' to pick up some of her clothes, then went home, ate supper and sat around and talked. At 8:00, Jan, Nan, Phyllis, Barb and I left for San Diego. We got a later start than we expected to. We stopped near Escondido and had ice cream and coffee and filled up the Willy's.
We got to Bud and Shirley's about 10:30 PM, but no one was home. We went in and watched TV. Jan tried to locate them, but couldn't. Finally we got tired and went to bed at 12:30 AM. Bud and Shirley came home at 3:00 AM. They had another couple with them and had been to a dance. I wish we would have got here earlier; we could have had a ball.
Jan and I got up for awhile. Then Barb got up. We all finally went to bed. Except the other couple, of course. They went home.
At 10:30 AM, we arose. We ate breakfast, then decided to go to Tijuana, Mexico today. Bud went to get some of his fellow swabbies. He said he was afraid to go to Mexico alone with all of us girls. It was 1:00 PM when we left for Tijuana in two cars. There was Bud, Shirley, Barb, Robbie, Jerry and me in Jerry's car, and Jan, Phyllis, Nan, Johnnie, Ismay, Bill A. and Pat in Bill's car. It was about 17 miles to Tijuana from San Diego. It is a nice day and everyone is in good humor. Tijuana is a fascinating place, or at least it fascinated me. I guess after you have been there once, it's nothing. We had a real enjoyable time. There isn't any tax down there and most everything is cheaper. I bought my brother Bill a lighter.
We ate tacos and walked around until about 4:00 when we decided to head back to the States. We had fun going back, too. We heckled the vendors all the way. I bought a big, red bull for 50¢. Now all I have to do is get it home without getting it broken. (It got broken in my car later on.) It took us about two hours to get through the line into the States. More fun. Well, we finally got back to Bud and Shirley's.
The guys went out and bought some hamburgers and beer. Later we had coffee and donuts. Then all of us piled into the cars and drove down to the ocean. We were going to take a boat ride, but that idea fell through. We finally went back to Bud and Shirley's. We sat around and chitchatted until about 11:30. Then we gals left to go home around 2:00 AM and went to bed. It was a fun day.
We didn't get up until late today. We didn't do much except some washing and ironing. Jan came home for lunch about 5:00 PM. Nan and I took her back to work and picked up our pictures. I took Barb's and my slacks to the cleaners. Then we came home and ate supper. Bob and Brooks came over later for a few minutes. Then they left and Bob came back and he and Nan went motorcycle riding. More fun. It's a little chilly out.
Barb and I went to pick up Jan from work at 9:00 PM. We decided to go to San Diego tomorrow night. We stopped at Phyllis' to see if she would stay with the kids while we go. She accepted. Next we stopped at Snow's Drive-In to get a cup of coffee. We saw Nan and Bob there. We talked to them for awhile, then came home. We didn't get to bed until late.
We got up at 12:00 noon. Spent the day washing, ironing and such. At 5:00 PM, Barb left to pick up Jan and Phyllis. I took a bath while they were gone. At 6:30 PM, Nan, Barb, Jan and I left for San Diego. We are all feeling fine except Nancy who feels a little under the weather. Jan drove all the way.
Just after we got inside the San Diego city limits, we ran out of gas. We laughed our heads off like a bunch of idiots. It happened right on the freeway. Jan and I got out and flagged down the first car we saw. It was a young couple going to a dance. They pushed us to a gas station and were very nice about it. They even invited us to the Paris Inn, the place they were going. We got to Bud and Shirley's about 8:30 PM. They were surprised to see us, to say the least. We told them we had just come back for Phyllis' nightie and Jan's toothbrush and that we could only stay for a minute. Ha!
We didn't do much after we got there except watch TV and talk. We gals didn't get to bed until quite late.
At 9:00 AM, we got up. Shirley didn't go to work. She's sick. Bud came home for lunch at 11:30. He said some of the guys were coming over tonight. I guess we will have to stick around. Early in the afternoon Nan, Barb, Jan and I left to go to the San Diego Zoo (50¢) in Balboa Park. There we saw bears, lions, tigers, hippos, giraffes, kangaroos, snakes, birds and just about any other thing you can think of. It was a wonderful place and it was huge. We spent about three hours walking around there.
We left the zoo about 4:00 PM and went back to Bud and Shirley's. Bud had just gotten home and announced that he had just been kicked off the football team because of his attitude. It's really too bad. For one thing, there's now a good chance that he will be shipped out in the near future. I wish he could stay at least until their baby is born which will be in June. Oh well, such is life.
At 6:00 PM, Nan and I went to make a telephone call because Nancy had gotten a telegram from Louise this morning saying that she (Nancy) had received a telegram from her Mother saying that they (Nan's folks) had received a letter from Bruce Carter, Nancy's ex-boyfriend. In the letter he said that he was in Tucson, Arizona and wanted to hear from Nan and that he was thinking about taking a position in South America. So this morning Nan called Lansing to get the name of the friend that Bruce was staying with in Tucson. Then she called Tucson, but they said Bruce would be there by 6:00 PM and to call back, which she did. Guess what? We are going home via Tucson, Arizona.
After telephoning we went back and ate supper. Then we two again left to make a telephone call. She called the bus station. Guess what? Nancy is leaving for Tucson ahead of us. Robbie was at the house when we left, and when we got back Bill Alexander and Johnnie Blackburn were there, too.
We sat around and watched TV for awhile, and then we all decided to go somewhere. We didn't know where, but just go. As we were getting ready to leave, a car load of some of their buddies drove up, only they were all tore up. They were really drunk. We finally rid of that group. The eight of us went out (Jan and Bill, Barb and Robbie, Bud and Shirley, Johnnie and me). We went to Oceanside got Beach and I waded in the Pacific Ocean. Then we went to Mission Beach, but I didn't wade this time. We finally went back to Bud and Shirley's.
Jan and I fixed coffee and B & T sandwiches for Bill and Johnnie. Of course Jan and I ate our share. It was really a fun night. Jan and I retired at 4:00 AM.
We woke up at 9:00 AM. It sure is drippy out. Jan took Shirley to work while we remaining girls tried to clean up their apartment. Shirley is nice. She wants us to write her.
At 11:15, Jan, Nan, Barb and I left San Diego and headed for Disneyland via Highway 101. There were several times when we drove right along the coast. We stopped to take some pictures. While dashing across the highway trying to beat the traffic, I lost my little brown hat. I thought that hat was a goner, but no one hit it. I had to run out and retrieve it.
Soon after that, I was standing on the edge of a cliff overlooking the ocean and Barb was coming to join me so we could have our picture taken. Well, she started down this little incline to get to the spot where I was, but she came down faster than she expected. I grabbed her, or she grabbed me-I don't know which-and both of us almost went over. We just stood there hugging each other for a couple of minutes, shaking at the thought of what could have happened and sighing because it didn't. We finally had our picture taken and left that spot. We drove through San Juan Capistrano, but we didn't stop. We'll see that next time we're here.
It was 1:30 PM when we arrived at Disneyland, which is just outside of Anaheim, California. It was raining there, in fact it drizzled all day. It cost $1 to get in the place, but it was well worth it. We had to pay up to 50¢ per ride, Mr. Toad, Rocket, Train, Peter Pan, Snow White, Giant Squid, and a boat ride. That place is one of the most interesting places we've been. Just as you go in the gate, there is a picture of Mickey Mouse made out of flowers. The first part you see is Main Street USA. It is a replica of a typical town back in the 1890s. It sure seems real-horse-drawn streetcars and everything. We stopped there at the Carnation Drug Store and ate lunch. They make the best hamburgers I've ever tasted.
Then we went on to Fantasy Land. It looked just like it came out of one of Disney's movies. To get in to it, you have to walk across a drawbridge which spans a moat. It looks just like you are walking into a castle. Inside the walls is a little bit of everything. First we took the Peter Pan ride which consists of flying over London and Never Never Land. It's amazing how realistic it is. You would swear you were really flying over all these places. Of course, you have to use your imagination some, but it's very easy to do. After we left there we went on the Mr. Toad ride. That's the one I liked best. It takes you through all of these scary places that Mr. Toad had to go through. One place looks like you are going to hit head-on with a train. Boy, if we didn't let out some blood-curdling screams. You should have seen me drive around some of those curves. From there we went on the Snow White ride. That was very good, too. In one place it looks just like the old witch is going to push some boulders off a cliff on top of you, and let me say, we sure ducked fast.
Next place we went to was Adventure land. We took a boat ride up a jungle river. They had replicas of lions, giraffes, elephants, monkeys and natives along different parts of the shore. They were all moving, too. Gads, think of all the money put into them. There were alligators and hippos in the water. They looked real.
Next was Frontierland. Most everything was Davy Crockett. We stopped in this one saloon (they served only Pepsi Cola) and watched the stage show. Truly slap-stick comedy, but very good. We about laughed ourselves sick over the comedian.
We left there and headed for Tomorrow Land. There we went on a rocket ride-a very realistic trip. There was an enlarged TV screen on the bottom through which you could see the Earth growing smaller as we supposedly moved away from it, and a screen at the top through which you could see the moon growing larger as we supposedly got closer to it. Then the whole ship would vibrate at the right times and you would just sit there and hang on and watch the screens and swear you were traveling. That's what's so amazing about the whole place-the fact that everything is so realistic. We also saw sets from the movie "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea."
The four of us made a record with Donald Duck singing "Davy Crockett." What a scream. Then we just walked around. We were getting soaked to the skin and we looked like drowned rats, but we were having the time of our lives. We went into an old cinema house and saw some old time movies. Nan decided to go back to the car, so Jan, Barb and I walked around some more. We ended up back at the saloon (still only serving PepsiCola) and watched the same show over. It was just as funny this time. We went into the Wurlitzer Music House and played the player piano. Everyone would stop and sing with us and we really had a ball.
Then we took the Santa Fe-Disneyland train ride around the whole park and got a bird's-eye view of the place. It was dark by now and very pretty with all the lights plus the added lights of the Christmas decorations. We sang most of the trip around. More fun. It sure is a wonderful place. I think every kid, and grown-up too, ought to go there. I'm going to take my kids there someday. It cost 17 million dollars to construct in a one year's time. They're still not finished. They are in the process of building an International Street. Tonight they opened a new place called the Maxwell House. A very elite place.
We finally left there about 7:30 PM, drenched, tired, but happy. We made a quick trip back to San Bernardino. I had a letter from Ron waiting for me. Much to my surprise, we are supposed to meet them at Sill's in Las Vegas between 6 and 7 Friday night. We sat around and talked about our day. Louise said Gram had called and that they still weren't in Riverside. It doesn't look like we will get to see them before we leave tomorrow.
I washed my head and Barb did it up. Didn't retire until 2:00 AM.
It was 8:30 AM when we got up. Jan decided not to go to work this morning. We sat around, talked and packed. I took Jan to work about noon. We sure hated to say goodbye, but I guess we had to sometime. We took some pictures before we left. I wish Jan were coming with us. I'm supposed to call Virginia Dee for Louise when we get home.
It was 1:00 PM when we said our good-byes to Louise and left. She sure is a sweetie. Hated to leave, but it seems good to be heading home. It's a nice day out. I'm driving. Just inside the Nevada line we stopped and got a bite to eat and Nan took over driving. Then I took over driving a little later. We are driving through mostly desert. Sure glad it isn't summer or we would be sweltering.
At 5:30 PM, we got into Vegas and drove immediately to the Vagabond Hotel. That is where we stayed before and the lady remembered us. We got a room and washed up, then left to go to Sill's to meet Ron and Jim and to eat supper. They arrived at 6:40 all sharpened up. Then we all went back to the motel and sat around and talked and looked at pictures. The guys left so we gals could get dressed.
They came back and we took Nancy to the bus station. She is going on to Tucson, Arizona to see Bruce while Barb and I stay in Las Vegas, then we will pick her up there. She left on the 9:30 PM bus. Jim, Barb, Ron and I then went to a place called The House of Naples and had the best pizza pie I've tasted since we've left Denver.
About 11:30 PM, we left there and went to the Flamingo Hotel and saw the Kay Starr show. With her were The Stanley Boys and some dog act. They weren't too good. Kay had a slight cold, but she could still sing a good song. She was terrific. After the show was over we sat in the lounge for awhile. The Platters and Jack Teagarden were playing there. They were terrific, too.
Then we left there and headed for the motel. We gals retired about 3:00 AM. Kind of early for Las Vegas, huh?
At 4:00 PM, I got up and took a bath. I woke Barb up about 5:00 PM. It was dark out then. Ye gads, what a life! Barb and I went to a ritzy place and ate a combination breakfast, lunch and supper. We didn't know it was ritzy until we got inside. There we were, all dressed up in our scruffy jeans. Oh well, the meal was very good.
We got back to the motel about 7:00 PM and Jim and Ron came about 7:30 PM. We weren't ready, naturally, so they went out to eat supper. They came back about an hour later and we sat around and talked until about 9:30 PM. Then we went down to The Strip and walked around The Last Frontier Village, an interesting replica of an old western town. What I enjoyed most about it was the old pianos. Terrific.
When it was time to go to the show we went down to The Dunes. We stayed in the lounge for awhile and watched Cab Galloway and his group perform. A very good group. I think The Dunes is about the most fabulous place we've been in. The Arabian Room, which is where the main show was, was really impressive. At midnight, we went into the Arabian Room and watched Bobby Van dance, listened to "her nibs" Miss Georgia Gibbs sing, and listened to a terrific comedian by the name of Billy Gray. I was laughing so hard I almost cried. It was the best show we've seen. Then we went back out to the lounge.
While there, I spotted Frank Sinatra talking to Georgia Gibbs. I about flipped. Everyone was shaking his hand. Barb and I were going to go up to him, but we decided against it. We finally left there and went and had coffee. Then we went back to the motel and had a little going away party. I got feeling pretty good for the second time during the trip. In fact, I had a gay ole time and Barb said I was really funny. Finally retired.
11:00 AM. Barb and I got up, washed and packed. Left the motel about 1:00 PM. Just as we were leaving, the owner of the motel came out and told us how nice she thought it was that we girls were taking a trip like this and etc., and wished us luck on our journey home. We went to Askew's and ate.
Didn't leave Vegas until about 2:00 PM. We stopped at a station just outside of town to get gas and the attendant asked if we had just got back from Washington. We said "yes" and were very puzzled. We couldn't figure out how he would know. Come to find out he knew Wally, Jim, and Ron. I guess they had mentioned us to him and he recognized the car. Small world.
We continued our journey south through Boulder City, then over the Hoover Dam. Don't ever look down to the bottom of Hoover Dam when you have a hangover! I almost fell over the rail. Took pictures at Nevada-Arizona state line. At 4:30 we stopped at Kingman, Arizona and got coffee and post-cards. I sent one to the folks. We stopped at Seligman, Arizona for supper and gas. I drove for awhile but got so tired Barb had to take over.
We arrived at Grand Canyon National Park about 9:00 PM and couldn't find any place to sleep. We heard the temperature was going down to zero, so we stopped at a gas station to get more anti-freeze. They directed us to a hotel in Grand Canyon Village where we got a room for $4.50 at the El Tovar, a Fred Harvey deal. It was very nice with log walls, fireplace and everything. It seemed like most of the caterers were Indian. A great big Indian bell hop carted our luggage up the three flights and of course we had to tip him a dollar. We went to bed around 12:30 AM.
We must have been more tired than we thought. I jumped out of bed and looked out the window and staring me in the face was the Grand Canyon. What a beautiful sight! Those rocks sure are beautiful. All different colors, especially with all the snow and the sun glistening so beautifully. I just can't explain it. We dressed and went down to the dining room and had brunch. Real cozy in there; food was good, too. Sure is a different slant, us staying in a hotel. Nice slant though. We stopped in the curio shop, then drove around looking at the Canyon. All I can say is, it's a fabulous sight.
2:30 PM. We left the park heading for Tucson. It sure is pretty out today. The mountains look real purple against the sky and then the desert. I hit a dog. We stopped to tell the people but they were there before we could back up. They were real nice about it-said they'd been expecting it. The poor little dog wasn't dead yet. So the pa says, "Get my target gun; I'll shoot em." So we left. Almost cried when we saw the dog. She was the cutest little black puppy, laying there so helpless.
Barb drove from there. We stopped at a little place called the Wishing Well for coffee, just a ways from the accident. The sunset was absolutely beautiful. The sky above the western mountains was all red for a minute or two and then just like that, darkness.
Boy, did we hit some roads just outside of Prescott, Arizona; 15 miles of curving around the hills of Mogollon Rim. Worst we've driven on yet. Snow there, too. After the road straightened out, we hit a construction zone. What a mess. After that, more curves. I swear, Arizona has the worst highways of any state yet.
We stopped in Wickenburg for supper and I drove. Stopped to refuel in Casa Grande and bought a used tire for $8.50. Our left front had already gone through two plies in places, so the attendant advised us it wouldn't last too much longer. We had coffee and pie there and Barb drove the rest of the way to Tucson. We had a heck of a time locating Bruce, and then he had to chauffer us to Nan's motel. It was about 1:00 AM when we got here. We talked for awhile. Nan and Bruce have finally decided to get married.
We went to bed exhausted.
At 12:30 PM, Barb and I finally got up. Nan had already been up for about an hour. We got dressed and went across the street and ate, then Barb and Nan took off and headed up town. I stayed home to catch up on my writing. They got back about 3:30 PM. I washed my head and Barb did it up while Nan went to the store to get some food for supper. Bruce came over about 6:00. We sat around and told jokes, or rather, he told the jokes. Barb and I went across the street later to get coffee, came back and sat around and talked some more.
We left Tucson at 11:30 PM. (32855) Nancy is driving. I crawled into the back seat to try to sleep, but couldn't.
I dozed off and on until 5:15 AM. We stopped to get some coffee in Show Low, Arizona. I took over driving when we left there, which was at 5:50 AM. As soon as I started driving, we ran into snow. It also started getting light. It wasn't a very pretty sunrise, though. In fact you couldn't even see the sun. A very gray and dreary morning with a combination of rain and snow falling. We crossed the Continental Divide again, about 100 miles into New Mexico. At 9:00 AM we stopped in Magdalena, New Mexico, and Nan took over driving. We very soon came out of the snow into the sun. It's really a very pretty and sunny day now. Barb slept in the back seat and I dozed in front.
At 11:00 AM, we stopped in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to eat breakfast at the Honey Dew Drive-In. We picked up US 66 there. We follow it to St. Louis, Missouri. Albuquerque is a pretty nice town. It's the largest in the state. It is fairly warm here.
Barb took over driving upon departure. I'm in back trying to get some sleep, but I'm not tired. It is now 12:20 PM and we have traveled 569 miles since last night. (33424) That's about a 44 mph average-not too good, but not too bad, either considering the mountains we crossed and the bad weather we ran into and the two bad back tires.
At 4:00 PM (lost one hour-it is 3:00 PM in Tucson), we entered Tucumcari, New Mexico. Stopped just before we got into town and bought some goodies. The sun sure is hot, but the wind is really blowing.
We crossed the N.M.-Texas state line at 4:45 PM. I took over driving. The country is very flat now. At 5:50 PM, we stopped just outside of Amarillo, Texas to eat supper. Left the restaurant about 6:30 PM and stopped at a Curio Shop where Barb bought some presents for home. We got into a regular dust storm. More fun. I drove a little ways, but I soon came to the conclusion I couldn't keep my eyes open, so Barb took over and I catnapped.
At 8:45 PM, Barb woke me up and we stopped for coffee at Shamrock, Texas, which is about 20 miles from Oklahoma. Barb and I took turns driving all night while Nancy tried to sleep so she could drive tomorrow.
Around 11:00 PM, we stopped in Clinton, Oklahoma, and got coffee. Barb took over driving. At midnight, we had a blowout on the left front tire. It didn't swerve or anything, but it made the cutest little noise. So Barb and I woke Nancy up (what a time we had waking her up) and the three of us got out the handy-dandy tools and proceeded to change the tire. This amazing feat only took us about 15 minutes. We about froze. There wasn't snow there, but the wind was really blowing up a storm. We were about 50 miles from Oklahoma City.
We started again and went on down Highway 66 until we came to El Reno, Oklahoma. We stopped at a Mobile gas station and bought a new tire for $26.72. Now we only have two bald tires left. I took over driving. We drove on to Oklahoma city and there we picked up the Turner Turnpike, which took us straight to Tulsa, Oklahoma. About half way to Tulsa, Barb took over driving.
At 4:00 AM, we stopped in Tulsa and Barb and Nan had breakfast, I stayed in the car and slept. I was awakened at 9:00 AM. Nan was still driving and had been since Tulsa. She stopped at a restaurant so we could get some breakfast, about 40 miles west of Springfield, Missouri. It was snowing and the roads were icy. Nan said it started snowing as soon as we hit Missouri. I took over driving. We headed for the ditch once, but I stopped in time. So we just backed up and started again up Route 66.
About seven miles before we got to Springfield, the car acted sort of funny-so I pulled over. I thought maybe we had picked up some ice, but we hadn't. Yep, you guessed it. This time it was the right-rear tire. There was snow all over the place, too. Boy, was it cold. Barb was sleeping in the back seat, so Nancy and I thought we would let her sleep.
The jack wouldn't stay up and we thought maybe it was because of Barb being in the back seat, so we woke her up and dragged her out into the cold with us. But the jack still wouldn't stay up, so Barb and I ran to the gas station up the street a ways. The attendant came down and changed the tire for us and then sold us two good, used tires and put them on the back for us. Now we have no more bald tires.
We stopped in Springfield about noon and ate lunch. Nancy took over driving a little ways past Springfield. About 3:30 PM, we stopped to get gas. We had to have the station guys knock some of the ice off from under the car that we had picked up. We are running out of the snow now.
At 4:20 PM, we started hitting the suburbs of St. Louis, Missouri. We won't have to go through the town itself-thank goodness. By 5:30 PM, we crossed the Chains of Rocks Bridge into Illinois. It seems like we are almost home, but we've got almost 500 miles to go yet. Just into Illinois we stopped and ate supper. I took some clothes in and changed. We all washed up. Feel a lot better. There isn't any snow on the ground yet. We drove all night through Illinois.
We arrived in Fort Wayne, Indiana about 3:45 AM. We lost another hour. There still isn't hardly any snow. I went to sleep the last leg of our journey. Before I knew it we were in front of Nancy's house in Lansing, Michigan. The time was 6:45 AM December 9, 1955.
There was a light blanket of snow on the ground. Barb and I helped Nancy carry her stuff in and immediately headed for a place called Holt, Michigan. Sounds kind of familiar. We got to Barb's about 7:15 AM. We walked in and everything was quiet except for the ringing telephone. It was Pappy calling to get Dewayne up. Barb answered it. He was a little surprised. They didn't expect us home until Sunday or Monday.
We woke Mammy and Budley up. Dewayne had heard the ringing telephone and got up. The extended living room sure looks wonderful. Doris Hayes came over and we sat around and talked and drank coffee. I then left for home.
It was 8:15 AM when I got home. Dad had already left for work and I got there just in time to take the boys to school. It's cold here, but no snow. My folks expected us home last weekend. I guess they weren't too worried, though.
So our trip was ended. We were gone two months and one day. The mileage ended up at 35070, so we put 11,664 miles on the car. That's a lot of sitting down!
Appendix: Where my money went
Car (gas, tires, etc. my share)
Film and pictures
Entertainment and education
Post cards, souvenirs, presents
Telephone and correspondence
Clothes, washing, cleaning
Notions (lotion, shampoo, etc.)
Total spent for gas
Average price per gallon
Average miles per gallon