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Aug 28, 2008

Summer Of 65

I finally finished loading the luggage into the car for Dad. He told everybody to get in the car, as we were ready to head out for vacation. This was the start of his two-week vacation he earned every year. When we were close to reaching Arizona and New Mexico the trip began to get interesting. My mother loved to stop at the trading posts that were along the side of the road. There was usually an Indian or two sitting out in front of the store with some hand-made quilts they had made along with some turquoise jewelry. The trading posts were full of hand-made items,they seemed to lure Mom in right, off of Route 66! I don't blame her, though, I loved looking at the stuff too. The Native American Indians are very talented.

We never stayed overnight in a motel. Mom and Dad couldn't afford a motel with eight children, so they took turns driving while the other one would sleep. We would occasionally stop at a rest area so we could have a bite to eat. Mom would fix bologna or ham sandwiches and a few potato chips, and a can of cherry soda if we promised to go to the bathroom before we got back on the highway. Finally, after three days of driving, we would turn onto a dirt road that would lead us to Uncle Gale’s cabin. We were all excited because the long drive was now over, and the fun would soon begin.

As we pulled into the driveway, Aunt Ethel and Uncle Gale would come out of the cabin to greet us. We hadn't seen them since they drove out to California about two years ago. Mom and Dad were pretty tired from driving across the United States so Uncle Gale decided he would cook up some chicken while they rested. After dinner I wanted to see the boat, so Uncle Gale and I walked down to the dock just below the cabin. I wanted to go for a ride but that would have to wait until tomorrow.

Uncle Gale unfolded a chair, sat down on the dock and started to smoke his pipe, which he had stuffed away in his shirt pocket. While we were walking back towards the cabin I noticed some little bugs that would light up when they were flying. It was the first time I had ever seen a lightning bug; they were really neat to watch. I chased them until it was too dark to chase them any longer.

The next morning I was awakened by the smell of eggs and bacon cooking on the stove. Mom and Aunt Ethel were in the kitchen; Dad and Uncle Gale were just out the side door in the carport. I asked them what they were doing, and if I could help. “You can help me when we are ready to carry these life jackets down to the boat,” said Uncle Gale. After breakfast we all went for a boat ride. There were thirteen people at the cabin and we all couldn't go at the same time, so the Moon kids went first and the adults went next.

We were at Uncle Gale’s and Aunt Ethel’s for several days. We all went to the Smokey Mountains and camped there for two nights. We also traveled to West Virginia to visit my mother’s family, and we visited family in Ohio. We visited the Grand Ole Opry. We saw some of the famous country music singers such as Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty; singers silenced now, some due to age, and several of them have passed away. We always had great summer day vacations. This one happens to be my most memorable summer vacation. Summer of‘65.

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