Since Jun 4, 2004

view home page, enter name:
"If we're not supposed to eat come they're made of meat?"

"Good wine makes good blood, good blood causeth good humors, good humors cause good thoughts, good thoughts bring forth good works, good works carry a man to heaven, ergo, good wine carrieth a man to heaven."
James Howell (1594-1666)

I have visited all 50 states and worked in 18. My Dad was really unique with regard to family travel and vacations in the late 1950s through the mid 1960s. We lived in upstate New York. Dad’s family was near New York City and we visited them once or twice every year. But Mom was from Idaho and had relatives in Gary, IN, Albuquerque, NM, and Fort Worth, TX (and briefly in Chicago, IL). Mom’s folks lived in Idaho as did Dad’s brother.

So, every two years, Dad would buy a new car and our family of five would set off in a transcontinental auto trip to visit all the relatives and see the great sights across the entire United States. We always did a counterclockwise loop, NY to IN to IL then across the Dakotas (Black Hills and Mt. Rushmore), MT and WY (Glacier, Yellowstone, and Tetons, Cody WY), then into Idaho for a week. After ID, we headed south across the deserts to the Grand Canyon, then to Albuquerque and on to Fort Worth for a few days visiting my uncle and family. We then looped through the Deep South and sometimes stopped in Washington DC to take in the monuments and museums. We caught a brief glimpse of LBJ the summer after he was inaugurated. Then finally back north to home in upstate NY.

By the time I was 13, I had probably been in 35 states. My sisters and I grew up thinking nothing much of these great adventures, but as we got older, we both realized how much they had shaped us to love the USA. We also thought that these trips were nothing special and that every family did such things. It took us a long time to realize that we the only family we knew who made these long excursion loops across the USA. Thanks, Dad!

We also didn’t realize how rarely Mom got to visit her parents after marrying Dad in 1947, moving east, and leaving her beloved Idaho and folks behind. It wasn’t like today where you can buy a cheap ticket and take a plane across the USA in a few hours. Of course, that was nothing like her grandparents who had left Ontario in the 1870s to homestead in Saskatchewan and then settle in Alberta.