Thursday, November 19, 2009

Memory Rollover

Every once in a while a certain song, or a picture, or a current event will illuminate a memory that is not forgotten, just not thought about very often. I got such a flashback when I was visiting with my dad.

In the summer of 1962, when I was shortly to become 13 years old, my father's sisters Vera (Uncle Bud) and Theresa (Uncle Bob) decided to take their children (Vera's, 3, Theresa's, 2) on a road trip from northern California to Seattle to see the World's Fair. Vera invited me to come because her oldest daughter Teri is a little more a year older then me (aaahh, what's a few months between cousins). We had a very good cousin relationship then and indeed, even now, she is one of the dearest people in my life, all these many years later.

I believe the airplane ticket for me to fly from Los Angeles to Sacramento, the nearest airport, was about $40 (which seemed a staggering amount back then). I had saved a bunch of money in my piggy bank, and so I was able to go.

I remember bits and pieces of that trip. I remember we visited a cheese factory and a brewery, and sand dunes on the Oregon coast. While we were camped outside of Seattle, we saw big slugs in the rainforest, and I fell into some stinging nettles, and yep, they really did sting. We went up on the Space Needle, I ate a Belgian waffle, which was an amazing treat, bought from a vendor at the World's Fair. I remember my Uncle Bud buying a malt at a restaurant in which he instructed the waitress to add cherry to it as well. I think it was a chocolate cherry malt. Or may be it was a "cherry soda." (help me Teri!) Regardless, no one in my family had ever done anything so bold. I also remember falling asleep in the back seat of Uncle Bud's new car, which cousin Richard (son of Bob and Theresa) says was a gorgeous Mercury station wagon, with gum in my mouth. It fell out of my mouth, and got all over the seat and he was furious with me.

I remember riding on a ferry through the islands off the coast of Washington and British Columbia, and getting a little seasick.

The song "Monster Mash" was popular that summer and we heard it over and over and over on the radio as we travelled -- at least Teri and I did, not sure about what they were listening to in Theresa's car.

But one of the things that I remember being the most fun was when the odometer in Aunt Theresa and Uncle Bob's car turned over from 99999 to 100,000. My cousin Richard, their oldest son and cousin I am becoming reacquainted with after a very long time, says it was a 1956 Mercury, and he remembers that event too. That's because the caravan stopped, and everybody in Aunt Vera's car who could cram into Aunt Theresa's car did so, and we crept down the highway laughing hysterically and all of us trying to see the exact moment when the odometer changed.

It was such fun.

Things were a bit quieter a few weeks ago in my dad's car as we were driving along on our way to eat lunch. Before we left the house, he said, "The odometer should turn to 100,000 today." And indeed it was about to. It conveniently began inching toward 100,000 while we were stopped...



And closer.....




And it then finally tipped over while we were in the midst of traffic on the busy thoroughfare....


.

This time  there weren't 6 giggling children and four adults crammed into a car. Just me and him.

9 comments:

Paula said...

Cute entry and memories. I remember when my odometer turned to that great number on my Ford Ranger I bought after my husband died. Isn't it amazing what amazes us?

teri said...

Dearest Leilani,
Oh the memories of 1962 and our trip to the World's Fair. We had so much fun, indeed. I don't remember Uncle Bob's milkshake/cherry incident. The cheesse factory was Tillamook cheese in Oregon, Olympia Brewery in Wash, the ferry was so much fun, at each state border, we had the chance to walk across the state lines so that we could say we walked all the way from Calif to Washington. The change over of the odometer is still a big memory for me also. We laughed alot on that trip, the rainforest where we camped was so beautiful, a change from the "golden hills of Calif.".Yes, it was a wonderful trip for me also. Thanks for the memories.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Lovely story LL - isn't it wonderful how small incidents can trigger the memory.

Lil Sis said...

What a fun memory for you, sis. You sure remember alot, too. That's great. I can just hear all the giggling going on in that car between the cousins as well as Aunt Vera & Aunt Theresa. Us "Schucks" sure have a distinct laugh. What a riot!

Cloudia said...

YAY!
What a great post today.



Aloha, Friend


Comfort Spiral

Oklahoma Granny said...

Memories - there's just nothing like them! Thanks for sharing your stroll down memory lane. The "gum" incident you mentioned triggered a memory for me. My dad would never allow food or drinks in the car but once when I was a teenager he relented and we stopped for a soda pop. As he handed me mine (I was in the backseat) he thought I had ahold of it so he let go. NOPE! I didn't have it and it spilled all over the place. My dad didn't get upset often but WOAH! He was upset that day!

Leilani Lee said...

Teri: It was your dad, not Bob; and it was a malt (he drank a lot of milk because of an ulcer), and you were probably used to it and so it wouldn't have been a big deal. I forgot about walking across the state line! Didn't we do things on bridges too?

teri said...

Leilani,
Oh, dad always was having milk or ice cream to help his ulcer. Mom is the malt lady, still is to today. I can see dad making the order for her, making sure it was what she wanted, he is good like that.I think that we did do the bridge walk over between Ore and Wash, maybe Calif and Ore was just a walk over the line. Do you remember the floating bridge somewhere in Wash? It seemed long, went in and out with the tides. Bridges were a part of that trip. I still have the hand painted beads from Italy that I got at the Fair. I had never heard the Monster Mash until we had started on the trip, YC radios were still behind the LA scene and you had already heard it, knew the words, I thought you were so lucky to have the big city "advantage" that way. So many things to laugh with each other about. Fun memories:)

Anonymous said...

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