In the beginning

Pop, John, Me, Steve and Mom (and sister Cyndy taking the picture) moving to California, posing at the Grand Canyon where little John almost fell in.

Pop, John, Me, Steve and Mom (and sister Cyndy taking the picture) moving to California, posing at the Grand Canyon where little John almost fell in.

I wrote my first travel blog 50 years ago, in a tiny padded blue My Trip Diary.

Day One – Fort Worth, Texas (saw no cowboys)

Day Two – Amarillo and beyond (saw plateaus and snow)

Day Three – The Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest (false advertising)

Day Four – The Grand Canyon (my little brother John slips on ice and slides within inches of the canyon edge; Mom yells at me but I didn’t push him and I sure wasn’t going to dive after him!)

Day Five – The West (getting unbearable on the back bench-seat of the Rambler between my 2 brothers John and Steve and my older sister Cyndy, with my parents both smoking in the front seat with the windows rolled up. Actually complained to Mom, something I tended not to do because she could pinch you on the arm like a savage when she had the notion. Mom said it was too cold to open the windows. I cupped my nose and shrank down towards the floor while the smoke formed a dense cloud on the ceiling of the car.)

  • Side note – learned I can hold my breath for up to 2 minutes

Day Six – Arrived in San Francisco (the Pacific Ocean! Crabs! A bear on their flag! Later would come skateboarding and The Beatles and Herman’s Hermits)

Pop, Steve, Cyndy, John and me on trip to California

Pop, Steve, Cyndy, John and me on trip out west

Categories: memoir, travel

4 replies »

    • [Egyptian picture that used to be on this page was taken in Giza, Egypt, many years ago, at a cemetery next to the Great Pyramids. I was drawn to it.]

  1. Of a night in the Else kitchen, ca. 1970.

    He turned to me and said, “Why are we here?” I do not recall my reply, but there is little doubt that it was along the lines of, “I thought we were here to get fudgesicles”. A perseverance award he was to later win recognized more than his work ethic. He patiently queried, “No, what . . is the purpose of life?”

    Digression for context. The peace van with a bleary eyed 1968-69 in the passenger seat was still eastbound on I-20 somewhere between San Francisco and Texas. So my reaction was not that the moon was in the 7th house and Jupiter aligned with Mars, And that home was wherefrom–reminiscence for another day–germinated my passion for taking my mind out of cruise control , not only looking past the surface of events furiously about their business of leaving the good old days behind, but taking a step back from the happenings to ponder greater what’s and why’s.

    So I knew that one of two things had just occurred. Ray had just paid an enormous compliment. Or, articulated his exasperation with the superficiality of his peers by way of the nearest offender. Uncertain, I parried. Queried after the fudgesicles.

    But knew that here was a fellow that might stop with the questions and embark upon his quest for the answers. Thank you for a report from the road.

    • I haven’t changed that much – riding in a tour bus in Kuala Lumpur one of my colleagues asked me why I was so quiet. I told her I had been contemplating duality. Everyone turned and looked at me. “You mean, like alternate universes?” “That is one manifestation,” I replied. The others gave each other that same look that you and other highschool friends used to, and left me alone 🙂

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