Road Trip 1985

Coming Home

 

We planned on making a cross country trip for some time, wanting to see the country with our kids and have them experience a world unknown to them at this age. Tacho was 12, Pops was about 10 and Nene was 4. We had picked out a few places of interest, like Niagara Falls, The Baseball Hall of Fame in New York, Yellowstone and of course to stop by and vacation with our Wisconsin family and let the kids meet a bunch of new cousins. We began when school got out and came back not too long before school began again. We wound up making it to all of the places we had planned. And on the way back we were able to come back home through Northern California and were fortunate to have time to be able to stop in Redding and visit with dear family friends, Mr. and Mrs. Hagan, from the old neighborhood, who had relocated to Redding. During the entire trip we had only one hiccup in Maryland when the distributor broke. A farmer gave me a ride into the closest town whose auto parts store had only one of these left. Then on the way back, I was picked up by a rock Christian band that gave me a ride back on their bus to our truck and we didn’t wind up losing that much time thanks to some nice strangers. The boys wound up making a journal of our cross country adventure detailing where we traveled each day and what they saw and how far we drove too. There was one lesson we learned about peoples attitudes in different parts of the country. When we had camped in Norman, Oklahoma, I walked around the campsite and ran into one of the park rangers and decided to talk to him a bit and find out about the locals in Norman. Was I surprised when he got to talking about he local economy and how it was messed up due to the influx of “Northeners” coming in and taking jobs away from the locals. Took me awhile listening to him to figure out that what he was really saying was the Northeners were the Union and the locals were the confederates. Like as if the Civil War was still going on and this person still felt strongly about North vs. South. Then when we had traveled to the east coast and before hitting the road in the morning, we stopped at a doughnut shop for snacks and some coffee for the road. While I was waiting for everyone to come out, I was on the sidewalk taking in the sights, think it was someplace in Virginia. Some old timer saw my old truck and noticed the CA plates and he starts asking questions about where we are heading to and where we were coming from, just small talk at that point. Then the guys begins to lecture me on the town we are in and points to a building down the street and begins to narrate how back in the Civil War “we kicked the Northeners butts” in a battle in 1800 and something. Sort of the same story, just by a different guy. The Civil War isn’t over for a lot of people and they still harbor some bitter feelings about the North and the South. Hard to believe they still feel this way even though it had been over a 100 years since the Civil War ended. Pretty scary lesson.

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