Vacationing in the fifties.


My vacations as a child (age 2-14) consisted mainly in visiting my grandmother and a couple of aunts and uncles in Kentucky. My parents also took me to visit other uncles and aunts in southern Ohio.

Just by way of background, my parents sold our only car, a 1941 Chevrolet, in 1944 for more than they paid for it when new. Cars were scarce and so was gasoline because of World War 2. It seemed to make sense to sell. Unfortunately, we did not get another car (a new one) until 1949.

I was born in 1940, so from age four until age nine my vacations were either in a 1938 Chevrolet coupe my Aunt Calla would loan us or in a Greyhound bus. That bus was also our transportation to the “big” cities of Dayton, Ohio or Richmond, Indiana for Christmas shopping.

In 1949, my Dad and Mom purchased a new 1949 Chevrolet. Boy, they were excited.

By 1950, my folks were teaching in Cincinnati, Ohio. In the summer of 1952, we took what we considered a real vacation. We spent three weeks traveling through Kentucky, Tennessee, and North Carolina. Davy Crockett, frontier forts, and the Smoky Mountains were high points.

In the Summer of 1953 the horizons were extended and we went to Florida. This trip took about three and a half weeks. We went down through central Florida (Cypress Gardens, the orange groves, and the Everglades). Key West was where we went deep sea fishing. On our return trip we came back up the east coast of Florida. I got to swim in the ocean for the first time. It was quite a trip.

The last vacation before I had to work during summers and save for college was in 1954. I flew to southern Arizona and spent eight weeks with my aunt Elizabeth and Uncle Ed in Tucson and the Papago Indian reservation. Uncle Ed worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs. He took me with him to visit the Papago Indian Reservation. The Papagos have since changed their name to Tohono O’odham.

My Uncle Ed was a vocational educational teacher on the reservation and a Bureau of Indian Affairs representative. I was happy to learn a great deal about the Indians and the West. Those last three years helped to foster a life-long interest in traveling, an interest shared today with my wife and children.

Contributed by:  Bruce Hume

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