A to Z Theme 2016

For my 2016 A to Z theme I used a meme that I ran across on the blog of Bridget Straub who first saw it on the blog of Paula Acton. This meme is a natural for me to use on my memoir blog. It's an A to Z concept and it's about me. No research and nothing complicated. I'm given twenty six questions or topics to discuss that are about me.

In April I kept my posts short and uncomplicated. In the midst of it all you might learn a few things about me that you didn't previously know.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Grand California Tour of 1961

English: Yosemite valley, Yosemite National Pa...
Yosemite valley, Yosemite National Park, California, USA.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

       My parents often opted for some rather eccentric vacation ideas when I was a kid.  It was rather typical for my father to use his vacation time to have our theatrical agent book a summer tour of fairs where we would perform our juggling act.   This was fine with me as it always proved to be a novel and fun experience.

      In the summer of 1961 we took a more traditional vacation trip throughout California.   By this time my parents had my sister Joy and me and our two year old twin brother and sister Jay and Joni.  Piled in our station wagon with no air conditioning had to have been hot I suppose, but since that's what we always had, we must have been pretty accustomed to traveling that way.

       We started the trip with a brief stay in Las Vegas.  The oasis town was glitzy then, but nowhere near what it has become.   Vegas had a sort of small town feel then with lots of entertainment and nightlife.  It was definitely an adult oriented place, but there was still plenty for us kids.   The highlight of that visit was getting to go see the early family edition of a show featuring singer Gogi Grant.  That year she'd rereleased her 1956 hit "The Wayward Wind" and it had become a big favorite of mine.  I can't recall much of the show, but I do remember Gogi Grant singing the song for which she was most famous.

     After our brief Las Vegas visit we continued on to Yosemite National Park.  We stayed in permanent family tents that had wooden floors.  It was the closest to camping that I had ever experienced by that time. We took in the famous landmarks by car.  My parents weren't too keen on much walking with two year old twins.

        Next we went to Tracy, California to spend a few days with my aunt and uncle and cousins.  They always came down to San Diego to spend a couple weeks with us so it was a twist to see where they lived.  I recall staying up late with my cousins as we told scary stories and had a generally good time.

        During this trip I gave a big boost to my postcard collection.  I picked up several cards from Vegas, Yosemite, and Central California.   The one that I prized the most depicted the decapitated head of Joaquin Murrieta, bad guy or hero depending on one's point of view.  The gory head was actually a wax reproduction from a museum which we were not able to visit much to my chagrin.

         I still have all of the post cards from that trip of fifty years ago.  I only wish I had more vivid memories of that vacation.  Childhood flies when you look at it in retrospect, but seems to last forever while you're living it.

        What are some of your favorite vacation memories?   Did you visit relatives at vacation time?   Did your parents ever take you to any memorable shows or concerts when you were young?

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  1. This brought back memories Lee as five years ago we came over to California to see Daniel in Las Vegas in Nevada, we also visited Yosemite National Park which was breath taking as you well know, Death Valley, it was hot then but not so hot as of late. San francisco, LA, Palm Springs and Pasadena(another concert) A wonderful trip .
    Enjoyed your account of your vacation,
    Enjoy your week-end.

  2. When I was a kid, my family didn't go on vacations. Although, we went to Disney once and Bush Gardens a couple times. But when I had my own family, we did camping trips and trips to Sanabel Island and a couple of cruises to the Bahamas.

    Hugs and chocolate,

  3. What a great trip! My dad was a self employed plumber, so he was unable to take a lot of time off, esp. in summer b/c of all the work at cottages and summer homes. They took me to disney world a couple of times and niagara falls once. My mom wouldn't fly so we were very limited as to how far we could get by train or car during my school breaks.

    Best vacations were the trip dad & I took to Northern CA for 3 weeks in 1988, and the trip east in 2011 with Russell.

  4. We went camping in the summer. It was the only kind of vacation that my parent could afford and it was perfect for us. When I was younger, we often went to Seal Beach in SoCal or another beach called Jalama up near Santa Barbara. At some pint, the folks discovered the opportunities in Baja and so began years of return visits to areas down there - cheap and an adventure.There were also some trips up into the San Gabriel Canyon - that was a short one hour drive from our home and could easily be a weekend thing. ALl of those c=vacation trips go down as the highlights of childhood.

  5. Yvonne -- I've still never been to Death Valley and I doubt whether I could ever convince my wife to go.

    Shelly -- I guess you're making up for the vacations you missed as a child and that's good for your family.

    JoJo -- When you own your own business a vacation is lost money so they can be rare. If we hadn't taken so many "show biz" holidays I doubt whether we'd done as much as we did.

    Gracie -- My parents would have never done the camping thing other than with a travel trailer that they eventually bought. Not what I consider real camping, though we did stay in campgrounds of a sort. I knew a girl in 4th grade whose family took trips down to La Paz in Baja and I envied her experience.


  6. Great post Arlee, vivid memories indeed! Photographs have a way of bringing the past into focus. Our parents took us on camping trips in various parts of Southern Africa when we were children ... and we have done the same with ours, not only camping but various other trips. How privileged we are for which I am grateful.


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