Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Only one memory?

My father ran two companies when I was growing up: an insurance business and a Savings & Loan. He took 2 vacations a year -- one with Mom where they did 'grown-up' things (horse tracks, casinos, and nightclubs) and one with us kids. He would haul out the US map and put a compass on it and draw a circle and say, 'we can go anywhere in the circle'. Then we kids would research various locations, writing to Chambers of Commerce for pamphlets, info, etc. Then we'd vote -- but since Dad & Mom got 2 votes to our one, we were always outvoted.

Still, it was fun. One memorable trip was to Pikes Peak. We drove through the Black Hills and it was the first time we had air-conditioning in the DadMobile. I remember Dad telling us stories to pass the time, just spinning tales from whole cloth. We stopped at an outlook point and I hopped out of the car to go see the sights.

DId I mention this was July? And I always went barefoot? And we had air-conditioning? It was probably 130 degrees on that asphalt and I had burned feet before I knew what was happening. A quick trip to the hospital later, and we were on our way again.

Then there was the time I left my Brownie (a camera, for those of you too young to remember) in the back window of the car and it melted. That was outside Comiskey Park in Chicago.

And the time we all went to a race track and I lost the $100 Dad gave me to bet but won it back on the last race on the Trifecta (my parents believed in giving us a well rounded education and that included knowing how to read the Racing Form).

And the trip to Georgia when we stopped at Calumet Farms and Churchill Downs and I had a chance to ride a thoroughbred.

All such good times and trips my family still talks about every summer. We did about 10 family trips together that I remember, and I have a scrapbook jammed with postcards and pictures. My mother made one for each of us kids and I treasure it. I haul it out now and again and laugh...

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