Friday, April 8, 2011

Funny thing nostalgia.

"The term nostalgia describes a yearning for the past, often in idealized form.[1] The word is a learned formation of a Greekcompound, consisting of νόστος (nóstos), meaning "returning home", a Homeric word, and ἄλγος (álgos), meaning "pain, ache". It was described as a medical condition, a form of melancholy, in the Early Modern period, and came to be an important topic in Romanticism.[1]"........Wikipedia

Funny thing nostalgia, why is it we, at least some of us, experience a wistful sentimental yearning when we think of or visit some place from our past? Pam, Brdger and I did the Route 66 "thing", the last couple of days, as we drove across much of New Mexico, the panhandle of Texas and Oklahoma. Would I feel any different about the places along that storied road were it

not for the three trips my family made along much of it's length during my formative years? Do you get chocked up when the band plays the alma-mater or some OTHER school? Of course not. It is, I suggest, the longing for something lost which can never come again that bubbles up the sentimentality in some of us. I don't think there's a cure and if there was I wouldn't want to take it. I enjoy ruminating on and visiting many of the places from my past, it helps me appreciate the here and now, being grateful for the people, places and things, that have collectively made me who I am today. So with that I share some photos of Route 66, the mother road of US legend and lore.

Location:US Route 66

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Water Bags and Life Insurance

I was one of the lucky ones? Perhaps you've heard tales of tying that canvas water bag to the front of the car, loading the luggage and and traveling Route 66 on the vacation trip of a lifetime? For the Brunk's of Lakewood Ohio in the summer of 1961 "the trip west" couldn't be postponed any longer. Dad, eager to visit his folks who had moved to California, and Mom, always itching for a trip, decided this was the summer to make "that California trip." And so it was, the 58 Ford was loaded, the family pet, Bambi, a black cocker spaniel, taken to the boarding kennel and the kids, that would be, sister Carol and I, installed in the back seat. As Dad use to say, "let's cock her back and let her fly", it was, in short, an exciting time!
But wait......I digress.....there is the afore mentioned WATER BAG!

As a 12 year old I had already heard several adults tell stories of family adventure, traveling across the desert of the American Southwest in an automobile. Nearly all the tales contained the admonition to not go forth without a WATER BAG, a canvas bag about 12"x12", with a rope over the top to allow it to be hung from the car, filled with life sustaining water; just in case!........ Just in case?
That just in case statement had all the elements of western adventure. I could hardly wait until we made it to Oklahoma where these treasured symbols of adventure travel were sold, at the filling stations of that time, for about 25 cents. As we traveled on we saw many a car with this iconic symbol affixed over the radiator. While the uniformed attendant pumped 25 cents a gallon gas into Fairlane 500, and the four of us were being refreshed with 12 once Pepsi's (twice a much, for a nickel too) I was suggesting to Father it was, doubtless, time for us to acquire OUR life sustaining water bag........somehow,?.......somehow, I still don't understand why, Dad didn't share my enthusiasm. My carrier in sales had just begun! "Dad, you know EVERYBODY has one,...... it's simply not safe for us to go on without one,......what, dear father,....just WHAT would people think,...... pleeeeese??..... Finally, and I've always loved her for this, Mom intervened,?...... "Ralph, what possible harm could come from us having a water bag?".........Dad had no answer,......YES, the sale was made;..... well OK,....he wasn't SOLD, sold,......but we did, by crackie, have a water bag, proudly hanging from the front fender of the Ford, and the twelve year old boy, that still lives within this sixty two year old man, was ready to face the adventure of his young life. A cowboy hat, gun, holster and horse couldn't have thrilled me more, and,......and, what I didn't realize at the time, I'd sold my first life insurance policy; a water bag to my Dad! A future life of adventure awaited!......So it goes.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Shamrock Texas

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Bend in the road........

Following my decision not to continue with Bubba's Coast 2 Coast bicycle tour on March 21, I was a bit bummed for a couple of days. I so enjoy bicycle touring, mostly self contained, and the group of riders were a joy, but I couldn't see myself being content with some of the circumstances which troubled me and over which I had no control. Any way later that week Pam mentioned it was soon time for her semiannual trip to WV for a visit with her Mom, not only that but a certain little lady named Lillian, whom recently entered the world in Arlington Va, was tuggin' at her heart.

It seemed apparent to me, sharp as a whip am I, that a one week trip was turning into two. Those who know me well will tell ya that I don't get on very well when Pam's away, spoiling me as she does. (I once tried to boil a pot of water, scorched it, gave up.) Altogether now.......sigh. LOL.......In any event, I was kind of jazzed for a trip, so I suggested we do a road trip east and visit the whole fam damley. Pam likes car trips and quickly agreed, so this afternoon about three, we, Pam, Bridger & I, pulled out of Sun City crusin' east, with visits planed in TN, WV, VA, NC, before turning for home. In route we are going to try to rediscover old US highway 66, just for kicks, (sorry, I couldn't resist) the storied "Mother Road" of legend and lore, a highway I travelled as a boy with my Mom, Dad & sister Carol, in 61, 63 & 65. It should be fun remembering those childhood memories, and the boy I use to be, as we see what's become of that historic highway. So it goes.

Location:Las Cruces NM