As a child when we traveled, the freeways were not developed. ‘Road trips’ were the norm. Vividly, I recall that Dad would hang the burlap insulated water carrier over the hood ornament. The air cooled the water for our roadside picnics and five thirsty travelers. Mom was famous for her roadside picnics. She would fill the galvanized bright red ice chest with Coca Cola written in white on the side. My favorite roadside picnic food was simply Mom’s hard boiled eggs. She didn’t peel the eggs, we did. She handed us the salt shaker and after a sprinkle, I ate the best chilled hard boiled egg every time. No table, no chairs, no picnic grounds…this was our minimalist roadside picnic.

Now when Rick and I travel, our memories seep into present day. Warmly, Rick’s family enjoyed roadside picnics, too. For Rick, his ultimate picnic food was his Mom’s baloney and cheese sandwich. Rick describes this sandwich as baloney sliced from the loaf by our local butcher. Then, this could have been my Uncle Richard or Ray, Uncle’s partner. Rick says his Mom was very particular about the cheese, being Dairymen and came from our local Dairyman’s Store. The rest of the ingredients were Rainbow white bread, sliced tomatoes from Mary’s garden, iceberg lettuce, Best Food’s Mayonnaise and French’s Mustard. Yep, that’s the way it had to be. I can count on it. About twenty minutes into our road travel, Rick will say, “You know what I’m in the mood for? A baloney and cheese sandwich!”



My Dad was quite a guy. He was a man of few words and when he spoke, we would listen. Dad was determined that we three girls would have the advantages that he and Mom had not had. He would say, “You want to see how others live?” Let’s go!” I remember many of these trips: to explore new places, to expand our horizons and to experience how other’s lived. I recall one experience. Dad reserved rooms at The Clift Hotel in San Francisco, a first class hotel. We packed our suitcases, jumped in the family car, probably a Buick and off we went to see how ‘rich people’ lived. During our stay, we rode up and down the elevators. Many of the women who rode with us wore mink coats. As we brushed up against the beautiful fur coats, my sister’s and I would say, “Z-mink!” and giggle joyously.



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