The postcard says Metzie and Molly if you look closely, but Joann and I were unofficially known as Mighty Metz and Sister Styx, the dashing duo that rode in the back seat of a Chevy Impala on a road trip with Joann’s parents, John and Mary Metzler.
Feeding a hooded squirrel at a stop off in Glacier National Park
Our Southern route included the cotton fields of Alabama . . .
. . . and Rock City, Georgia with a view of seven states
. . . and a tapering Falls
How I Paid for This Trip: I wrote an adult study series for Herald Press during May and June of 1964 for which I was paid $500.00. I brought cash and Traveler’s Cheques. Credit cards like the Diner’s Club Card were in circulation back then, but we didn’t have any. Actually, like many Mennonites, we thought credit cards were a little shady because of the possibility of misuse.
Frugality, Joann’s and Mine:
- Joann says to her mother in Canyonville, Oregon: “Mom, give me the map, let’s stop at some little hick place for dinner. Then I’ll have money to buy some more myrtle wood!”
- In Oregon, I remark to Joan: “Boy, oh, boy, my future husband will have a wife who can keep on a budget, thank goodness!” Little did I know my future husband Cliff was living not so far away in California at the time.
Joan and I alternated weeks in paying room costs. I paid tolls and park entrance fees instead of gas, which was probably less than 30 cents per gallon then.
I remember paying 50 cents to drive through a redwood tree!
We both kept diaries and photo logs. Mine looks battered and torn. Still, there’s a record.
Church: We attended a service at the Mormon Tabernacle but the choir was missing, gone to the World’s Fair. Ugh . . . so disappointing!
- I was accosted by a Mormon guy in the tabernacle gift shop: He thought I was Israeli and mistook my black bonnet for a feminine yarmulke and tried to convert me to Mormonism.
- We also visited Sweet Home Mennonite Church in Oregon with Rev. Orie Roth, pastor.
Sin: We drove by garish casinos and hotels down Main Street, Las Vegas. Among the glitter and glitz of sky-high, flashy neon lights, we noticed advertisements for $ 10.00 weddings. Do you think people got married drunk? we wondered.
Western Hospitality: On our way to Sequoia National Park we pulled off the road and discovered a friendly guy mowing his lawn. Thus we met the Shaefers. Mr. Schaefer showed Uncle John his orange grove, and Mrs. Schaefer loaded us up with a 12’ x 15’ box of peaches, oranges, two bags of grapes, 2 bags of oranges, and a quart of raisins she had picked/dried herself.
Thanks to the miracle of “General Delivery,” I got mail from home at planned intervals. Here’s a note from Aunt Ruthie with a cascading series of cartoons
And a birthday card from my sister Jean with a letter . . .
. . . and a note from Mother chiding Jean for not leaving any space to write: “I don’t know who she thinks she is . . . didn’t leave any space for Mother!”
Two letters sent to me addressed simply as Los Angeles – General Delivery came back with a note “Unclaimed – Return to Sender.” Imagine that!
I brought back gifts for all the family. Janice received a myrtle-wood vase from Oregon, brother Mark a table lamp with a cactus base, and Daddy, a polished piece of petrified wood. My ledger shows I bought Jean a pretty blouse for $ 4.10, but alas no picture here!
And something for myself too
The strangest thing I brought back: Water in a Gerber’s baby food jar (Aunt Ruthie’s suggestion) from The Great Salt Lake, where we floated with no danger of sinking.
Photos I took almost two hundred photos on Kodak Ektachrome color slide film and sent home film rolls in heat-resistant pouches to be developed. Joann took photos and movies.
We don’t make a photograph just with a camera, we bring to the act of photography all the books we have read, the movies we have seen, the music we have heard, the people we have loved.
– Ansel Adams