OUR STORY

TRIPS GALORE

Page 64

Pleasure trips were always a large part of Francineís and my lives. I think that the early trips we took, in the first years of our marriage, those we couldnít afford, but took anyway, was a major factor in holding our marriage together.

As a child I donít remember my first trip. It was to Macomb, IL to see my grandmother Leach who was dying. And while I canít remember seeing her she got to see me. She called me Captain Jack according to my mother and seemed to really love me.

Except for trips to visit relatives, my next, and first real trip, was when I was twelve or thirteen. We had moved from the farm to Knoxville, GA. One weekend daddy took the family to Indian Springs for an outing. I remember the whole trip as we went through several town to get there. I remember thinking that, at last, I was really going someplace that wasnít in my imagination.

When I was between fourteen and fifteen years old daddy wanted me to visit his childhood home in Macomb Illinois. His older brother, my Uncle Clarence and his wife, Aunt Jean was living there. I took the Greyhound bus from Macon. It was like a dream to be traveling, really traveling. The bus went through Birmingham Alabama and I took a break and went to the movies. I felt so free, I had no supervision and could do as I pleased. I caught the next bus and it went to Memphis, I started to get off there and look around for a few hours but was afraid if I kept stopping I would never get to Macomb. The bus crossed the Mississippi there, I can still remember how big the river looked, and went up the west side though Arkansas and the Ozarks. I thought that section would never end but at last we got to East Saint Louis bus depot, having crossed back over the Mississippi. I had a twenty hour layover there before the bus left for Macomb. It was the scariest, dirtiest, place I had ever been, before or since. I tried to walk around outside and was so frightened I came back and I stayed in the depot. The people in the depot were just as bad as outside. I was used to poor people but this was my first exposure to low life. I was afraid to go to sleep and when a occasional police officer came through I would stay as close to him as I could.

At last the bus left for Macomb and the trip there was uneventful. My Uncle Clarence meet me at the bus depot and we walked the several blocks to the house. We stopped on the way at a meat market and he bought some baloney. When we got home my Aunt Jean fixed lunch which included fried baloney with sugar sprinkled on it. This

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