Thursday, April 27, 2017

Remembering Road Trips by J.Q. Rose

Hello and welcome to the good ole days. Stay a bit and linger in your memories.
Remembering Road Trips by J.Q. Rose
My husband, Gardener Ted, and I just completed a road trip from Florida to Michigan last week. My how travel has changed since I was a kid.

No GPS, no four-lane roads, no fast food places, and no rest areas in the good ole days.

My Dad was an undertaker, so he was tied down 24 hours a day to his job. He also ran an ambulance service. We lived on Route 66 and he picked up a lot of victims of car crashes in those days--dead and alive. Hospital for the live ones...I guess our funeral home for the dead ones.
Even with so much responsibility every day, he managed to get-away for some great family trips. But there were rules. The main rule was "do not order hamburgers." He was scared of unknown meat at unfamiliar restaurants fearing the meat was tainted with bacteria. I must have survived on grilled cheese sandwiches and snacks in the car as we traveled.

I remember I had a LOT of sour chocolate milk on our travels. I guess the refrigeration was lacking at some of the greasy spoons we stopped at along the way. 

I actually don't recall any horrendous traffic jams like we experience now as we go through construction areas and around cities. Of course I was too young to drive, so I may not have noticed.
Road construction
But what did we do in the car as we clicked off all those boring miles on a trip? No tablets or DVD movies to watch. I remember singing a lot. Sunday School songs and songs like I Been Workin' on the Railroad or Oh Susannah and the Wheels on the Bus and probably more. We also looked for all the different states' license plates and to find something along the way that matches the letters of the alphabet like A=automobile, B=bank, C=cow, etc. 

Did you take road trips when you were a kid? How did you entertain yourselves along the way?

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Gilmore Car Museum Spurs Great Memories

Gilmore Car Museum Spurs Great Memories by J.Q. Rose

The beginning of the car industry in the USA.
Do you wanna reminisce? Then take a trip to the Gilmore Car Museum, Hickory Corners, Michigan, near Kalamazoo. What an adventure into the history of cars! We were there for the third time this past weekend. I never tire of it. Visitors now enter through the new heritage center which connects to the old restored barns housing all the historic vehicles. From Ford's model T's, Checker cabs (made in Kalamazoo), Franklin air-cooled cars, muscle cars, classics, racing cars, and more. 
Vintage camper, basically the same floor plan as in travel trailers of today minus the wood burning stove!
So many captains in the industry are profiled I wish I could remember them all. Did you know the Dodge Brothers who founded the Dodge Company were "real hellions?" Henry Ford failed in his first two attempts to build cars? Henry Ford burned all the scraps of wood from car making and collected the charcoal for sale as the Kingsford Charcoal Company? Electric cars were popular with women at the turn of the 20th century? Kalamazoo is known as the "other motor city?"
Gorgeous muscle cars on display bring back lots of memories and fun times.

Not only the mechanics of the car are on display, but also the pure beauty of design. Cars are works of art. Go visit if you get a chance and you too will learn to appreciate the automobile even more.

The vehicles are housed in these original old time barns brought in from around the local countryside.
The old gas station really takes us back to the good ole days. Our grandsons loved the bell that rang when a car drove over the cable strung on the concrete pavement.
1966 Mustang
The production Mustang was shown to the public for the first time inside the Ford Pavilion at the New York World's Fair on April 17, 1964 — two months and nine days after the Beatles first came to New York to appear on The Ed Sullivan Show. It went on sale at Ford dealers that same day.

Ford Mustang History - Edmunds.com


Ford Edsel manufactured only from 1958-1960, a dismal failure for the Ford Motor Company.

So what car did you love way back then? What was your first car?
If you'd like to see more of our trip to the Gilmore Car Museum, click here to view myYoutube video.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Photo Albums

The other day, I was in search of an old memory.  My mind could place where the item was & I had hoped it would be where I last thought it should be.

To the plastic bin tote I went.  Yes, this is where it was.  I had accumulated so much over the years that there were no longer room on bookshelves to hold them so they all went into the bin totes.

What's in the totes, you ask?  Remember photo albums?  Yes, actual printed photos you hold in your hands. The pictures we printed, held & admired for days at the memory of the shot taken.  The anticipation of how that shot would look when taken had to be held until the final day the pictures were picked up at the photo processing store. Sometimes you were pleasantly surprised, but more often than thought, (at least in my case), would be left a little disappointed that maybe the auto-flash on the camera didn't work right in that setting or yet, worked too well so that there was too much of a light flash around your subject.  Or the dreaded disappointment that maybe the anticipated picture never even took & there you are with a blank, black 4x6" of glossy paper in your hand to show for your efforts.

My love of looking at pictures goes back as far as I can remember.  My grandmother always carried a handful of pictures in her purse to share with the family the next time she'd visit.  Often than not, these were loose pictures she carried.  No mini-photo albums, not sorted.  Maybe in an envelope.  There were different sized pictures she'd carry to brag about when showing that were sent to her.

People took pictures with a real camera.  Took them to be developed (unless you were really high-tech & used a Polaroid.  Instant development!).  Then they'd also maybe take a little time to write a message on the back of the printed photo, along with a handwritten note, to address to you & mail that you might get in a few days.  Your mail could be enlightened to see the picture of your loved one on their latest vacation or maybe the grand-kids' latest school activity.  Often school pictures of your little tyke were shared in this way with family & friends.

As in my case, not only did I love to look at pictures, I loved taking pictures.  Hence, there became my next step.  Albums.  In the case of Grandma carrying loose pictures & sharing the pictures off great-relatives pictures that were kept in metal cookie tins, I determined to keep my pictures in albums.  I could almost remember which particular picture was in a particular album for quick look-see.  However, reality sets in when one gets ready to move & box up items.  Albums.  Lots of albums!

In the digital age, we no longer have to worry about physical space or clutter of all & every picture we take or keep.  Instantly can preview a picture to see if it's to our liking, deleting if it's not.  Editing along the way & adding scrapbook-like features without all the extra messy, time-consuming artsy-crafty hands-on experience.  Share instantly with friends & family on social media so anyone can see or screen-shot your photos to their own device immediately so they can show to their friends/family.  No personal mail with an individual's handwriting to remember them by.

Yes, I still get printed copies of my pictures.  Force of habit, I suppose (& fears that the "cloud" could delete my life's pictures).  However, I no longer have to go to my local photo shop where we could only wait one hour to get a roll developed.  I preview on my digital camera, upload it to my favorite picture site where they can hold all my digital albums.  I can have the date set on my camera so the pictures are dated.  If one takes the time, you can also type in the description of your pictures so that they will print it on the back for you. All done & delivered to your mailbox.

However, actual albums are scarcer to find in your local stores these days.  Scarcer is shelf-space for years worth of pictures.  The albums were moved into plastic bins for storage.  Now I find myself having prints stored in bins without being in albums.  Just like in Grandma & Great-grandma's days!

(photo purchased from Fotolia)