06
Dec
10

ify:3 radiated baby

Drive through Sequoia

Drive through Sequoia

The folks set out in 1951 with me in tow to see the sights in western America. Sequoia trees, Yosemite, Painted Desert, Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam. I find out we have been to Phoenix and Pueblo, CO where sis was born, and other places all over the west. I remember when Mom woke me up inside the Great Sequoia back when the road went through the tree.

The folks took a break from touring in ’54 and found a trailer park in Las Vegas. I rode my bike to kindergarten every day, rolled out the mat for ‘nap time’ on the floor and rode home to play in the desert or swim in the pool at the trailer park. On occasion we cooked out when they blew an A-bomb over at White Sands, totally cool. Some nights dad took me outside and we watched Sputnik circle the globe, once every 90 minutes. Mom had me check with the government a few years ago, we were unfortunately 2 blocks away from the radiation dispersement line for the A-bombs so we can’t get a “reparation payment”. I guess I must be radiation free. 🙂

Chevy Suburban

Chevy Suburban circa 1950 - the orginal SUV

Dad helps build the Showboat casino and saves money, I don’t meet Bugsy on those occasions when we go to the strip. Then we take off for Anchorage, Alaska. Back then you had to have $200 to drive thru Canada. We take about 3 months to get there and I realize much later in life that house and home mean entirely different things, up until now home has been the front seat of a Chevy Suburban or a tent.

This is great, driving thru Canada up the AlCan highway, gravel rattling on the undercarriage, stopping to check out each creek, river and lake. If it passes the test we might camp for a day or a week. Hunting and fishing for grub to go along with a bit of store bought goods.

Just living, having fun.

Anchorage and Mt McKinley

Anchorage and Mt McKinley

Juneau, White Horse and Dawson’s Pass, Skagway with giant totems everywhere. We rent a quonset hut in Anchorage up on top of Government Hill which requires that we share the bathroom the with lady who rents the back half.

Mt. McKinley sits out toward the north and it’s like living in a painting, blue/green glaciers sliding down into the lake in Denali Park. Matanuska Valley is about an hour east where they grow the giant vegetables.

The salmon run twice each day in the creek in downtown Anchorage, silvers and humpbacks are the main catches. From almost anywhere in town you can hear the occasional iceberg calf off in Cooks Inlet.

Space in the schools won’t fit all the kids at once, so we do split days – morning and afternoon shifts. Morning kids keep supplies on the left hand side of the under desk, afternoon kids on the right. Sledding is like the state sport and you can ice skate everywhere downtown. Once a year the place changes completely as downtown is filled with dogs and sleds for the start of the Iditarod, Aleut and Inuit are camped everywhere, and everyone keeps an ear to the radio for the ‘moose alerts’. A scared and hard charging moose running thru the city is a danger to all.

Early in my 3rd year of school there the folks decide my newest baby sister needs to be born in the USofA not in some territory so we wing home on a DC3 to Springfield, Mo. Dad stays on and goes out to Kodiak in the Aleutian Islands to help build up the army base there, as two of the islands had been occupied by Japanese forces during WWII.

So my 8 year long ‘trip’ takes a turn to the unknown land of Ozark Mountains and what’s called house & home.

I’ve learned you don’t lick a flagpole 🙂

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