It was the day after Christmas. My grown daughters were home for a visit. We decided to check out the attic for old movies of their childhood. As we climbed the stairs to the attic I tried to remember where I had put the projector and the film. We pulled out a box that looked promising but held only old letters and photos. The next box held awards, school papers and yearbooks. The girls were searching through the box and giggling over the yearbooks when suddenly Lesley held up a blue book.
“Look mom, here’s the journal that you and dad kept when we went west in the trailer.”
They both knew about the trip but had never read the journal.
“Let’s read it,” said Sandy, as she sat down on an old mattress with the open journal.
Purchased our Spartan 25’ house trailer in September. (1952) On November 20th we sold our house. Just previous to this we had one trailer hitch fall off the car.
“What does he mean – the trailer hitch fell off the car?” said Sandy.
Better back up a little:
Their dad and I married in June of 1948, right after World War ll. He was still in college at Northeastern on the GI Bill. I had graduated from Cornell the year before and was working as a teacher in a private school. Things were moving fast. By the following June we had a baby girl, named Lesley, and Roland was graduating from college. In the next three years we moved to Connecticut for Roland’s new job as a time study engineer for Stanley Tool Company. We built a house with the help of our parents, and we had another little girl, named Sandra. It seemed like all was going very well – nice job, new house, two little girls and a black cocker spaniel, named Inky.
You would think. But no – adventure called. Roland was unhappy in his job. We decided to go west to California to check out new opportunities. We bought a Spartan trailer, sold our house, had the trailer delivered to our driveway, and made plans to leave for California right after Christmas. Meanwhile Roland built a single bed in the back of the trailer for Lesley, and built a crib across the foot of Lesley’s bed for Sandy.
Just before the house was sold we took our station wagon to Ziggie, the Blacksmith, to have a trailer hitch welded onto the back of the car. When it was finished we drove the car to the trailer and lowered the trailer onto the hitch. As we watched in disbelief, the trailer, hitch and all, sank slowly to the ground. Not a good omen. We had to jack up the trailer and hire a tow truck to tow our trailer to Two Gardens Trailer Park in Southington, CT.
Towing the Spartan from our old neighborhood
We planned to spend Christmas with our families and then leave for California. We would head south to Florida, then west across the south to avoid the winter weather.
Roland gave his notice at work.
The best of plans ………..you known the saying.