This is Living Stories, featuring voices from the collections of the Baylor University Institute for Oral History. I'm Louis Mazé.
The planning and packing for a family vacation are worth it, as the trip allows family members to create lasting memories and form closer bonds.
Retired Cooperative Baptist Fellowship missionary Jane Martin describes the getaways her family enjoyed while living in East Africa:
"We would pack up our gear: one tent, one large tent, cots and sleeping bags and the whole bit and a stove and dishes and—you name it, we were taking it. Everything but the kitchen sink, and even that was a basin we did take. (laughter) And we were able to tent back under the trees behind an old English hotel—not a fancy hotel, a family-oriented. And we would be by the Indian Ocean. And just beautiful, beautiful setting. And this was true togetherness when you get six people in a tent, sleeping. (laughter) And then, of course, so much wonderful outdoor life. The beauty of that area just overwhelmed us each time we would go in. We usually camped for ten days each time and picked the time. And very rarely did we have rain. We just had beautiful weather. And that was a real together time."
Goodson McKee, former announcer for WACO, recalls a trip that didn't go quite as planned:
"We're driving down the south entrance to Yellowstone Park, and the car catches on fire. So I jump out of the car and got Pat and Debbie, our daughter, little kid, and we jump out of the car and the car burns up. We've got the whole traffic stopped, north and south—north entrance, south entrance all shut down because of the fire. And here's Yellowstone central fire station out there (laughter) trying to put the fire out. But anyway, it burned up all our clothes except what we had on. So that was an experience."
Martha Howe of Waco remembers road trips with her father, Walter Lacy Jr., president of Citizens National Bank:
"Daddy would take all four of us—that was before David was born—on these car trips. And they were long, and we kind of liked them. I mean, I hate to tell you. But we saw a lot, and we went a lot of really nice places and went to every state in the Union, believe it or not. I mean, when we would take out in the Oldsmobile, (laughter) we would drive and drive and drive thousands of miles. And we'd stop about every three or four hundred miles, depending on how much the four kids could take. (laughter) And Mother would read to us. And we went a lot of places. But I'm telling you all this to tell you that we would stop in these little cities so that Dad could see the urban renewal and so he could see—they—he had read that they have a new motor bank at this—in this town. And he really researched all this."
As long as families exist, so will the tradition of family members setting out on adventures to experience together and reminisce over in years to come.
Living Stories is heard every Tuesday on 103 point 3 FM, Waco's NPR. For program transcripts or more information about the Institute for Oral History, visit baylor.edu/livingstories.
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