I ran across this short story while cleaning out some things. I’d like to share it with you.
The year was 1955 when Mom packed our 1948 Olds and headed west. Dad was stationed in Japan, so we packed our belongings, left Carthage, New York and moved to Los Angeles, California to wait for his return.
Mom loaded the trunk with bedding, clothing, and anything else she needed for her brood of five, the youngest one year and the oldest twelve. I was the oldest.
She braved the elements as she drove old Route “66” across the states. The trunk of the car caught on fire in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The straps holding our trunk on top of the car came loose and I had to keep holding the flapping strap. Our funds ran low and we had to sleep in the car. Mom bought bread, peanut butter and jelly for sandwiches. I still like pb and j.
We stopped just short of the bridge crossing the Colorado River at a place called Jack’s. She went inside to get us some water. When she returned her face looked like she was going to cry. She handed me a single glass of water and said. “Only a sip and pass it around. I had to pay a nickel for it.” That was the beginning of my understanding how valuable water was to desert living.
Little did I know, but when we came to the tiny spot in the road called Topok, Arizona, that in 1964 I would be living in the trailer park below the restaurant and store called “Jack’s”. My husband would work on the new bridge spanning the river and we lived at Shorty’s Trailer Park and Marina.
Life is strange.