Tag Archives: vacation

Back To The Ol’ Texas Homestead At Last! 18

Six Flags over Texas
Six Flags over Texas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From My Mother’s Journal 1970:


Monday August 24


Finally got a good night’s sleep. We have officially been on the road nine weeks. After breakfast drove and drove and drove around Dallas to get to 6 Flags Over Texas. $24 cash to get in.


The Chevy Show was misnamed. I thought it would be about cars but instead you sit in a seat and the screen in front of you showed a front view from a helicopter, fast cars, boats, planes, and a snowmobile as if you were a passenger in these. It almost made me seasick.


The run-away mine train was an honest to goodness roller-coaster, which Jon, Becky and R enjoyed. Jeff and I went on the “Mine-Train”, a bit tamer ride.


We had thought that 6 Flags Over Texas would be a lot bigger than AstroWorld, but it isn’t true. Besides, AstroWorld is constantly adding on new rides and growing bigger.

English: Texas Cyclone at Sunset. Taken 1 day ...
English: Texas Cyclone at Sunset. Taken 1 day before the closing of Astroworld forever. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We did notice that 6-Flags was very clean and appreciated the nicely cooled bathrooms. I guess my favorite ride was the spelunkers’ Cave with its splashes of cool spray.

The kids liked the Spindletop.


With meals, snacks, parking and entrance fee the day costs us over $40. I can’t imagine what a larger family would cost. That was for four people and a child.


We spent Sunday and Monday night at the Holiday Inn. R remarked that for 2 nights, 2 breakfasts, and 1 supper, it cost about $22.00 a day less than the Holiday Inn in Chicago.


Tuesday August 25


We heard on the news last night that Houston ranks #6 in nation for population and Dallas was #8. I’ve been thinking about the kids going to school next Monday August 31st. We’ll have Jeff in Elementary School, Jon in Jr. High, Becky in High School, and Bobby in college.


On Highway 75 going towards Houston I’ve noticed how dry and brown the grass is along the roadway. A big truck was spraying water on the trees in the median – I guess trying to keep them alive. The stretch of road between Streetman and Buffalo was not highway and seemed very dangerous – with cars passing too fast or cars moving too slow, dangerous driving. There were signs that said “Daylight Test Area – Turn On Headlights” on this stretch. We stopped at one Nickerson Farms that had a sign that said “Shirts and shoes required inside”, so I guess they’d had some problems.


It has been our experience on this trip that some places should have a sign that reads “only those who bathe daily and use deodorant will be admitted.”


Stopped at Huntsville State Park for 1 hour between 4 & 5 PM. It is not crowded today. Apparently there have been two days of rain here added to the fact that all school districts except Houston Independent School District began yesterday. The park was great, not too hot. Jon and Jeff went fishing but didn’t catch anything. It made a nice break to rest even if it cost $1.00 just to get in. I approve of this entry fee as it does eliminate some undesirables (those who would trash up the park and not bathe).


We would have used our camper exclusively if 1) all parks had clean, working showers, and flush toilets. And plenty of them. It is ridiculous to find one shower for women and one shower for men in a camper ground that is housing three-hundred campers. And wouldn’t it be nice if those showers had hot water as advertised and not SUN-WARMED water available at 3 in the afternoon only. WHY do females throw their personal sanitation wear in the toilet and block up the sewer system for an entire campground?


We would have used our camper exclusively if 2) the camp ground guide-book had been more explicit as in if there are TWO campgrounds with the SAME name within a few miles of each other this was made known so there would be no confusion.


We would have used our camper exclusively if 3) our tent had been more waterproof.


We would have used our camper exclusively if 4) we hadn’t been so crowded. As the kids have gotten bigger so there just wasn’t enough room. Even though our camper sleeps six, it was elbow-to-elbow all the time. Cramped space makes for gripes and complaints from everyone.


One thing that we noticed, during this camping season, was that common courtesy and decency were sadly lacking. What happened to “regard for others?” The experience was so unlike past years. Why was this year so different? True, there were a few friendly campers, but as a whole those were the exception rather than the rule. This was strange. We all noticed it.


As we get closer to Houston the grass is greener along the road. We just entered Harris County at 5:40 PM. Mileage 59,569 Gas here is 31 cents a gallon. Good to be home!


Noticed a sign in Houston “Time ripens all things, no man is born wise”. In other words like the Pennsylvania Dutch saying “Too soon old – Too late smart”.

They say things in a different way up north, they drive faster and with less regard for other drivers, they act abruptly toward each other and strangers, but we found the exceptions to those generalities, too. We aren’t that much different, them and us.


Winding It Down 17

English: Country Club Plaza (view from 47th St...
English: Country Club Plaza (view from 47th Street at Wornall Road), Kansas City, Missouri (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From My Mother’s Journal 1970:

Monday August 17

Stopped at a Ramada Inn for lunch($8.91). They are consistently good.

On to sister Betty’s in Hickman Mills, Kansas City, Missouri. Got there in the late afternoon. Ate supper with Betty and went with them to pick up their grandsons. We took them to the airport and while we were there fire engines and police cars rolled up. A big jet was having trouble with its landing gear, so everyone was on emergency. What a lot of excitement. We watched as the big jet came in and the pilot set it down as if there were eggs on the pavement. The landing gear was down and it held so everything was okay after all. Then we drove around to all the houses in Kansas City, MO where John and Betty lived at one time or another. I remembered many of them from previous visits. The Country Club Plaza is still a beautiful place – the buildings and plazas and fountains patterned after  Seville, Spain.

Saw a few dirty hippies but not enough to ruin the scenery.

Miniature Golf ($1.50) Stuckey’s gifts and candy ($9.30), gas $3.60), coffee (.15).

Took the little ones back to their father. He is recuperating from being hit over the head in his front yard two weeks ago by two colored men. The cut on his scalp required 52 stitches. He has purchased a German Shepherd guard dog for any future encounters.

We parked the camper in Betty’s driveway and set up.

Tuesday August 18

R worked on the car all day because it is getting such poor gas mileage. Car parts ($16.00) Repaid Jon cash ($5.00)

Wednesday August 19

Same thing. Wednesday night went and got the little ones and took them to Jacamo Lake. Jon and Jeff fished. It was a pleasant place with a new campground up on a hill. Took the little ones back home and drove back. The light of Kansas City are still beautiful at night.

Thursday August 20

Woke up to rain but it is nice and cool. Groceries ($6.49) Film ($4.92) Went to Nelson Gallery of Art($1.25) and spent four hours. Got some prints and books on design($12.85). The Gallery has beautiful Chinese and Japanese vases and things. I remembered the painting with the water droplets on the leaves of a plant – they look so real you want to reach out and brush them off. That painting is still there.

Uncle John
Friday August 21

mileage 58,639

Left Kansas City and Betty and John’s house around 2 P.M. Jeff especially wanted to stay longer. Betty had given us a really restful time. The dinner Thursday night with shish-kabob and fancy dessert made by Margaret was wonderful. Robbie and I stayed up until 2 A.M. this morning talking to Betty and John.

Jon enjoyed his Aunt Betty’s because he got a chance to run a riding lawnmower all over the place. Becky and Jeff enjoyed their three motherless kittens. R and I really rested and the talk with Betty and John was especially appreciated. We need someone to talk to more often.

R just reminded me that I owe Betty a dollar for a phone call I made from her house.

Went to a K-Mart for oil and a lamp bulb for the car ($2.91) Kansas Turnpike 5:25 PM $2.90 toll to Wichita.

Ramada Inn because the rain is coming down in sheets.

Saturday August 22

Overnight charge, delicious seafood supper and breakfast ($43.31) Last night Jeff ate his seafood at 7:30 PM began vomiting at 10:30 and didn’t stop – five times – until 12:30. It made us all a little queasy but no one else got the food poisoning that he did.

Saturday morning we got up late about 10:30 and ate breakfast at 11. Jeff stayed in the room and drank a coke. Robbie and I had a very lumpy mattress. It was the worst on the entire trip. We are both hurting this morning. They didn’t seem concerned when he told them at the front desk. They said they’d check the seafood. We will take note and never use this one again.

The Kansas toll roads cost us $4.35 for about 125 miles which is pretty expensive. Entered Oklahoma at 1:30 P.M. It hasn’t rained here yet but was all through Kansas it was very rainy and the roads were awful slick.

Arrived in Ponca City, OK at 2:30 and ate a hamburger and checked into Quo Vadis Motel – very firm mattresses.

Betty and Hudson Smith and their girls came to visit. They brought coffee and cake. The kids went swimming at the motel pool.

Ate a late supper (9PM)

Sunday August 23

Up at 8 AM. Betty and Hudson and girls came to join us for breakfast this morning. (motel, supper and breakfast $37.96)

We realized while on the road again that Betty and Hudson left us $5.00 for breakfast. We didn’t see it until they had gone. (MUST remember to write them.) They brought us a tape of a gospel message from Miles VanDerkroll. This was excellent to listen to in the car. There was no gospel hall here in Ponca City. Three families meet in a home. Two of the families were on vacation this Sunday.

Left at 12:30 for Texas. Mileage 58,984 charged 14.7 gallons at 41 cents a gallon. Perry, OK at 1:30. Ate a steak lunch in Norman, OK. ($16.05 with a dollar tip) The traffic between Norman and Davis is horrible with the road torn up and being repaired. The new 35 through the Davis Mountains is extremely pleasant. The highway engineers cut through a lot of solid red rock to make the road. Mileage at Marietta, OK 59,168

Entered Texas after almost 9 weeks on the road, at 6:15 PM Sunday August 23. Souvenirs, stickers, drinks at Stuckey’s ($3.45) Toll road between OK and Dallas ($.30)

Stopped at Holiday Inn NW in Dallas at 7:30 PM and ate supper at El Chico.

Rebecca and her mother, Mary Louise



Night by Mary Louise Thompson

I see through gossamer folds of mist

the Moon pauses above the lake.

Elm leaves wave dark patterns between the moon and I

almost like a tickle at about my ribs. I smile.

A firefly twinkled among lake shore grasses.

The frogs take their choir turns while

a distant cow bell charms.

Crossed elm branches set to groaning so

the dog growls in his sleep on the step.

I close the door on that kind of peace

And call it a day.