Thursday, January 10, 2013

Those Places Thursday - Hey, Good Buddy

I'm taking you back to the early 1970's, the days of disco, flared pants, floral shirts, black and white television and the CB Radio. 

We owned a green station wagon with beautiful blonde wood adorning both sides of the car.  It was a pretty big car; they don't make them like that any more.  Seats belts hadn't yet been invented and our kids could climb over the seats and settle into the back with pillows and blankets. 

Once when returning home from an over-night trip my five children, I only have four but am counting my husband here, when a camping ground was spotted with a stream running through it.  I was begged by all to p-l-e-a-s-e stop and camp there.  Being outnumbered what is a person to do but to say yes. 

My three girls and I huddled way in the back of that green station wagon where the full moon kept me awake all night.  My husband and son slept outside near the stream when a surprise visitor arrived, by the name of skunk, sniffing my son up and down. Horrified, my husband prayed his son would not move.  Whew, all's well than ends well, but it did get into our picnic basket.

Many of you already know I grew up traveling to Florida the first two weeks in July to visit my maternal grandparents, because that is when my dad got his vacation time. We drove down route #1 reading all the South of the Border and Burma Shave signs.  But now as a married woman with four children we decided to drive down caravan style, with my parents in the lead.  Having done this for so many many years, they knew the way like the back of their hand. 

To be able to communicate we both installed CB radios prior to our departure.  Naturally we had to have names, we were called Green Dragon, and they were Yellow Bird because they drove a yellow Mercury.  It worked great and we certainly got the hang of it quickly. 

There were always truckers on the road, it seemed like every other vehicle was an eighteen-wheeler.  And, every one of them had a CB. Sometimes we would get stuck between two of these meaning you were in the cradle.  You always knew when there was a sheriff down the road because they would announce, "Hey good buddy, County Mountie spied just past exit 82".  Or, hey good buddy, smokey (state police) up ahead giving out gifts ( tickets).  Then once in awhile you would hear a female voice break in attempting to entice a trucker to her stop. Oh my!  We heard a trucker respond and she replied, " Too late, you've already gone by me".  Happy my children were too young to understand.

The CB radio was used for emergencies like a potty stop, flat tire, potty stop, to get gasoline, or a potty stop.  What can I say we had four kids. Mom slept most of the way so dad kept driving despite the fact it was way past lunchtime.  It was only when we saw my mother's head pop up off the pillow that rested against the window that we would stop to eat.  No wonder dad wouldn't stop for lunch, he was trying to make up time.  Thank goodness we had a cooler on the back seat floor with cold drinks and a few snacks to tide us over.

The CB radio of its day made a rather long drive a fun one. Those days are long gone, filed away in history leaving me with wonderful memories that become more precious as time goes by.

2 comments:

  1. In 1976 my father bought a Fleetwood station wagon and we drove all the way to Disney World in Florida from Massachusetts for the bicentennial. It was green with wood paneling, too! I'll never forget that trip. It was like the Brady Bunch, or like that Chevy Chase "Vacation" movie. We didn't have a CB radio, but I do remember my father listening to AM radio all the way, and he was able to pick up the Red Sox game broadcast out of Boston when we were somewhere in Virginia. We listened to a whole fifteen minutes before the signal faded away... Great memories! Thanks!

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