Time For An­other Re­union

Washington County Enterprise-Leader - - OPINION - Gene Linzey Re­flec­tions on Life

“Where are you go­ing this time?” Ed seemed to think my Pre­cious and I should stay put for a while. “And how long will you be gone?”

“We’re go­ing to Young Har­ris, Ga. It’s time for the an­nual re­union of the USS York­town (CV-5) Sur­vivor’s Club, and we’re meet­ing in north­ern Ge­or­gia this year. The re­union will run from May 2-6.”

“Oh yeah. Your dad was on the York­town at the Bat­tle of Mid­way, wasn’t he? When was that bat­tle?”

“June 3-6, 1942, and the ship sank on June 7. I re­placed Dad as chap­lain of the sur­vivor’s club when Dad died. And we’re wrap­ping a trip around the re­union.”

“Young Har­ris? name for a town.”

“It’s a real town — a small one — about six miles south of the Ten­nessee bor­der and about 110 miles by road south of Gatlin­burg, Tenn.”

I told Ed we bought a travel trailer, and it’ll be our home on the road for a month. I also men­tioned that we would visit the Mu­seum of the Bi­ble in Washington D.C., the Get­tys­burg Bat­tle­field, Ni­a­gara Falls, and maybe Noah’s Ark in Wil­liamstown, Ky., again.

“The trip sure sounds in­ter­est­ing.” Ed pen­sively re­sponded. “But I know you: you wouldn’t buy a trailer for only a one-month trip, and I know you have to be home for your writer’s con­fer­ence in June. So, why the trailer?”

“Okay, Ed; I’ll give you a hint. Start­ing in late July or early Au­gust, we’ll be on the road for about a year.” “A year! Are you se­ri­ous?” “Yes, we’ll be gone for about a year, and the trailer will, in­deed, be our home on the road. We’ll need a renter for the house. If you know of a fam­ily who needs a home for a year, let me know. But re­gard­ing the trip, I’m go­ing to con­duct an in­for­mal sur­vey of the church across Amer­ica while we travel the coun­try. And, yes, we’ll do a lot of sight-see­ing as we go.”

Shak­ing his head, “More like a spot-check sur­vey. I think you ought to stay home. Funny You go­ing to keep writ­ing for the pa­per?”

“Oh yes. For some rea­son Gra­ham Thomas puts up with me, so you’ll see me every Wed­nes­day in the Her­ald-Leader. And I’ll send Gra­ham our Tales From the Road pe­ri­od­i­cally.”

Ed said he would pum­mel me with more ques­tions later; but he had er­rands to run.

We’ve never had a trailer be­fore, so we made a pre­lim­i­nary week-end ex­cur­sion to the Dal­las area in March to learn about pulling one. We’ve named the car “Trav­eler” and the trailer “Ca­sita.” In U.S. Navy terms, the Dal­las trip was the “tri­al­run;” the month-long York­town Re­union trip will be the “shake-down cruise;” and the year-long ex­cur­sion will be the “maiden voy­age.”

I chuckle as I think about Ed’s and my con­ver­sa­tion. It’s true that Carol and I travel a bit, and I re­mem­ber a trip back in June of 1970. Rent­ing a U-Haul truck, we were mov­ing from Everett, Wash., to Los Alamos, N.M. Carol and our two kids flew by United Air­lines, and a friend, Os­car Moe, drove the truck with me. Stop­ping in Pine­hurst, Idaho, for gas, Os­car struck up a con­ver­sa­tion with the gas-sta­tion at­ten­dant.

“How long have you lived here in Pine­hurst?” Os­car asked.

“All my life.”

“Have you trav­eled much through­out the Great North­west?”

“Never been outa Pine­hurst.”

“I don’t mean to be rude” Os­car in­ter­jected, “but you said you are 38-years-old, and never been out of town?”

“Yup. Don’t need to go nowhere. Fam­ily’s here, dog’s here. Ma and Pa’s buried here.”

That amazed me! I was al­most 24 years old, mar­ried al­most 4 years, and had trav­eled coast-to-coast with my Navy par­ents. Meet­ing some­one who had never been out of town? That was al­most be­yond my com­pre­hen­sion. Well, back to the present. My Pre­cious and I will be liv­ing in close quar­ters for a while, and that week­end trip to Dal­las was an eye-opener. Will there be ten­sion or mis­un­der­stand­ings? We are hu­man, so the an­swer is yes. A 23-foot trailer has a lot less per­sonal space than a 1,740-square-foot house!

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