Time For Another Reunion
“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!