I'm driving here in 1957. I have a lot of pictures of myself with my sister but none with the pesky little brother with us.. Believe me, he was there.
My grandparents all lived in the boot heel of Missouri so in July, when General Motors stopped the lines for "change over" to the next model, we would all pile in the car to head south for a visit. I remember, in my younger years, 8,9 or 10, I would trade comic books with neighbors so I would have reading material. Archie and Veronica, Superman, Nancy, or Donald Duck.
My father built a wooden platform that fit over the hump in the back floorboard so someone (usually me) could sleep on it, with another child on the seat, ( my sister) and little brother in the back window. Can you believe that? That just screams trouble waiting to happen. As we got older, Dad would arrange the suitcases in the floorboard to act as a support so he could put a crib mattress in the back seat and we could lay down on it for the whole trip. My brother could still fit in the back window, I guess. I am horrified that we made a 700 mile, one way drive, that way. Year after year.
Mom and Dad always left Michigan in the afternoon so us kids would sleep though the night and they could drive straight through without bathroom trip interruptions. I have to think it was also in part because there was no air conditioning and we were headed south with the windows down and the hot wind whipping in all around. There were also no expressways. The route was through towns and around big cities. I remember drifting in and out of sleep to the radio playing Marty Robbin's El Paso and later Johnny Cash's Ring of Fire. I could hear the semis zooming by and the soft conversation between my parents of which road to take next or "did we just miss out turn?"
By morning we were dragging into Kennett, Mo road weary but over joyed to see our grandparents for that once a year visit. Once there, it was time for cat fish and hush puppies, chicken and dumplings, blackberry cobbler and home made bread. (I can't eat catfish today..... I know it tastes good. They just look creepy.) But, the little girl in me remembers all of it with fondness.