by John Howells and Marion Dearman
From a Tramp Printer’s Wife
We traveled with two young children. We started in 1956, when our oldest girl, Naomi, was 7-1/2 years old. Our baby, Colleen, was not quite a year old.
We began our travels in a small camper trailer, a replica of an old overland stage coach. We traversed the United States, from New York State to California, back to Florida, up to New York State and then back to Florida again. For over ten years we traveled. From Florida to West Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Tennessee, Arkansas, and back to New York from time to time. We customarily wintered in Florida.
We had friends and good times wherever we went. We visited all the national parks in the area, visited museums and art galleries, as well as parks and playgrounds for the children. It was a hands-on education for the whole family. Our children were in and out of schools two or three times a year. Teachers used to comment on the well-rounded education they had.
Sundays were always family days. The four us always did something together: picnic with friends, go to the zoo or a beach, or just visit with our new-found friends and our old established friends.
Most of the towns we visited, we could find a furnished house to rent. But twice in West Memphis, Arkansas, we rented the same house; each time it was unfurnished. It had a stove, refrigerator and dishwasher, but that’s all. We bought a kitchen table and chairs plus a rocking chair at a second hand store. For chairs we used beer cases and we slept on the floor.
Traveling was fun, educational and interesting for the 14 years it lasted. But I’m glad it’s over. I’m happy to be settled down. I no longer have the wanderlust. I have to say, that if I had my life to live over, I would do it again, the same way.
Pages by John Howells and Marion Dearman,
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