Jeff Gordon Gossamer

  1952 -
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Jeff's Story > Chapters > Teen and Young Adult

"Pack Your Bags!" 


Date Range: 01/01/1969 To 12/31/1979   Comments: 2   Views: 11,496
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Kids, we're going to Disneyland!

My father, big jokester that he was, started saying this later in his life when he'd come home from work. There hadn't been any kids in the house (and I was an only child) for years, but for some reason he really latched on to that and thought it was hilarious.

I don't know why.

We'd never been to Disneyland. We'd never actually ever been anywhere as a family. We worked hard and took mini breaks to relatives' houses. "Real vacations" were for the idle rich. Taking airplanes and such were just not something that average people did on a regular basis. Salesmen (not women) were Road Warriors, logging endless hours on trains or in their cars.

We drove a lot. Pile the kids in the car and go visit a relative we hadn't seen in a while. Once we had some cousins move to California and my mom and I were so excited because we might drive to California! Little did we realize that it was a 3 day drive and just driving there and back would take the entire vacation week up. Our dad knew, but instead of discouraging us from that at least he tried to pump up another trip down south.

But when I look back on those, I do really miss those vacations to visiting family. We kept in touch and were much closer to our extended families for this reason than people seem to be today. Today anyone can jump on a plane and go anywhere. Back the it was a HUGE deal - you'd totally dress up, people would come to see you off/ wave goodbye and such. It was exciting. Now plane travel seems more like a hassle with all the rules and so on (required for safety - I get that).

My cousins were all so different, so each trip was like a mini adventure in human behavior. My cousins Bill and Fred and their sister Susie had a huge land that used to be a plantation in Georgia. Kenny and Billie had a really cool treehouse in the woods in Alabama, and Kenny and Sarah lived not too far from the ocean in New Orleans.

We'd arrive and stay a week, long enough to wear out our welcome but not long enough to create lasting damages. It helped that we'd go see another set of cousins the following years so maybe we'd see those cousins every 3rd year or so.

Everyone would scream about how much the kids had all grown. It was normal to me - never understood the fuss, but the grownups seemed to like it (today I find myself doing the same thing).

We had a dog named Dusty who'd come with us on trips. He was my backseat companion and when he wasn't putting his big ole muzzle out the window (this was before all cars had AC) he'd be curled up like a big baby with his head in my lap. We were best buds.

I miss those trips. Pack your bags!

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Member Since
Aug 2007
Susan Janneck said:
posted on Apr 24, 2009
Packed my bags

What a wonderful story. Reminds me of our family outings. Could tell instantly from your memories that you grew up in the 50s. Thanks for sharing.

Member Since
Apr 2009
Brian Highten said:
posted on Apr 26, 2009

AND THE STATION WAGON TRIPS!!!! LOL... this wasn't just in the 50's but prevalant also for the next 30 years. What great memories this brought back- dad driving in the car, getting lost (this was before GPS kids! don't try this at home!) and mom yelling at him.... Oh don't miss that.