David T. Daniel

My Earlier Vacations

My father was a combination of a postal carrier and farmer. It seemed he worked 12 hours per day, but he did find time to play, that is hunting and fishing. He also thought that the family always needed a vacation, whatever that is.

I believe it was in the summer of 1929 when I was 5 years old. Dad loaded all 10 of us in his B model Ford. He, my mother and oldest brother sat in the front seat. Dad had carved out a small box to fit over the drive shaft. Brother Ray and I sat back to back on this box. The five sisters found some place on the back seat. On top of the car were a tent and a large container of food and whatever.

Off we go before sunrise on a 200 plus mile trek on mostly unpaved roads across South Carolina to the coast. Near Charleston we pitched the tent in a small picnic area. It was 90 degrees, and humid. My mother prepared five days (3 in tent and 2 traveling) of cold food (no refrigeration). Fried chicken was king, with cans of fruit, jam, jelly, etc.

The mosquitoes were ferocious. We learned from small homes nearby that we had to have a continuous night fire to ward them off.

I do not know what the ladies did all day. There was no beach. Dad took us boys fishing. I believe we did this trip for 3 continuous years. I remember a car breakdown, a flat tire and running out of gas. But my father just loved everything. I was too young to know what’s what – but were these vacations??

Dave Daniel
Southbury, CT ©2012

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