Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Day Tripping

The first meaning of the song is day trips you could make on the bus or train. And for my family and myself it was wonderful trips of learning and seeing. Even Youngstown proved exciting even before all the shootings. I observed my first ballet at Powers Auditorium, gazed at naked boys in paintings at Butler Art Institute. Hey, little girls are curious, too. Before malls drove all the stores to them, we shopped at Strouss's, McKelvy's, Higbee's with the feel of a big city, truly an adventure.
Sea World as I mentioned before was another Ohio destination we visited several times.
Karen accompanied us to Old Economy in Ambridge, PA, just north of Pittsburgh. Homemade ketchup in a big black kettle thrilled me, but the thought that the men and women were not to marry certainly puzzled me. Remember this is before sex education was shoved down little ones' throats, but I knew men and women needed to be together, at least married, for there to be children. My mother told me that is why no one really lived there anymore. That is just not natural.
Often we drove through the forests of northwestern PA. We watched the Elmenton bridge being built when my sister was at Grove City College. We tooled around the big dam at Kinzua. I watched closely for Indians or now a days, Native Americans. And one day I discovered oil history at Drake's oil well in Titusville.
A few times, we ventured to Pittsburgh and the Civic Arena to be bedazzled by the Ice Capades. I sat in those orange seats mesmerized by the skating figures, costumes and props. I always got an animal with skates on its feet, like a black bear or a tiger. I loved the Gulf building with its changing lights to tell the weather, the incline and the Clark Bar neon sign. We always ate at the Cranberry Inn.





My favorite destination was Pymatuning and I believe it was my dad's, too. Grandpa Evans declared Jerry knew the roads around Pymatuning like the back of his hand. One time I asked if Pymatuning was opened in the winter. Instead of laughing, Dad drove us up there to see the winter wonder. Still to this day, I marvel at the barren beauty of the lake and landscape as I try to get up there in those frozen months.
So before stacations were popular, we valued the day trips. Even Niagara Falls could be a day trip or an overnight trip. The short trips teach as much as the longer vacations. I enjoyed them all.
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