Sandy Hook

Sandy Hook

Saturday, July 10, 2010

1980s: Willie Nelson - On the Road Again

There's no chance in hell that I would do such a thing now, but a few short years after Willie wrote and recorded this song, I told Mr. Gotrocks that I wanted to rent a motor home and drive across country. His teeth about popped out but I thought it would be a grand adventure for my seven year old daughter and her four year old sister. And it would be a nice vacation for me. Being Mrs Gotrocks is a full-time job.

To be nice I invited him along. Finally, the morning arrived and we hauled out of Denver headed for most but not all parts Southern. My oldest loaded On the Road Again and we sang along with Willie all the way to the Colorado/Kansas border. Read along while you listen.



Our first night was spent in Bob Dole's hometown of Russell, Kansas. The only thing higher than the gas station was a lone windmill silhouetted against a blazing orange and yellow sunset. A gorgeous photograph would bring back memories for years.

Mind you, I knew less than nothing about the hoses or the gray water (sewage, used shower/sink) and clear water tanks and I must not have been paying much attention to the guy giving instructions. The next morning Mr. Gotrocks stood by watching as I began to unhook the hoses. Suddenly one of them flew out of my hands and began jerking and swirling water all over the side of the motor home and plastering my clothes to my body. Hiz Honor jumped out of the way in time to be of no use.

Finally I figured out that one of the metal seals hadn't been screwed on tight enough, so I yelled at him to get my tool box and to hand me my screwdriver. I was pleased that he knew what it was. Maybe because everyone was afraid caustic fumes might blow the motor-home up, we had used the public facilities the whole time we were parked there.

After a quick cleanup we hauled out for Tulsa playing and singing On the Road Again at the top of our lungs. Apparently one night in the motor-home was all my companion could stand and insisted on a hotel while in Tulsa. We took an old school friend of mine to dinner and later he contacted a widow friend of his whose husband - a life-long buddy - had just died and made plans to meet for breakfast.

Somehow it got worked around to, "I think I'll fly on back to Denver after I have breakfast with June."
The girls and I hauled out of that town singing On the Road Again as loud as we could and continued singing it until we got near Little Rock.

We did this for four summers - four to six weeks each. No television, just books, games, fishing poles, dulcimers and sight seeing. The Land Between the Lakes, Nashville where my brother and mom lived, Sewanee, the Smokies, Virginia, N.C., GA, AL, FL and God bless, New Orleans over and over. Stopping for horse shows or to fish or just stopping. And every time we pulled out we sang our anthem.

In the end, I thought Mr. Gotrocks was pretty cool to finance these little jaunts.

28 comments:

  1. Very cool! I bet you & your girls had a wonderful time & they looked forward to each summer and a road trip. Cool!

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  2. isnt it great to see all parts of the country. before we ruin it all

    what a nice trip!

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  3. HOW NICE!! I have always wanted to do that, But now thehusband is retired, BUT on disability, so I'll never get the chance to...

    On The Road Again will always bring back memories of my little neighborhood bar and the great times we had there EVERY weekend! My mom dated the bar owner, and we had such fun!

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  4. Lizzy: They were fun trips. One of those was when I tried to drive the motor home into the Greenbriar.

    D'cap: I love to travel - preferably as close to terra firma as possible. Fortunately, there's still plenty to explore, at least for now.

    Sue: Get a gal-friend and rent one for two weeks. But I have to say, I don't think there are many husbands who'd let their wives go off on treks like those we took. Of course, we wives would be shoving them out the door! "Have a safe trip, babe. Stay as long as you want."

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  5. Leslie,
    You chose to give time to your kids and create adventures and give yourselves memories that you enjoy forever. Good for you!

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  6. Nocturnal Greeting's Ms.Leslie!

    That was a Hell of a story! It sound's like so much fun too! I seen them RV's all the time on the road ... and thought to myself before, the ultimate gig would be to get one and travel the entire nation like that for week's. To get to actually do that more than once (as you pointed out a few time's)is really a treat. Nope, never even had one of them vehicle's, or had the opportunity to experience that. I mean, I been around the nation and done much driving, but just in car's or whatever is about it, nothing like that. But .... a cool story indeed ....

    Later Ms.Leslie

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  7. Oso and RC: It truly is a fun way to go but because of the gas consumption - 10 miles per gal. - I wouldn't consider it these days. The greatest thing is that you don't have to stop every 30 minutes to let a kid out to go to the bathroom.

    RC, you'd have to devote a year to travel around the country.

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  8. Great story, Leslie - and yes, Mr. Gotrocks was WAY COOL to finance those adventures :)

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  9. Believe it or not, Russell is the home of two U.S. Senators: Arlen Specter was born in Wichita, but grew up in Russell.

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  10. Bee: It was a trade. ; )

    K: I never knew that before. Thanx.

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  11. I'm with TomCat-both anazing and amazing!

    And you're right-every 30 minutes a kid has to go to the bathroom. Often as soon as you pull out of a rest stop and they've assured you several times that no, they didn't have to go.

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  12. TC: I'm sure it's the heat.

    Oso: It was a great time saver and mom didn't get so rattled, aka pissed.

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  13. Hmm My comments haven't shown up on a few sites..
    But anyway.. what great memories you provided to your kids. I hope you took plenty of pictures.
    Later

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  14. Tim: A bunch of us have been having problems with leaving comments over the last few days - something to do with Blogger. Anyway, I have pictures galore which I have yet to organize.

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  15. And I think Bee is trying to tell me Mr. Got Rocks should be Mr. Gotrocks and I suspect she's right. : )

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  16. Sounds like a blast Leslie. You have brass for doing that. I've been to Russell, but it was in the winter. I grew up in Oklahoma, so I'm no stranger to cold, but that Russell actually hurts your bones in the winter (or maybe it's just my age catching up with me).

    I met a guy in Kansas (Great Bend). We were living in the Rockies at the time and I mentioned how flat Kansas is. His response was classic - "Oh hell ya, you can stand on your front porch and watch your dog run away for three days"

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  17. Boomer: Too damn funny. I used to travel back and forth between Denver and Nashville about four times a year. I hate to tell you though, I actually preferred KS and it's shorter going through St. Louis. But I love the dog story. Will keep that one in my memory.

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  18. Such fun. Ol' Willie knows how to sing 'em, doesn't he. That's why I like country music. It just lays it all out there where you can understand it, 'bout love and life. That song was written for your adventures.

    By the way, do you remember much about Sewanee? My Mom was born real close by and I have some awesome childhood memories of 'round there.

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  19. Re: Oso's comment. Exactly right. They'll do it every time. I can say LOL now. When the kids were small it wasn't nearly as funny.

    tnlib, it was swell of Mr. Gotrocks to finance your cross-country adventures. I just have a little trouble relating to a husband and father checking out halfway through a vacation trip with his family. At least unless there's an emergency of some kind.

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  20. Judy: I've been associated with Sewanee in one way or another ever since I went to school there. I attended St. Mary's "Nunnery Boot Camp" and when it closed the gals switched over to St. Andrew's. I love the whole area.

    SW: In all seriousness and not to be ugly, the kids and I were okay with it. We had never planned for him to go the whole trip - maybe only to Nashville - to see if "I" could manage.
    Had anything happened, trust me, he would not have been a lot of use for several reasons. He was 21 years older than me and wasn't born to the adventurous life, which was fine, but I liked RVing, traveling by train, camping, etc. RVs are a lot safer for a woman and her two children than camping.

    With an average of 4,000 to 5,000 miles over each of four summers, we only had one minor incident. When we were camped we met all kinds of interesting people - families, doctors, lawyers, businessmen, writers, photographers, and several women traveling around alone. Some go in caravans but that never appealed to me.

    I think he was always happy to see us (the kids) pull in from the road but I think he trusted my judgement. I am not a Wagnerian heroine by any means but I like to think I have a pretty good head. There are women who can do some things as well as or better than men. ; )

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  21. Accolades! Laurels! Please come by and pick up your Beautiful Blogger Award.

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  22. tnlib, I didn't say what I said out of worry about your safety or some notion you couldn't manage the trip yourself. I imagine the percentage of women who can handle cross-country RV trips well is roughly the same as the percentage of men who can.

    My thought was that as a husband and father, I would want, if at all possible, to be with my family on trips like those, for a whole lot of reasons centering around them being family things, shared experiences.

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  23. Thank you, Nance.

    SW: Guess I was a little too sensitive there. We did do quite a bit as a family and I will say he was a very good father. But his idea of fun involved going on cruises, which bored the hell out of me, or to resorts, which were okay for me because I loved golf, but not okay for the kids. No road travel or fun/educational things like visiting dams, historic homes, different cities or Cades Cove in the Smokies. So, I'd say our time was kind of split up into different parts.

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  24. In all of Middle Earth, to Frodo's way of thinking, the best road sign is the one on the border as one exits Texas into New Mexico. The sign says, simply, "you are now leaving."

    Maybe Willie can write another song--Frodo would sing along.

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  25. Frodo: Are you saying you don't like Texas?

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  26. Frodo Willie, that sign is a classic. I've seen equivalents and they never fail to crack me up. Many years ago just outside a small Alabama (I think) town two signs were mounted on a pole. The top, professional-looking sign said something like "Leaving Smalltown, Come see us again soon." Below that was a smaller, homemade-looking sign that asked, "Did you blink?"

    In my neck of the woods, we have lots of signs that say, "Reduced speed ahead," as if "speed" was some constant thing going on, except that up ahead less of it is going on. If I was creating signs for the state they would read, "Prepare to slow down." Signs of that kind should command, not describe.

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