A rediscovery of my past......

Tulsa Travel Blog

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Original photo album and diary from 1973

     While sifting through boxes of knick knacks I'd been hauling back and forth across the country for the past three decades, I ran across a diary I had written during my first trip to Europe in 1973. 

     I had just graduated from East Central High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma and had thus far traveled very little during my eighteen years of existance.  I had only ever been on an aircraft once, during a visit to California.  The total of my family's vacations had been by car through the western states of America.  Now I was undertaking a journey through seven countries, lasting seven weeks and traveling with three teachers from my school.

     I'm sure that my parents were as apprehensive in letting me leave as I was to go but I had places to see and had wasted enough time already.

My French teacher, Suzanne Pharr; Art teacher, Linda Lohner; English teacher, Susan Claybaugh and me. The lady on the far right was a mystery. Whoever took our picture, assumed she was with us!

     The entries from my diary will be reproduced here, unedited and uncut.  A small number of surviving photographs, which did not succumb to the damp and mold of my dad's shed, will also be included.  Following each original  entry,  comments and additional information will be included from a current perspective.

Sat., May 26, 1973       Tulsa, Oklahoma enroute to Lebanon, Tennessee                                Sunny & mild

Miss Pharr and I left Tulsa at 4:00 am.  We drove through Arkansas and had breakfast and a drink. We then came into Tennessee and had a picnic lunch outside of Memphis.  We hit the road again and pulled into Lebanon, Tennessee about 3:30 pm. 

We stayed at the Holiday Inn there.  We were so tired when we arrived that we slept for 2 hours and then got up and ate supper.  We came back and watched Thomas A. Beckett on T.V., took our baths, washed our hair and went to bed.

Sun., May 27, 1973     Lebanon, Tennessee to Midland, North Carolina                                     Thunderstorms & fog

We woke up to the sound of rain.  We ate in the room then left at about 6:30 am.  It was raining hard so we stopped at Howard Johnson's to get a drink.  When we stopped, steam poured from the engine and we had to wait out the storm before a wrecker could take us back to a station.  A hose had burst but it was fixed for $3.50   All this happened about 100 miles east of Nashville. 

 We pulled into Kings Mountain at 4:00 pm and visited "Gankie", Miss Pharr's grandmother.  We left and visited her Aunt Mary, Uncle Jim and cousins, Ed and Jane.  We arrived at Pine Top at 6:30 pm.  I met her father, Jones; mother, Pauline and brother, John.  We ate supper.


Obviously, I was a girl of few words in those days.  But I'd like to think that my lack of creativity was due to the single, 5"x7" page within the diary which I allowed for documenting each day of the journey.

We certainly weren't trying to buck the accepted mode of air travel by driving to Europe.......My teacher wanted to pay a visit to her parents in North Carolina before we left the country.  After a few days of visiting, we picked up a flight from Charlotte, N.C. to New York and connected to our TWA flight from JFK to London. 

No, that wasn't a "typo" concerning the $3.50 charge for replacing the hose.  Remember, this was 35 years ago.  I could fill up the tank of my Volkswagen Beetle for a little over $3.00!

Koralifix says:
Nice blog entry - lovely story :)
Posted on: Apr 12, 2009
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Original photo album and diary fro…
Original photo album and diary fr…
My French teacher, Suzanne Pharr; …
My French teacher, Suzanne Pharr;…
1,401 km (871 miles) traveled
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photo by: denisx