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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The USA (01/08/09)

TITLE: "From Sea to Shining Sea"
By c clemons


“See the USA in a Chevrolet” that’s what the old TV commercial jingle use to tout. I thought it was an advertisement just for our family. You see we happen to have a powder blue 1953 Chevrolet 4 door sedan. It was when cars had real chrome bumpers; whitewall tires and the steering wheel was almost as wide as a grown man’s arm span. Back then if you traveled you only did it by car, train or bus. Flying was for the rich, the very rich. I remember the family packing up that powder blue Chevrolet and heading south for a visit. Normally it would take two cars because there were six of us and Mom didn’t drive so Dad would invite his good friend Mr. Charles, so the boys would ride with him and his two boys in their Chevrolet.

“Are we there yet?” that question would start right around the Tennessee line. Which was nerve wracking I’m sure to my Dad. We lived in Ohio and our journey was going to take us at least sixteen hours with bathroom and lunch breaks before arriving at our Georgia destination. We made this trip every three years or so, this was when family get togethers meant more than the obligatory Christmas card. Although there was greater distances and slower modes of transportation, family somehow visited more back then than now. I remember family coming from Buffalo, Boston, Wisconsin and of course Georgia for visits, but today a phone call suffices.

I remember the Georgia trips as some of the best. Dad always had us on the road by 4am and by the time we were awaken for the second time that morning we were stopping to eat. Mom would have fried up a chicken the day before and we would stop along the road for an old style picnic. In Kentucky I wanted to see the bluegrass I had heard about, (I didn’t). I did see the Tennessee Mountains though and was a little frightened; the guardrails did not appear entirely safe. Georgia did not disappoint, there really was red dirt, Georgia red clay. It was the dickens to get off your shoes and everything else for that matter.

After a couple more Chevrolets, my brothers no longer went on these trips. They thought they were getting to old for that sort of thing. One summer Mom, Dad, my sister and me headed for Niagara Falls. I got to witness some of the glory and majesty of God’s hand. We later visited New York and New Jersey. My, my what sights to see in New York. Boston was all that too, big, bad and sassy. Much too fast for small town people like us. We soon turned our Chevy home.

When I was older, I went on a road trip with a cousin to visit a cousin in Washington D.C. What a special treat that was. To see the capitol building, the Lincoln and the Washington Memorials, all these places that I had read about in school. To walk where this country’s founding fathers had walked, it was awe-inspiring. My cousin liked it so much she ended up moving there a few years later.

Once as a birthday present to me I flew to Hawaii and I was definitely enthralled by all the beauty. The most beautiful colors were splashed everywhere. The plant and animal life showed how the designer took meticulous care in their design. It was how I would have imagined Eden. The island’s glorious mountains, to the clear blue water and white sandy beaches were a sight to behold. I can only admire an artist’s attempt to try to convey what the eye sees in Hawaii.

I understand that time is valuable and it is much quicker to fly to get wherever you are going. It means you can spend more time at your destination than trying to get there. But I miss that simpler way of actually seeing this wonderful country. I am looking forward to retirement and getting back to seeing the USA, not in a Chevrolet, but for short trips in my SUV. For the long trips, I think I will get on a train and go across country and just allow God to show me more of his wonderful handiwork.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 01/15/09
This was fun--a travelogue interspersed with personal stories.
Beth LaBuff 01/20/09
Oh wow… I remember that "commercial jingle". :) I imagine you wish you still have that "powder blue '53 Chevy". Yikes.. The 4am travel departure time… :) I enjoyed your memories! Your title is perfect!