Wednesday, October 14, 2009

It must be in the genes or is that jeans?

Mine is not just a love affair with trailers that started recently it’s in my genes, my make-up, my heritage. Of course, vintage is the bomb, the best, and “todal….ly awesome, y'kn├╝.” How do you spell that and sound like a “valley girl”?? I’m a valley girl, I think, does Fresno count? I was born in San Pedro, Los Angles County, does that count? No?
My parents loved trailers, all kinds of trailers. Camping was their passion. Over the many years of their marriage they owned several different trailers. Occasionally, in between their own trailers, they were even known to rent one here or there and try out different makes. We took nice vacations every summer, always camping our way to our destination. I remember only one vacation without either a trailer or a tent involved when we actually, God forbid, stayed in motels.

Charles’ family never owned a trailer, so he has come by this obsession through association and my dreams of once again reliving the “olden” days, as our kids say. With 7 kids, tents were more their speed. But they loved to camp too.

Here are few pictures of two of those really early trailers my parents had, pre-me. And I’m not talkin preemie here. You know back then people didn’t take many pictures like now with digital cameras. Now everyone is snapping pictures like mad, taking hundreds over a weekend. Back then, pre-me, and when I was a kid, you could take a trip across country and maybe use only a roll or two of film (12 shots per rolls back then). People were selective taking pictures. Film was expensive to purchase and develop back then.

Picture #1 & 2 are the oldest picture of their car and teardrop that I’ve found. The back of one of the pictures is stamped that it was developed in East Liverpool Ohio so it was taken somewhere between California and Ohio. The other one is taken somewhere on the east coast on the beach. Who knows??? The year ... my brother had no idea as he was too young to remember. They drove out from California across country to Vermont to visit family there for the summer, then down the east coast finally ending up in New Orleans for my dad's new job. They sold the teardrop and bought the next trailer in New Orleans.

Picture #3 & 4, the next trailer, were taken at Bayou Teche, LA (one is labeled on the back 1940) during the time my parents and brother were living in New Orleans. They would go there to camp, loved the area and went often. So, since this was quite awhile before I was born I'm telling you the story through the eyes of my brother, pictured with my mother. Norman, my brother, remembers driving down the road in dark next to the Bayou when the tire came off the trailer and rolled into the swamp. Our Dad was so mad loosing his new tire that he jumped into the swamp to look for it. There he was wading around in the dark in the swamp, my brother scared to death that a gator was going to get his dad.

I love the way ladies dressed for camping in those days! RIGHT! Heels, hat, dresses!! Good grief! My mother looks more like she’s going to a party, not camping. I've been trying to find out what kind of trailer this is, and have had no luck. My brother doesn’t know and was too little at the time to care. Of course you'd never see me say anywhere that maybe .... he's too old now to remember, but then you didn't here me say that!  Well, anyway, back to the story ... after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the media convinced my Mother that California was going to be invaded. Actually she thought that it had happened at one point, and was totally paniced. She then convinced my father that she “needed to be with her mother when that happened.” So, Dad quite his job in New Orleans and  moved her back to California with the trailer in tow.

Here's a picture of my Dad and brother in a campground and again, who knows where?
Can you tell that Dad is proud of his new 1940 Chevrolet Master DeLuxe Sport Sedan?

This was our Corvette Trailer taken, in 1956. I took this on our vacation to Yellowstone.  It was taken with my trusty little Brownie camera. Remember those?  BTW, I still have that little camera!

Charles and I have had only one other trailer before. That was back when the kids were young and well into their teen years. In fact, we owned the same trailer twice we loved it so much. Sadly, we don’t have any pictures of that trailer; just didn’t think of it at the time, there was no scrapbooking craziness like now. But, that was a wonderful trailer and we did love it!! However, Charles after living in it for a year, 5 days a week, he was sick of it and sold it as soon as that job was over. It was a 19 ½ ft, 1975 Comfort trailer that we purchased second-hand in the early 80’s in perfect condition. It had all the comforts of home including a full bath, with a miniature bathtub.

On seeing our “new” little girl we have people ask …. “Where’s the bathroom?” …. “Is there a bathroom?” … “No bathroom??,”…. “Why did you buy that,” …. “You bought a trailer without a bathroom?” Well, first they don’t understand the vintage madness disease or disorder, what ever it is. I just know that they haven’t come up with a vaccine for it yet. So I tell them about the fact that even though we had a beautiful full bathroom in our trailer, we “weren’t to use the toilet unless it was a matter of life and death.” The death part is underlined because it would be our death if we used it. Charles almost refused to dump. You see he has a VERY weak stomach and would end up heaving at the dump. (Truth be known he never could change a diaper either) So …. we always camped where we had “facilities” that’s just what I’m accustomed to anyway. So that really isn’t a biggie to me.