Thursday, November 03, 2022

Traveling A Cappella

     This is a very old photo of my siblings and I. I am the tall one with the striped shirt. My brother made a very awesome buggy out of scrap lumber, a discarded Christmas display, rope, and old wheels. The engine was environmentally friendly, but it had limits. It worked best going downhill. 😊
     The buggy was just for fun. For genuine transportation, my family used a Rambler station wagon, which is on the right in the photo. My father used that car to get to work and back everyday. We also went to the grocery store, the doctor, and into town. For us in those days, the town was Keyport, which wasn't a big town but it had a bakery, a Chinese restaurant, and a 5 & 10 cent store, Newberry's, which was our favorite store. 
     When Dad took a vacation, we piled into the Rambler and took a long trip out to visit my grandparents in western Pennsylvania and then went into Ohio to see my aunt and cousins. 
     The station wagon did not have air conditioning. My hair became impossibly tangled in the wind whipping through the windows. While the car had a radio, it was difficult to pull in signals when driving through the mountains. Most often we sang our way to my grandparents' house. My mother led the singing. She liked to sing. Since she was in Marines during World War II, we always started off with the Marine's Hymn. They we sang the rest of the military songs, The Army Goes Rolling Along, as so forth. I always get teary-eyed when I hear those songs now. 
     Mom sang popular songs from her youth in the 1920s and the 1930s, too. I grew up knowing a lot of old songs. 
     One summer, I took accordion lessons. My parents rented a small twelve bass accordion and for ten weeks, they paid for me to learn music. When we went out to Pennsylvania that summer, the accordion went with us. I sat all the way in the back of the car with the luggage and played the accordion. That year, we all had accompaniment for our singing.
     The accordion lessons didn't last past the ten weeks. After that, the accordion school insisted my parents had to buy a huge 120 bass accordion for me. It was very expensive and also very heavy. My parents could not afford it. Also, my father took one look at the accordion and did not believe skinny little me could ever manage it. 
     So the next trip out to Pennsylvania was again a cappella, which was fine. We sang all of Mom's favorites and learned them by heart. 

No comments: