The old Studebaker wasn't very wide so we probably didn't find those sleeping arraignments comfortable for very long. Studebaker started in business in the 1800's making wheel barrows. Their wheel barrows weren't very wide so why would their cars be any different. I remember asking my dad once why we didn't trade the old green Studebaker in for a newer car and he said “but I own this car.” That bit of wisdom was lost on me at the time, but it must have seemed important because I remember it clearly.
When my sister and I finally woke up, we ate a breakfast my mom had prepared at home before we left. Probably it was roast beef sandwiches wrapped in wax paper. Carrot strips were part of any car trip and were carried in empty jars filled with water. We probably drank lemonade or cool-aide from a large green container. Mom and dad carried their coffee in a Thermos. We never stopped for breakfast or to use a bathroom. I guess that's what trees and bushes were for.
When the singing stopped there was little else to do so I looked out the window. I remember thinking it would be great if we could just drive off the road and then up a path high into the sky and come down at our destination. It was a short cut that I thought about for miles at a time.
I noticed a few cars had a round black appliance affixed to the top of a window next to the driver or the passenger in the front. I asked my dad what those were and he told me they were air conditioners. Now he might have said coolers and probably did because that's what they were. We didn't have air conditioners in our cars then, so these coolers I saw were mysterious to me. Today I assume they were much like the swamp coolers we had in our homes before the days of window air conditioners. You poured water in which was then allowed to drip in front of a fan. The cooled air then blew into the home or in this case the car. We only used ours in the house on the very hottest of days because the air became so muggy that it may have been better to leave the machine off. I can only imagine how the air inside a car must have been with this contraption and may have been the reason why we didn't have one...that and the cost of it.
We listened to the radio sometimes and I remember a man named Paul Harvey had 15 minute news cast at 12:00 noon. We were going over the final hills before Gordon in Western Nebraska. His news cast must have contained something about the cold war and the possibility of Atom bombs being dropped on either the USSR or the USA because I remember the Studebaker being strangely quit after he was done. I asked my dad about it, hoping he would make sense of it all, and say something re assuring. Instead, he told the truth. He said, “We can't imagine the terrible things that are going to happen in the future. We can only hope that they don't happen to us.”
Dad had been through World War Two and had seen in person how people can treat one another. He walked through Nagasaki, Japan after a US A bomb had been dropped there. He talked of trees that were still standing however they were completely burned. He said, if a person put their hand to them, they collapsed into a pile of ash in the spot where they had once stood as trees. He didn't tell us that then because that's more they our little minds could comprehend. Much later I heard those stories. In the hills approaching Gordon he probably said more but that's what I remember-- that and a man named Paul Harvey.
When we finally reached Gordon and my Grand Dads place, we always entered through the garage, went in a door and went up a short flight of stairs to his home. Doc Pop usually met us before we went into his kitchen. There were lots of hugs and smiles and our vacation officially began.