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1957 Idaho Trip

Dan Gibson, author
Copyright 2000

Mom was always taking pictures. Me on the lelt and Donny on the right. This photo was taken on Aug. 1957 in Idaho. I was (5) and Donny was (8). The wagon had been sitting in this field for probably many years and of course mom thought it would make a great picture. I was mad because my brother Donny got to hold Dad's gun! I sure feel for our ancestors that made trips in these wagons.
Our parents, Herstle and Etta Gibson, decided to take a trip around the United States in 1957. Mom and dad, my brother and I and our sisters Fay and Joan and our Uncle Clinton Willoughby (mom's brother) left Scott County, Tennessee and took the northern route across the United States. This trip lasted a year. Dad would stop at certain areas and he and Uncle Clinton would work awhile until we had the money to move on.
We spent the Summer on a mountain 13,000 feet high in Idaho living in a log cabin. Dad and Uncle Clinton worked in the loggin' trade. We then headed south through California and stopped at many places. We lived in New Mexico for awhile and made it back to Tennessee taking the southern route (66). We have fond memories of this year long adventure!
We made our trip in Dad's moroon 1947 Chevy. Dad kept that car for years! I remember the starter in the floor. You had to push down on the starter and the gas pedal at the same time to start the engine. On this trip the transmission went out somewhere in Montana. Dad hitched a ride into the nearest town and bought a re-built transmission. He and my Uncle Clinton put the transmission in while mom with her trusty old coleman stove made us supper. Lucky we broke down next to a river and we kids had a fun day swimming. It may be me getting older but it sure seems like things went at a slower pace back then. I guess too, since we were not heading anywhere in particular, we were not in a hurry. We were just traveling!
We sure didn't stay in any motels. Dad had an old tarp and he would make a lean-too to the car. Mom came prepared with her stove, pots and pans, food, quilts and anything else she thought we would need. I slept inside the car with mom and my sisters. Donny being a little older slept on pallets outside with dad and Uncle Clinton. It was like we were on a year long camping trip! Come to think about it, we were probably like the family in "The Grapes of Wrath".
I found out years later the main reason we made this trip was because Mom wanted to get away from Scott County for awhile. She had lost both her parents and had her 6 month old baby boy to die from a wasp stinging him on top of his head in just a few short years.
I have many stories about this trip. Like when a grizzly bear tried to break into our cabin in Idaho. Also, when Mom and us kids were at a mountain stream close to the cabin and she was washing our clothes on a wash board when a mountain lion came down on a cliff next to where we were at. So as you can tell, we were not the normal tourist staying at the local motel 6! We have fond memories of this year long adventure!

back to: My Memories
back to: Scott County, Tennessee Memories

Email: scottcountytn@lycos.com