I’ve been drawn to seldom-visited, far-flung places on this Earth since I was a little kid. I suppose that is why I love climbing mountains. Here I am (third from the left, counting Champ the dog and baby Robert in Mrs. Sterk’s arms) just before we headed up the backside of California and into the wilds of western Nevada for my first time. This my Mom and her childhood friend Marion Sterk and all the kids in the early sixties. Notice I’ve already managed to spill something on my sweatshirt.
For many years I’ve been pouring over maps and dreaming of activating grid DM17 in the land of ghost towns, UFOs, Area 51 and nuclear testing. I picked out a few summits to activate for the first time while additionally activating the grid from base camp in between summits. Here is a little video that I hope captures my love of the middle of nowhere:
Sly, having sang in a few choirs in junior high school, I recognized the tune when the album Meddle came out. I always liked the other-worldly feeling of Pink Floyd’s early stuff. Astronomy Domine and all – the Syd Barrett influence I guess. Not so much with their later stuff.
I didn’t know about the Gerry Marsden/Liverpool Fan Club connection though (thanks Paul).
I’m more impressed that all those people would fit in that station wagon. Then I stopped remembering what cars where like in Britain when I was 5 and realised that it’s an American car and probably the size of a British Aircraft Carrier
That is funny Andy, I actually did LOL. But still 8 kids! Can you imagine the courageous fortitude of my Mom and Marion? Across hundreds of miles of desert?
True story: on that trip we stopped in Yerrington, Nevada at the first real “general store” I had ever seen. I was mezmerized by all the diverse stuff. After a while I looked around and didn’t seen anybody in my family or the Sterk family so I went outside and… THE STATION WAGON WAS GONE!
I sat down out front and felt utterly abandoned. Pretty soon the station wagon drove up and the door opened. You see: they had bought two packs of gum and, after passing it all out, they had one stick left over.
I owe the fact that I am not an orphan to Wrigley’s (packs of five) gum.
American station wagons, back then, were especially roomy because there were four-across bench seats, no seat belts, no child restraints, and an open space instead of a third row. Voila, room for a Krush of Kids or a Gaggle of Geese.
I remember my dad buying a car in 1966 that didn’t have seat belts because they were an option. A bit later later he bought the seat belts and we fitted them one Sunday. All the mounting points where in ready, it was just a case of bolting them in at three places. You were meant to remove the front seats to make it easy. We didn’t and being about 5 at the time I had tiny hands to get into small places to fit the bolts. No problem getting a spanner on the heads just getting the bolts into place. That would be around 55 years ago I guess.
Seatbelts were not compulsory in the UK then. We used them once or twice in that car after all the struggle.
It was a family tradition when I was young for my parents to take a horde of screaming kids to Blackpool every year for my birthday. We had a Morris Traveller in those days. The afternoon was spent at the Pleasure Beach finishing up with a slow drive in the traffic jam through the illuminations. I can’t remember how many they managed to cram into the back seat and boot (trunk), but it would be illegal today . They were saints!
I’m envious of the wide open space you have access to Eric! The complete opposite to Blackpool in the summer!
We were lucky to have parents that gave us such experiences. I am extremely grateful for their willingness to travel with us. It wasn’t that any one of us was all that bad, but put 8 kids together and patience must’ve been required. We traveled with the Sterk family a lot back then.
In 1970 I was 14 and our family toured the British Isles, first in a rented Vauxhall station wagon and then a VW bus. The VW was a better fit for the 5 of us and I can see what MM0FMF Andy meant about UK vehicles of the era.