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My Family's Trek to California

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Darlenejoy


Location: USA






The Stories Of The Irish Diaspora Discussion:     My Family's Trek to California

Have not told this story before ... I think when younger it embarrassed me a bit... but now I appreciate the courage of my parents... don't know it is something I could do with 5 children in tow....

The Traveling People, PA to California

We lived outside of Pittsburgh, PA in a wonderful two story house in a place called Allison Park, also called Hampton Township. Not the best house on the road but it was wonderful to me and still rests warmly in my memory. (there is a picture of the old house in my personal gallery)

I still remember the few trips to the city. Driving over the Allegheny bridge and way down below on the Allegheny River (one of three that form a confluence) you could see the tiny speck moving along at a fast pace with a white wake following…. At that age I couldn’t put any words starting with s followed by p together in my mouth so came out Peed Boat (much like in the word pasghetti).

Anyway, we were far and away from what you'd call a well to do family and Dad wanted us all in a catholic school… so, Mom worked at Zayre’s Department Store (I believe no longer in existence) and Dad’s last job was driving, what a little girl would remember, as HUGE trucks for a construction company at the time. (He told me of several jobs he had before I was born which included being a Street Car driver.) I remember one trip, he took me along with him as he was working. We drove in style, a big dump truck full of dirt. Drove and drove and all of sudden we were on the edge of what looked to me like the Grand Canyon (really just a hole but only about five years old and had never seen such a hole). He backed straight up against it and stopped at the edge. I was holding my breath the whole time with the thought of sliding off the edge. He got out, I heard him chatting with some of the other guys and all of sudden I heard the whirring noise of a motor. Turned and watched the one side of the bed of the truck lifting upward and upward, tipping out the dirt as it fell into that big crater below.

Don’t remember how, who or why but one day we were told we were moving to California. Before leaving, the parents packed us up in our old Buick and off we drove to my Aunt Violet’s farm in West Virginia. There Dad began his project. He bought a trailer chassis and started building from the frame up. He was quite skilled as a carpenter and built many pieces of furniture for my Mom. So, with lumber, sheet metal, windows and a door, the chassis grew into a trailer. This was to hold to capacity, whatever would fit from the Newman household and make it 3,000 miles across the country to our unknown destination in the State we had only seen and heard of in movies. One thing that would have fit but not made it through the trip was Flippy, my yellow canary that filled the house with its beautiful song every morning. So, Flippy was left with my Grandma Sarah. So, all packed up, five children (one is now gone but his memory remains God bless him) and Mom and Dad all said good-bye and off we went.

(Part Two to follow)


Last edited by Darlenejoy on Tue Mar 20, 2007 2:57 am; edited 5 times in total

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