I miss Delchamps.
I miss ambulances that look like Batmobiles.
I miss cinnamon toast with lots of butter. I miss bad tuna sandwiches my mother made me eat because they were cheap to make. I miss vacations where we would get up and leave at 4 in the morning. We would hop in our 1961 Pontiac Bonneville or the 1963 Plymouth Valiant looking at the ordinary life we were leaving as we were about to embark upon an adventure. We snacked on crackers and mayonnaise Mother had packed. There is nothing better than stopping on the side of the road at a picnic table to eat crackers and mayonnaise.
I miss my Daddy and Mother looking at the Atlas from different angles to ensure we were taking the correct roads. I miss sitting in the back seat looking at the Atlas and making up stories of the people I would meet. My favorite thing to do was as we got closer to our destination was to take my fingers and measure how many miles away we were. A couple of inches and we were 30 miles away! “How many minutes will it be to 30 miles, Daddy?”
I miss static on the AM radio and Mother struggling with the tuner to get a clear sound when my favorite song came on. I felt like a movie star in that 61′ Bonneville. So sleek and shiny. It had an air conditioner in the middle of the front floorboard.
I miss clean Holiday Inns where you could drive right up to your door and large picture window to peek in with excitement that this was your place for the night until we moved on to the next town. Mother and Daddy would always let me buy a souvenir at each stop. Maybe a pennant for my room or a figurine for my curio.
The late sixties were a special time for me. I have all these fond memories. However, I do know that not all little girls my age had the same experiences. Families of color may not have been welcomed to the places we visited. It was a time of turmoil for many. I am grateful for my memories. I just want to savor them, but be aware that we must continue to change so other little girls can have a childhood they fondly miss.
CDS 2018 August