life in and around NYC is insane

Friday, March 20, 2009

songbird salutes the 70's

My recent trip to Washington brought back memories of the summer of 1974. and so I've decided to do an occasional feature about the 1970's -- my memories, pop culture, whatever happens to catch my fancy.

Anyhow, I was 14 years old in 1974, and my parents decided to take us on vacation. Vacations were kind of rare for our family. so a road trip to Williamsburg, VA was a big deal to us.

The trip almost didn't happen. we had a flat tire on the Jersey Turnpike and spent hours in Cherry Hill replacing it.

In Maryland I learned a lesson in race relations. There was a rest stop on I-95 that was designed to look like a southern plantation, and even in post-Civil Rights era Maryland, de facto segregation still existed. upstairs, near the restaurant, the ladies room was clean and well-stocked -- and all the parrons were white. downstairs, near the building entrance, the ladies room was a shambles -- and all the patrons were African-American. pretty shocking for a girl from Long island.

what I remember most about our stay at Williamsburg are little things -- like my parents struggling with these every morning at breakfast (it was new technology back then):

and in those pre-GPS days, my dad had the uncanny ability of getting lost on the way back to the hotel -- we wound up in the bus station every night.

or how my twin sisters, just a few weeks before their 7th birthday, had to check out every public restroom everywhere we went.

Busch Gardens hadn't opened yet, so Williamsburg was all about the history. I'd been to living history museums before (Mystic, Old Bethpage Village), but nothing as grand a scale as Williamsburg. I think this is where my interest in history solidified. I especially remember a candlelight tour of the capital building, wandering through the maze at the Governor's Mansion, and the museum at Jamestown, with its wax figures of Queen elizabeth and her court -- I'd never really studied Elizabethan England before, but afterwards I found it fascinating.

On the way home we stopped in Washington, DC for an afternoon. we didn't spend a lot of time there, just stopped to see the Lincoln Memorial, and took a walk past the White House. Nixon resigned the presidency a mere three days after we'd been in DC.


Joyce-Anne said...

Wow! What a memory. How cool was it your were in D.C. just three days before the Nixon White House scandal broke?

songbird's crazy world said...

it was a great trip. and I truly think this trip helped spark my interest in history and politics.

Suzanne said...

Isn't it cool how you probably don't remember much about school that year, but you vividly remember what you did on a vacation?

songbird's crazy world said...

I do remember some things from that school year, but the vacation was...special.

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