Rode Hard Put Up Wet

Mental and Physical Abuse Travel

Schooling on the Road

Explosion in trailer

Hey, Hey, here I am again. I’m really hoping you will continue to follow my blog and I can get better at it.

You need to know that my dad was terribly strict and I know some of you will say, “yes, my dad was strict also”.  When dad came home from Guadalcanal and Peleliu in the Philippines during WWII he was mean and abusive.  His belt was out and he used it on one of us almost daily. And traveling in the car for sometimes days at a time was not so great.  We weren’t allowed to talk while traveling unless dad was talking to us or teaching us things, so if you had to pee you had best pray the car was low on fuel because there was no stopping on the road and no roadside parks like today.   When we stopped to get gas; Mom would pick up a box of Ritz crackers and a bunch of cheese and hand us cheese and crackers until we got full.  Dad would have me fill his coke cola bottle with whiskey after he took a big swallow out of it.  He was a pretty heavy drinker.  When I think I, yes I, can handle it, I’ll fill you in further on my dad and how we tried to cope with him and the abuse.  You know sometimes it is hurtful to remember.  But I’ll get there.

Nevertheless, when we were around places to see, we got to see them.  I remember really liking Hannibal, Missouri.  I got to see where Mark Twain wrote Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn adventures.  That was a real treat.  I had read the stories and to see it was great.

On one trip, we got to Ness City, Kansas and parked just in time for my little brother to be born on New Years Day.  There were no doctors available on New Years, but my little brother was coming.  Dad finally found a chiropractor to come to the trailer just in time to catch my little brother coming into this world.  My now older brother and I were wishing for puppies.  I mean mom was right there and we weren’t much help.  I was about to turn 6 and my now oldest brother was almost 3.  But mom was up the next morning fixing dad’s and our breakfasts.

I don’t remember where our next sales were, but after a few sales, I remember dad had bought another trailer and we were on our way to trade in the old one.  Unfortunately, we came upon a bridge where the pavement was not even with bridge pavement. When dad went over that bounce, the trailer came off the hitch and all that was holding it to the car were two chains which were dragging the car with the trailer toward the river. Sparks were flying from the pavement where the hitch was dragging and taking us with it. Dad was floor boarding the car and you could smell burning rubber as it was heading toward the creek along with the trailer.  Finally the chains broke and the trailer rolled down the embankment into the creek landing upside down with the wheels still turning.

Everything we owned was in the trailer. As we stood there looking at it, it collapsed inside itself.  I’m guessing mom or dad went out later to try to salvage something or actually anything.

At any rate, we went on to the trailer sales and dad told the man what had happened.  He gave dad the same deal as if he had the trade-in.  Truth be told, he really didn’t want that old trailer anyway.  It was well used.

Now we had a 24’ El Car.  Oh My God, this was a mansion.  I felt like I was the richest girl around.  It had a bathroom where you could sit on the toilet (yep it had a toilet, no more outside stinky privies) and shower and a little bitty sink.  You had to mop it out after a shower so you didn’t track in the trailer.  Do you think I cared—Not one little bit. Wow, did I feel rich?  You bettcha!

Not long after buying that trailer we had an accident.   I believe we had just pulled into a town in Kansas and dad was blocking up the trailer and we kids were really hungry.  Mom told us to go in the trailer and pop some popcorn to hold us over.

Ok, picture walking in the front door (by the way we had two doors now, yea) and just a little to your left is a bar that protruded past the stoves right side.  And the bar had drawers facing inside the kitchen area pulling out in front of the stove.  To pop popcorn then, you had to have lard and of course a pan and lid.  But you also had to have fire AND a spoon.

My oldest brother was in front of the stove and he pulled the top drawer out of the bar to get a spoon for the lard.  None of us realized the stove had jiggled out while we were traveling just enough to have the drawer hit the oven knob which turned it on. When brother struck the match it blew up.  Mom took him to the doctor and was given some salve to put in his eyes.  Dad didn’t believe in doctors, but didn’t say anything this time.  My arms and legs were burnt or scalded red and we kept lotion on them.  My little brother was only hurt because we ran over him getting out.  

I remember when we left there we were looking out the back window and watching the trailer separate from the frame when we’d hit a bump.  You could almost see the legs of the couch.  When dad saw what we were looking at, I believe he got rid of that trailer.

Actually, I’m getting the cart before the horse.  We lived in that little trailer for a long time before we got the 24 footer.  So, I’ll be going into some of those travels next.

We’ll continue these travels in the next blog.  Until then, friends, be safe and happy, it’s a great big world out there so smile.  I look forward to sharing with you again. In the meantime watch for my ebook

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