Songkron day or Thai New Year 1972. The goal – get as many people wet as you can. It was a fantastic day and I loved the entire day and concept.
There were many things that were scary about picking up and moving 12,000 miles away. The first was riding in an airplane for 12 hours. The second was landing in Ireland, in a place we had never been before and while the language was the same the world was different. It was an eye opening experience. We had lunch in a pub our first day in Ireland and the server asked my father “The boy will have a stout?” It was a question for dad, and the first time in my life someone asked if I wanted a beer. Dad said “no.”
We also, in Dad’s first experience driving on the wrong side of the road ended up side swiping a car. I don’t remember if it was the policeman’s car or if the policeman was in the pub dad walked into to find out whose care it was. But I do remember him swiping the side of a parked car in his first international wrong side of the road driving experience.
Phoebe and me in front of the house on Dunstan Drive. This would probably be circa 1973 after we had gotten back from Bangkok. We moved into this house in 1968. We had lived at that point in Bloomington for two or three years. Our first residence was Hoosier Courts. I’ve mentioned that before. The second place we lived was an apartment in Tulip Tree.
This was the first house we had in Bloomington Indiana.
Off to the right of this picture was the neighborhood park. It was probably 5 acres in size. We had basketball and tennis courts at one end of the park. The other end was an open field and at the edges of that field there was a creek that ran alongside the park. That was the territory we played in all those years ago. It was huge expanse of area and we ran freely through all of it.
Inside our blue Mercury station wagon. This was the family do everything car for many years. The third seat folded down so you could use it for stowage. Dad had them install seatbelts in the 3rd seat. Even in 1969 when he got the car dad was a seatbelt believer.
I can remember getting into friends cars in the 1970’s and buckling my seatbelt. I remember parents and even my friends looking at me sometimes and some of them even asking me “Why are you wearing a seatbelt.” I am wearing a seatbelt because my dad told me to.
He in the long run was right about that. I guess in the end dad was right about a lot of things. The station wagon was the scene of some of Lynne, Barb and I most epic battles. Mom and dad would always say “Don’t make us pull this car over.” Or my personal favorite “don’t make us turn around.”
They tried everything over the years. As you can see Barb’s car seat was huge. But nothing stopped us from arguing, fighting and in the end being an all around trio of annoying car riders.