The theme for Week 39 is “Road Trip.” I love a good road trip! Have you ever taken an ancestral road trip? What did you discover? Maybe you have stories of an ancestor who took to the open road. Share the stories this week!
In 1973 while we were in graduate school, we received paid expenses for a National Research Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. The travel by car included my husband and daughter. A classmate of ours drove. We took I-71 to Cincinnati, I-73 to Louisville, I-65 to Nashville, I-40 to Huntsville/ Memphis, and I-59 to New Orleans. There wasn’t any MAPQUEST or the like. I didn’t remember if we even had a map. I guess we did. We would look for the sign for the next city.
At the time, traveling through the Southern US was challenging if you were not White. It was not safe. Driving at night was the worst. I remember going through Mississippi at night and almost running out of gas. I was terrified. On the trip down, we drove straight thru without trying to find a motel. I wish I had known about Traveler’s Green Book during that time. The Green Book originated by Victor Hugo Green, a postal employee from New York. It provided information on restaurants, lodging, gas stations, entertainment, and personal services to African Americans traveling the roads. We did make it back to Columbus safely.