Our next big trip was four weeks to the Kiwanis convention in Florida in 1967. We traveled to Mobile and went through the Bellingrath gardens then across the Florida panhandle and down to Miami. We actually camped on the beach at Ft Lauderdale. After the convention ended we went across Florida on Alligator Alley, through the Everglades to Naples and then turned north stopping at Ft Meyers for the night.
The next morning we stopped and bought a gallon of fresh squeezed orange juice and put it in the refrigerator in the trailer. We forgot to latch the door and that evening when we stopped for the night we discovered that the refrigerator door had come open; the gallon fell to the floor and emptied out all over the floor of the trailer. What a mess. Chip was able to drive some and relieved me on this trip, which made it a lot less stressful for me. We made a run by Atlanta and Stone Mountain battlefield on the way home. After leaving Atlanta, we did very little sightseeing and just headed for home.
In 1967 Tom went to the Scout Jamboree in Idaho. He met scouts from all over the world and he brought home all kinds of souvenirs. Tom was also in the orchestra at Thomas Jefferson playing violin. Tom had a lot of talent, he played FIRST chair in the school orchestra but I don’t think he ever really enjoyed playing. None of the children took to music. I told each of them it would be good to play some sort of instrument. Tom chose violin, Chip the guitar and Susie the piano. However, none of them really seemed to enjoy music. I also asked them to each chose some sport to be involved in. Tom was a swimmer. He had a beautiful natural stroke. Chip was a runner. When we lived at the farm in McKinney he would run 5 miles down toward town and then return 5 back to the farm. Susie was active in the drill team at Thomas Jefferson High School. The boys were active all through High School in the ROTC. Chip was Cadet Colonel in his senior year and Tom followed a couple of years later being Cadet Lt. Colonel in his senior year.
This was the year I bought a 1967 Plymouth for $3500 for Chip to go to school in. Tom bought this car when Chip left for SMU. Tom in turn sold it to Susan when he left for SMU. In Susie’s senior year she had a little accident in it and she went to work at a steak house as a waitress to pay for the damage. She claims to this day a car pulled out in front of her but to tell the truth I think she was putting on her lipstick while driving. When Susie left for SMU we sold the car, but it had done a good job for us.
Charlotte was still substitute teaching at Cary Middle School and she netted over $800. This helped a lot with our expenses. My salary as a middle manager at the Telephone Company was only $12,760. This was the year we formed Magna Enterprises, Inc. and put some of the real estate in it. We were still dividing our time living at Camelot and Willow Springs Farm. Chip graduated from Thomas Jefferson and entered SMU in September.
Photo of Bellingrath Gardens found here.
Aerial of Alligator Alley found here.
Photo of 1967 World Scout Jamboree badge found here.
Photo of 1967 Plymouth found here.