Greetings from beautiful Ohio!
How very nice to be home again! In spite of the heat! Isn't it amusing, how we give the Weatherman a real personality, with a personal grudge against us. Down in Texas I loved everything but the weather, and, believe me, I did plenty of griping about the heat. To add to my torment Virgil, who made me go, kept writing about the delightfully cool weather in Cleveland. Never so nice and cool as this summer. When I came home, my relatives said, "You didn't need to bring Texas climate with you." As you probably know, Cleveland has been breaking all records for heat. 102 deg. here Friday. And just when two of our favorite people came to see us - Merle and Marjorie (Lemon) Deemer. *** Now it is Monday morning, and the Deemers are back at Point Pleasant - with an aging couple and a lively two-year-old as extra impedimenta. Whenever Virgil has a vacation week, he gravitates toward Saltsburg as unerringly as if he had been born and raised here. This is naturally "home" to me. We know Dianne will love it long before the week is out. We expect to go to the Fair, ride the Merry-go-'Round, and do all sorts of things. Would you like to travel a bit with me? The enjoyable part of this rocking-chair travel is the comfort with which you may visit various places.
I asked the Greyhound agent to route my journey home over a different course, so that I might visit as many Y.W.C.A.'s as possible. The home route led through Texarkana, Memphis, Nashville, Louisville, Ky., and Cincinnati. My dear sister and her son-in-law, Wesley, (than whom there is no finer) drove me to Longview, Texas, 30 miles northeast of Hawkins, to take the bus. Had there been time, we would have driven around east by Rilgore, the largest oil field in the world, in point of production. Even from the highway we could see the latticed towers, that, in spots, actually touch each other at the base. By the way, Tyler, Texas, 23 miles south of Hawkins, is the center of the greatest rose-growing gardens in the world. This fall they will have their annual Rose Festival, which must be a sight to see. I had hoped to see some rose gardens from the air. But it was so dreadfully hot that Saturday afternoon, we went to a picture show, to cool off, and when we came out, it was dusk. That last red glow from sunset was deepening to blue-black as Bernie's four-seater Navion took to the air, and we circled over Tyler. It was a beautiful and thrilling ride - flawlessly smooth. We climbed at 120 miles per hour to a height of 2200 ft., and there we travelled at the small pace of 150 miles per hour - compared to the jet planes of today. It was great fun to look down on the city lights - bright diadems on the velvet darkness. The lights came on the city tennis courts and a baseball diamond. The moving chain of headlights along the highways was a pretty sight. One thrilling sight that was sad to behold was a lumber yard on fire. Due to water shortage there were only chemicals to fight the fire, which gained appalling headway. We passed the burning embers on the drive home.
Now, the bus ride seems tame indeed - and terribly rough, compared to the airplane. The Greyhound does not pass through Longview. If you want to feel like puppet on a spring, just ride the Trailways Bus in northern Texas. We changed in Texarkana for one just as rough. We reached Memphis at 6:55 a.m. Monday - exactly 12 hours from Longview. I visited the "Y" at Memphis, just to learn all I could about it. The Y is old, but the personnel - at least the two gracious ladies that I talked with - are outstanding. They have no residence there, but are planning a beautiful building in the near future. The new, air-conditioned, Greyhound from Memphis to Nashville was a boon indeed. Only at rest and lunch stops were we aware of the great heat; it was evidenced by the sight of cattle, wading deep into ponds and lakes, seeking relief from heat and flies. For another story I must tell you about Nashville and the beautiful home of General Andrew Jackson, seventh President of the United States. It is called "The Hermitage," and I walked three-quarters of a mile (each way) in the Tennessee sun so that I might tell you about it. I assure you it was worth the effort.
For this week I do not say good-by, but hello, for I hope to see a good many of you this week - especially at the Thursday Fair.
In joyful anticipation,
Your old home town gal,
Florence B. Taylor
Next - 9/16/48 - IN THE WILDERNESS
By-Ways Table of Contents