Archive for Thursday, August 19, 2010

Dirt road memories

August 19, 2010

Awhile back, we went to a 50th wedding anniversary of our cousins, Ray and Mary Ann, and it was so nice to meet and greet relatives we had not seen for a long time.

Many of our relatives came from Crawford County (Pittsburg) and we were talking about how good the roads are now compared to the 1920s when my parents drove down there on dirt roads. The highway north of Kay Street in Lansing was brick as far as Eisenhower. Every thing south was dirt, all the way to Pittsburg.

I can remember my mom talking about one trip they took to visit my Uncle Bill and his family in Pittsburg. It was more than a half-day trip and my dad’s car had about six flat tires on the way. Can you imagine back then, the tires were not that great and each tire had to be repaired en route and pumped back up with a hand pump. No filling stations nearby. Needless to say my father’s patience was totally gone. After the sixth time when they were nearing their destination, he actually threw the jack into the nearby cornfield. My mom had to retrieve it.

The connection between Lansing and Pittsburg was the coalmines. My grandfather was a hoisting engineer at the mines in the Pittsburg area and moved to Lansing when the mine opened at the Kansas State Penitentiary, so there was family at both locations.

How things have changed. We are so spoiled with good highways and well built cars and tires. It doesn’t seem like such a long trip now.

It reminded me about an article written by my hero, Paul Harvey, titled “Dirt Roads.” In his article some of the things he mentioned was dirt roads built character and patience. You did not tailgate the car in front of you because you did not want a mouth full of dust or rocks hitting your windshield. He says that there was always extra springtime income, when the city dudes got stuck and you would hitch up a team and pull them out. You would earn a dollar and a new friend. He also said our young people were healthier because they got more exercise by walking with other kids, from whom they learned how to get along.

You can read this article on line by going to Google, and typing in Paul Harvey/dirt roads. Thanks, Paul.


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