Post 2400: The Family Mystery
In the summer of 1957, when I was twelve, I had a wonderful experience. I went to camp. I'd never been to away from home before, much less a costly overnight camp for two weeks. But my parents suggested that I might like to do this, along with my good friend Esther. Apparently, they and Estie's parents worked this all out before telling the two of us.
Camp Indian Run was a Girl Scout property. Estie and I were in the Trail's End unit, along with Dina, Curly, and Squeak. My memory provides many details of our time together, things we discussed, things we did, things we wanted to do. As I said, it was a wonderful experience. I did not have a moment of homesickness during those two weeks from June 30 until July 13.
My parents were going to use those two weeks to take a trip to Florida. Since they would be on the road and not have access to mail, I was told to write letters to my Aunt Helen and they would phone her to have the letters read and then they would know how and what I was doing. A satisfactory plan for all.
This morning, my niece who studies genealogy and ancestry and family history of all kinds, sent a news-flash type of email indicating that in the early summer of 1957 my parents went to Havana.
Havana? Like Cuba? Images of Lucy and Desi arise . . . .
On the manifest for the S.S. Florida, my mother and father are listed (name, address, age, gender, marital status for my father; name and "same" for his wife) as having left Havana on July 4 and arriving in Miami on the 5th, traveling first class.
I never knew. My older sister never knew.
As a self-focused twelve-year-old, I wouldn't have been particularly interested in what my parents had to say about their vacation. After all, I was the one who had had the great adventure of my life. But surely I would remember if they spoke of Cuba. Surely there would have been photographs, souvenirs. Surely Bonnie would recall. I remember just two things of what was shared: First, that they went to greyhound races. Second, that while they were at a pier (apparently having a meal), my father gestured toward one of the many nearby pelicans and said, "That's what I want to come back as. A pelican." That's it.
It must be that they drove to Miami, a trip that would have taken three days, called Aunt Helen, taken a weekend jaunt to a foreign land, called Aunt Helen a second time (long distance calls were a great extravagance back then), and driven home. There would have been a couple of days before and after the excursion where they would have enjoyed the beach (and the greyhounds) and perhaps visited other Florida locations.
More than that, we'll never know.