Tuesday, August 16, 2011

TRIPS - Bill's Bits

Some of my first trips that I can recall were usually with my Mother on a Greyhound-type bus.  It was similar to the big Greyhound Bus, but was called the Southwest Stage Bus Company. You could get on the bus in Jackson, Minnesota and stop at every town on it's way to Minneapolis. The bus was boarded at the Ashley Hotel's front curb and I believe it left at about 10:30 A. M. daily,

These bus trips with Mom were usually in the Fall, because we went up to Minneapolis, so my Mother could attend Teacher's meetings, also known as MEA, which stood for Minnesota Education Association and this was a yearly event where teachers could look over new textbooks and possibly learn new teaching methods, so they could be better teachers.

The fun part for me was the fact that we got to stay in a Hotel in downtown Minneapolis.  If memory serves me, I believe we stayed at a Hotel named the Vendome.  It was not real fancy, but it had a bathroom just down the hall from our room.  This was heaven, because we had no running water back home on the farm.

The teacher's meeting was Thursday, Friday, and till about noon on Saturday. That meant two nights in the Vendome Hotel and after the noon luncheon it was back on the bus for the long ride home

Depending on when you left would determine your arrival back home One bus arrived in Jackson at 8:00 P. M. and another at 10:30 P. M. Usually there was someone there to pick you up and take you home, but sometimes you would have to go into the Ashley Hotel to call home. Back then the phones were in a small phone booth and were coin operated and the opeator would tell you how much money to put in the telephone coin slot.

I looked forward to going on these trips with Mom, because there was an ""air of excitement" by going to the big city.

In later years, when I entered the teaching field, I ended up going to those same MEA teacher's meetings, only now it was by driving to them and trying to find a parking spot.  By then, I was married to my wife, Mae, and she was a teacher also, so we would attend the meetings together and that was nice.

In looking back over the years, those earlier times when I tagged along with my Mother to those meetings in Minneapolis are "cherised times" that I'll always fondly

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