My mother enjoyed traveling. When she was a young woman, she took a train from her home in Decatur, Georgia, to New York City, with her friend, Blanche Reynolds. They went to see “Oklahoma” on Broadway. This must have been sometime around 1943. I still have the album of records that she bought from the show. It looks like a book, with pages of vinyl records filled with the tunes from the production.
That wanderlust spirit never left my mother, even though her mobility decreased over the years. She suffered from post-polio syndrome, which eventually left her unable to stand for long periods or walk for any kind of distance. She was a mean scooter driver though! When her grandson, Cary, went to Chicago to attend Northwestern University, she meant to go visit. I accompanied her on the grand adventure.
Cary pushed her wheelchair all around downtown Chicago. We went to the Bean, rode on the L, and went to the top of the Sears Tower. In the bar at the top of the tower, Cary and Memama both had her favorite drink, a whiskey sour, to celebrate his being 21. Occasionally, she got pretty tired and needed to take a break, but she loved sharing her grandson’s big city with him.
The love for adventure never left my mother. She was evidence that advancing age doesn’t take away the passions of the youth. She needed more help in going places and more encouragement in ramping up for a trip. Once on the journey, she rode the wave like a champion.
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