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Piling into the car for a camping trip or other vacation became a family
ritual in the 50s and 60s with the kids endlessly wondering and often
saying "Are we there yet?" These vacations produced memories
for parents and children across generations. To reminisce on these irreplaceable
times, KVIE public television presents Are We There Yet?
If you grew up in California in the 50s and 60s, you probably remember
the Big Orange Drive-In, the old Nut Tree, and the Milk Farm. In this
new special produced by KVIE, take a trip down memory lane to some of
your favorite vacation spots. From Yosemite to Yellowstone, Disneyland
to Death Valley, relive family road trips through old home movies and
interviews with the people who took them.
The popularity of the home movie camera coincided with the post-war
baby boom and the advent of the station wagon. The interstate highway
system made it easy for young families to hit the road and they did
so in earnest, preserving their vacation memories in canisters of eight-millimeter
Elk Grove resident Phyllis Miller, Communications Manager for the Sacramento
Area Council of Governments, recalls wistful memories such as when a
giant bee flew in her family's car window, wreaking havoc in the backseat,
and road trips to visit relatives in the Midwest.
Bill Mallard, a car lover and docent of Sacramento's Towe Auto Museum,
as he explains why road trips gained popularity following World War
Members of Sacramento's Slakey family (of the Slakey Bothers plumbing
and heating supply business) relate funny stories about traveling by
station wagon in a car stuffed with eight little kids.
The long-time handyman for the Milk Farm, Larry Simmons, reminisces
about the once popular roadside restaurant, now nothing more than a
cement slab along Highway 80.
Roseville resident Marie Diaz tells her harrowing tale of being plucked
from the icy waters of the rushing American River after a family rafting
trip goes bad.
Ed and Elinor McConnell of Yuba City show us their way of staying cool
in the day when cars didn't have air conditioning.
Bruce Ferris from Roseville's REI store shows us how old-fashioned
camping gear compares with the new, high-tech models.
Davis engineer Paul Moller relates how he was so enamored with hummingbirds
as a boy that he has spent the past 30 years building a flying car modeled
after the swift little birds and says his "sky car" will change
road trips forever.
Alicia Arong from Stockton remembers the first trip to Disneyland with
Raoul Mora, an artist from Stockton, had his face pressed to the glass
on road trips as a boy. He now paints valley landscapes from memories
of those trips.
Find out what happens when bears break into a car, a whitewater rafting
trip goes bad, and the tide comes in - way in - to a beachfront campsite.
Mystery spots, drive-through trees, flat tires, no air conditioning,
overheating radiators: the 1950s and 60s were an age of some inconvenience
but also an age of innocence and a whole lot of fun.