Thursday, September 20, 2012

Thematic Photographic: Retro

My favorite at the recent car show was this 1948 Greyhound Silverside, which was modified by a ship builder into a motor home in 1951.

I was flooded with memories as I thought about the bus rides in my past.

But first, enjoy this beautiful bus.

The owners were so kind to let complete strangers traipse through their home away from home.

It was marvelous.

This reminded me of many Greyhound bus rides in my childhood.  My mother and I would board the Greyhound in a nearby small town and ride to San Francisco.  What is now a 5 hour ride in a car would take, 7...8 hours?  Longer if it was the "local" rather than the "express."  But it was an economical way for us to travel, since my mother didn't like to drive her 1963 Chevy II Nova wagon great distances. For me, it was an adventure.  If I was lucky, we would get a bite to eat at the Post House Cafeteria at one of the bigger stations.  For a small town girl, the cafeteria was an exciting spread of choices.  But you can't spend more than $-.--!

I'd pretend we were going somewhere unfamiliar, rather than just my aunt's house.  Although San Francisco could be quite exotic for a pre-teen.  My aunt and uncle would meet us at the downtown bus station.  He was a magician at finding parking places, so we'd wait in front while he brought his beat-up station wagon around.  He knew the city better than any taxi driver and we would get a great tour on our way to their house.  Especially at Christmas, when he would take us through the neighborhoods with the best Christmas lights.

My aunt didn't drive, but she knew the city as well as her husband.  She could travel everywhere via San Francisco's Muni.  Market Street, the Cable Cars, Fisherman's Wharf, you name it, she could get us there.  My favorite Muni ride was to the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park.

A day or so later, my dad would come from the east bay to pick me up for my semi-annual visit.  Before we left the city, he'd take me to dinner at an international restaurant.  I was the first, if only, kid in my class to sit on the floor at a Japanese restaurant.  I also had Hungarian paprikash, French crepes, sweetbreads at a cafe du nord, and my first taste of snow peas on a lazy susan at a Chinese restaurant in Ghirardelli square.  We saw the Moiseyev Ballet, Mummenchanz, and the King Tut* exhibit.

I have to thank Greyhound for transporting me back to these wonderful memories.  If I'm ever in Hibbing, Minnesota, again, I'll visit the Greyhound Museum.

Thanks to Carmi at Written Inc. for this retro theme.

*That was a joke.  Here's a link to the current King Tut Exhibit.


Janet said...

LOVE this bus!!! The decor is just spectacular. And while I always thought those types of toilet seats were a bit looks amazing here! Might have to reconsider ;-)

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

That is one gorgeous, sleek machine. What a retro job!

Magaly Guerrero said...

Am I being to forward if I say that I love your toilet seat? lol

What a ride!

Alexia said...

What a beautiful bus! The fittings are great - thanks for posting this. It takes me back to my first trip to the US, in 1978. We were 18, and we had bought Greyhound passes which we could use anywhere over a period of 3 months... we saw so much, and learnt many, shall we say "interesting" facts about your country, and the people who ride the Greyhound buses.

Gilly said...

Great bus, or coach as we would say in the UK - looks all set for long journeys.

And I loved the toilet seat too!

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

I've been on only ONE Greyhound bus ride in my life (well, 2 if you don't count the round-trip aspect of it). Man oh man, I wish it had looked like this bus! (I probably wish it had smelled like this bus, too.)
Not only is the outside gorgeous, but the inside decor is fabulous!
I'm with everyone else -- that is an awesome toilet seat.

Your dad gave you some interesting adventures, too!

Jen on the Edge said...

That bus looks like a fun way to travel.

Carmi Levy said...

That is one of the loveliest coaches I've ever seen. Kudos to the owners for so painstakingly preserving what made it so memorable in the first place. I can't stop looking at it!

Loved your memories even more. It's amazing what we take with us from childhood as we become adults. You've got some amazing experiences tucked inside you, and I'm glad you shared them here.