A week or so after my return from Korea, my wife and I consigned the care of our infant son to my parents and headed toward Niagara Falls for what we called our second honeymoon. We had been planning it for a long time. The first honeymoon, though wonderful in its way, was somewhat skimpy, and we knew that it might be a very long time before we had such an opportunity again. We were right.
We were in a brand-new automobile, the first I could call my own, and we were as happy and carefree as larks. The world was at peace, we were very much in love, and it seemed that the Good Lord was smiling on us in a special way.
Ann Ready to Travel
The first night we spent in Williamsburg, Virginia, and the next day we toured the old colonial capital. Late the following afternoon we motored on to Richmond and checked into a nice motel on the city’s outskirts. That evening we drove to a nearby drive-in theater and watched the newly released movie Rear Window starring Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly. Most young people today have never experienced a drive- in theater, but they were quite popular in those times.
The following morning we drove on to Washington, DC, and visited with an Army chum, Donald Wisdom, and his wife Margaret. They entertained us royally. Over the next two days we got to see a lot of the capital city, but the Washington traffic was a nightmare for me. I told Ann I would never live and drive in an area like that. Never say never! Little more than two years later I was living and driving in the Washington suburbs.
Ann in Washington
Departing D.C., we drove on to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and had a guided tour of the battlefield. It was of special interest to me because my grandfather Jordan had fought and been wounded there. We had an opportunity to see the place where his regiment had organized for that fateful charge on July 3, 1863.
Ann at a Gettysburg Monument
Leaving Gettysburg in the afternoon, we spent the night in the small town of Duncannon, Pennsylvania. There were few superhighways those days, and we spent most of our time on roads that would now be considered secondary. That evening in Duncannon we went to an indoor theater and saw Man With a Million starring Gregory Peck, who was working alongside a mostly British cast. It was a very enjoyable movie based on a Mark Twain story that I read as a boy.
The next day we drove on to Niagara Falls. We spent two or three nights in the area and got to see the American Falls, Canadian Falls, ride the Maid of the Mist and experience all the usual tourist attractions. I took a lot of photographs, but they were all on 35mm slides, and I cannot seem to locate any of those I took at the falls.
Two days later we were on our way back home to our son, my parents and REALITY – job hunting, finding a place to live, and facing the fury of an Atlantic hurricane.*
Now, almost 67 years later, that honeymoon trip seems a beautiful dream.
Thank you, Lord, for the memories.
*Two weeks after our return from Niagara Falls, Carolina Beach and environs was struck by Hurricane Hazel, the most destructive storm to strike eastern North Carolina in a century.