BY-WAYS - 9/13/46 - The Move to California, Via Texas - Amarillo, Texas, Sept. 9

Greetings from Texas, dear Saltsburg friends!

And all other friends along the network. Funny thing about this traveling business. The farther from home you get, the more you think about the home folks. I have an idea that distance will only enhance the friendships. To the good friends I did not get to see on the flying trip to Saltsburg I can only say, "I'm sorry. I did my best. The loss is mine." If Virgil and I could have foreseen what this moving to California entailed, I'm afraid we would not have had the courage to go through with it. Luckily Estelle and Tommy bought a home, and moved in just ten days before we left for the coast. They bought all our electric appliances and some furniture. What we could not or would not sell they are storing for us. Estelle, our little tower of strength, is custodian of all that we hold dear. Our dearest treasure is not the Venetian water glasses that were my mother's, nor the quaint china dogs, family heir looms, over a hundred years old, that Mother Taylor gave me - but something brand new - only three months old. I would not have believed that a baby could so alter and sweeten our lives, so renew our faith in God's goodness, and solidify our purposes. She brings about a long-term planning. We must keep the family folk-lore and traditions for her sake. We feel impelled to keep the family escutcheon shining (as bright as we can) for her sake. All you fathers, mothers, and grand-parents know what I mean. It is our fondest hope that Mother and Dad, who love California, may come to us before long. It is our conviction that Tommy and Estelle and Dianne will join us inside of three years.

How about America the Beautiful? Across the fruited plain of Illinois and parts of Indiana, she is beautiful. We crossed Missouri by night, and know only that one of the nicest garage men in 48 states is stationed at Springfield, Oklahoma, with his endless acres of red clay soil, seems monotonous. We visited the beautiful Will Rogers Memorial at Claremore. Built of sandstone, with fine slate floors, it is simple and good, like Will Rogers himself. A full-length statue of the witty philosopher stands in the central room. Will Rogers, with the unruly lock of hair and the almost-shabby coat, and that smile on his homely face. The only inscription on the pedestal, "I never met a man I didn't like." Without boasting, without preaching, he followed the Great Commandment. We visited a dear old Cleveland friend in Oklahoma City. Five other Clevelanders were at her table when we got there shortly after noon on the 6th. But Isabel was in her element with twelve people around her dinner table that evening. We left at 10 o'clock that night, planning to drive all night. A slight knock in the motor warned us to "hole in" at Weatherford, Okla. Our dingy little hotel was a far cry from the swanky Deshler-Wallick, of Columbus, where we spent the first night, where I had a farewell visit with a precious friend. The garage man in Weatherford urged us on to Clinton; and the garage man in Clinton coaxed us on to Erick. The garage man in Erick flagged us on to Amarillo, bidding us not to go over 60 miles an hour. If you saw our old Hudson, you would see the funny side of that admonition. So here we are in Amarillo, tied up since Saturday evening with a cracked timing gear. The Hudson Service men of the Lone Star Motor Co. tackled the job this morning. We expect to get away by 3:30. In the meantime we have kept house in a charming bungalow apartment of the Bungalow Courts, on N. Fillmore St. Two bedrooms, bath, large kitchen with dandy Frigidaire, Magic Chef stove, telephone, porter, and maid service - all for $6 a day. Luckily I brought my Club Aluminum dutch oven, stew pans, and some silver ware. The porter dug up some dishes for us. We saved about $15 by doing our own cooking. Through the Red Cross Virgil Jr. got a two-day extension on his already-extended furlough. Of course we wonder how the Army manages to get along without Virgil. Seriously, I don't know how we would have managed without him. It seems that the American people still honor Uncle Sam's uniform, and through it we have received every courtesy and consideration (except in that elusive and abominable timing gear). I have griped plenty about our two boys' driving. But I take it all back after this trip.

If all goes well we will reach L.A. (and Knox) Wednesday evening - and then will sail on to Long Beach. We are forced to pass up the Grand Canyon and a side trip down to Las Cruces, but now we will be thankful just to reach our destination.

Sincerely yours,
Florence B. Taylor.
241 East Tenth St.,
Long Beach, Calif.

P.S. I meant to say, apropos of "America the Beautiful", that so far there is no state as beautiful as Pennsylvania.

Next - 9/20/46 - Amarillo TX
By-Ways Table of Contents