Friday, April 20, 2012

Travel Trailers Then and Now

My Mother's oldest photo book contained photos from her teenage years. During those years she and her sister Elsie boarded in town to attend High School. Mother had started school when she was four years old, graduated from eighth grade at age twelve, and did the first year of high school by correspondence. The family's homestead was sixty miles from town, and traveling sixty miles was not as easy in the 1930s as it is today. When she was fourteen Mother started tenth grade in town.
Rose posing

My sister Terry had scanned the photos from those years, and gave each of her siblings a disc with the photos. When I decided to print out copies for myself (I like book form better then just going through pictures on the computer), I found a group I did not quite understand. My mother and her sister were posing beside what looked like a small shed, but the label on the pictures called it "mobile home." The next time we visited my Aunt Elsie, I asked her about it.

Boyce beside his car and trailer.
She told us that it was a travel trailer built by their brother Boyce, which he could take with him to various jobs. For a time he parked it by the house where the girls boarded. Elsie remembered that one summer Rose (our Mother) lived in it. I could absolutely see her doing that, as she was a woman who loved having her own nest--a trait she passed down to her five daughters.

Another thing Elsie remembered about this homemade travel trailer was that her older sister Vera stayed in it while awaiting the birth of her first child. At that time Vera and her husband lived in the general area of my grandparents' homestead--a long way to try to travel to the hospital when in labor.

I asked my aunt what was inside the trailer. The only thing she really remembered was a bed. There wouldn't have been room for much more, though Mother or Vera may have put in a little more for their stays.

The slide-out section is not slid out
in this photo.
What a difference today! My daughter's family has a lovely little travel trailer that they take to the mountains in the summer. It has a slide out section where the sofa is, which gives more floor space when it is parked. It has a tiny, but fully functional, bathroom. It has a kitchen stove, sink, and refrigerator--all small but functional. It has lots of built in storage, two bunk beds, and the sofa opens for another bed. All the comforts of home!

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