Honeymoon Journal of Patricia and Charles Craig Dawson — 1950 —


Post by LouDawson.com blogger | September 11, 2020      
Patricia Dawson at White Sands National Park, honeymoon road trip 1950.

Patricia Dawson at White Sands National Park, honeymoon road trip 1950.

April 14, 1950 [this is correct wedding date, it was Friday]
We were married at 11:00 am, at the Community Church, Mountain Lakes New Jersey, by Reverend Pancake. Wally and C.J. Mills stood up for us. Sally Dawson was also there. We had luncheon at the Wayside, and were surprised by Uncle Nick [brother of Louis Dawson 1] and Marion Dawson. Arrived at the Hotel Easton, in Easton, Pennsylvania, at 3:00 pm, in time for an old lady’s convention of some sort. Sent telegrams to all the family. Called Bob Loughlin, he wouldn’t believe it was us, married!

Charles Craig and Patricia Dawson, Community Church, Mountain Lakes New Jersey, 1950.

Charles Craig and Patricia Dawson, Community Church, Mountain Lakes New Jersey, 1950.

Leaving home.

Leaving home.

Congratulations telegram.

Congratulations telegram — the email of 1950.

April 15
We left Hotel Easton at 11:00 after a leisurely breakfast in bed — coffee, orange juice and toast. Took a walk in Easton, fascinating city, all the merchants were selling their wares in the square. We ate lunch in Harrisburg Pennsylvania, at the Pickwick Tavern. The lunch was our dinner for the day. Took the Pennsylvania Turnpike, which was lots of fun — about 120 miles. Ate supper in a clean grill, then spent night at the Roof Garden Motel in Somerset. To bed early!

Luxury digs, soon it would be car camping.

Luxury digs, soon it would be car camping.

April 16
Up at 7:00, prune juice for breakfast at the same grill. On our merry way again at 8:00. Went through the soft coal district at about 9:00. Around West Newton, lovely scenery along the winding road. Lot’s of abandoned oil wells. Stopped for lunch just outside Cambridge. Drove on mile of beautiful red-brick road. Ate dinner outside of Indianapolis (Rt. 40). Slept at terrific motor court Shamrock Motel. Two rooms, bath also and an enclosed garage. Turned in early, we were very impressed.

April 17
Got up about 8:00, beautiful day, very warm. After breakfast at Buckley’s we were on the road again. Stopped and bought groceries. Ate a delicious and relaxed meal in someone’s cornfield in Illinois. Drove for miles on the damnedest bumpy brick road we could possibly find. Finally on pavement again. About 1:15 we hit bad roads again. This for 10 miles. We ate supper outside of St. Louis, very fine. Drove until 10:00 and stopped at a nice sleeping place, Vesta Courts, lovely room and bath.

April 18
Woke at 7:00, at at a cafe on the road. Went through Oklahoma City and saw many oil wells — quite a sight. Beaut of a day. Stopped at noon and had lunch, cooked soup and had ham sandwiches. On the road again at 12:30.

At 1:00 Craig stopped and put stuff in the radiator because it began to get red hot! When we got to Texas, it was open plains and lots of cattle. We stopped in Amarillo and bought groceries for tonight. Stopped at state park in New Mexico and cooked supper: hamburger, potatoes and lima beans. Got to Roswell and called the Kaufmans, visited, and then spent the night in tourist cabins.

Charles Craig brewing up.

Charles Craig brewing up.

April 19
Got up about 9:00 ans were were in town at 10:30. Had breakfast at the Kaufmans. Then Mrs. Kaufman took Craig and I all over the town and we had a terrific time. We ate lunch with them, then went to Pat and Jack Patersons’ ranch. Had a wonderful dinner at the Kaufmans, then went out for the evening with Gloria and her beau. Got to bed about midnight, Stayed at the Kaufmans and slept well. Had a knock in car fixed in Roswell.

April 20 (Roswell to Carlsbad)
Up at 8:00, good breakfast, said good by to the Kaufmans and on our way again. We arrived at Carlsbad in time to take the 12:15 tour. We got some pictures. The caverns are the most fascinating place we have ever been to. It was very beautiful and we were impressed. We left the caverns at 4:00 for Lincoln National Park. Bout steaks for supper and had the radiator flushed, which was unsuccessful. We stopped for the night about 9:00, it was DARK! Had steak for supper, got to bed about ten — very cold — nothing fancy about sleeping in the car.

Roadside coffee brew in the windy southwest desert.

Roadside coffee brew in the windy southwest desert.

April 21
Got up about 7:00 after a rather achy night. But had slept well. Had coffee and a can of V8 for breakfast. Then off for White Sands.

White Sands was really white. We had to keep our sunglasses on and we could see the sand from miles away as we drove in. Tonight we are staying in Gila National Forest Camp Ground, at 8,000 feet, just below the gap [most likely Aeroplane Mesa Campground]. Had hamburgers, potatoes, peas and peaches. To bed at 9:30.

We drove a primitive mountain road for miles to get here [probably HWY 59, 61, then 22, Loco Mountain Road]. There was a sharp drop along the side of the road and some time on both sides. I just love high places!

April 22
Woke at 5:30 and on the road at 6:00. Stopped for breakfast at 9:00 in Silver City. Drove over miles of dusty dirt roads. Stopped for lunch in Apache National Forest. Got to Petrified National Forest at about 3:00. Walked around for a while then got a tourist cabin. We took baths, and both washed up good. Feels great. Took off for the Painted Desert so we could see it at sunset. Had a nice dinner then did lots of wash. To bed in a real bed. We bought gifts for Ginger, Mom, Nanna, Greg and Pete. Craig got me a cute little bug.

Patricia examining petroglyphs.

Patricia examining petroglyphs.

April 23
Stopped at Walnut Canyon National Monument. We saw interesting cliff dwellings. We arrived at our campsite, Townsend, about 5:00. Cleaned out the car and then had stew for dinner [Dinty Moore no doubt]. Was good. Began to get cold about 7:15 so we got in the car, to bed about 8:00. “Early to bed early to rise.”

She sleeps.

She sleeps.

She rises!

She rises!

April 24
Up at 8:00 — packed car — can’t get rid of the dust. Had breakfast and then off to the forest again. Our wash didn’t dry (hung it in the car). We discovered that our money is dwindling rather fast. Went to the Petrified Forest and got a really good look at it all. Craig bought me my wedding present, a beautiful sterling silver Indian bracelet. We ate lunch on the road (that is, along the side of it).

April 25
Quite a restless time last night. Was very cold — the water bag froze. We got up about 7 and Craig cooked oatmeal and coffee. Was very good. Sun began to warm us up.

Got to Sunset Crater at 9:30, took 1 1/2 hour to climb and return. God what a climb, too ten pounds off both of us. Got our shoes full of cinders. Such fun anyway.

Next the Wupatki Ruins, consult our pictures, they were very interesting.

Got to the Grand Canyon at 2:45. We drove to the Village and got a cabin without windows, no water — but a light bulb and a big soft brass bed. Just a box, $2.50 a day.

Took a walk and went to the Hopi House. Browsed and saw some Indians dance. Was very interesting. Came back to our cabin and had baked beans and asparagus. Wonderful when you can live on love!

Tailgating, probably New Mexico.

Tailgating, probably New Mexico.

April 26
Slept well — up at 8:00, Craig cooled breakfast — oatmeal, coffee. We went to the store, took some things to laundry and got ice for the ice box. At 11:00 we went to a lecture, Kolb Brothers. It was very interesting, all about their trip down the Colorado River. After we fixed our lunch and drove out to Havasupai Point. It was the dustiest drive we have had yet. The dust on the road was about two inches thick. The drive took about two hours. Both had showers before dinner. Had to pay a quarter to get clean, but it was worth it. Had fricassee chicken and noodles for dinner. We took a walk, had a soda, and went to bed about 9:30.

Charles Craig was already a camping expert, note the hand made boxes and the early Coleman style petrol stove.

Charles Craig was already a camping expert, note the hand made boxes and the early Coleman style petrol stove.

April 27
Got up about 8:00 and had trouble with the stove — finally got the oatmeal on. Got stuff for lunch and went out to Hermits Rest and found a place to eat, on the rim of the canyon. Took a sun bath. Picked up laundry and got the pictures, they are a riot. Went jewelry shopping, bought earrings and a belt buckle set for Craig.

Had stew for supper and then began working on the car. We will leave at about six in the morning. Went to bed about 8:00.

P.S. Saw the Hopi Indians dance at the El Tovar Hotel.

April 28
Up at 5:00 — cold as all getout — someone was pounding on our door, wanted a ride but no soap. Craig turned on the stove to warm us up and cooked oatmeal and coffee (something different for a change).

Car all packed and were were on the road at 6:15; like winter in the morning but gets hot about 10:00. Stopped outside Flagstaff about 8:30 for a grease job. Craig shaved.

Made good mileage, drove and drove. Craig cooked the supper, baked beans, while I drove. He held the stove on his lap to keep it from splling. We were going about 65-70. Stopped in a garbage dump to eat and threw half of dinner away — it was awful. We will drive all night so Craig fixed the back seat, room for one of us to stretch out.

April 29
It is five in the morning. I drove first, for two hours, then Craig drove for two hours. We took turns sleeping in the back seat. Wasn’t bad. We made almost 1,000 miles yesterday and this early morning. We stopped in Oklahoma City and had a bite — both of us feel like H—. In Henrietta we found that we had a leak in the fuel line. Wasted time while that was fixed. Had lunch on the road. Got to Little Rock about 3:00, but couldn’t find a good place to stay. Stopped and bought groceries. Got to Forest City, Arkansas at about 5:30 and stayed at Carl’s Court. We both got good and clean, fixed our supper then got to bed about 8:00 (the NoDoze finally wore off).

Motel post card.

Motel post card.

April 30
Up at 8:30 — had some juice and packed the car, got going at about 9:30. We both feel rested. Stopped in West Memphis, Tennessee and got breakfast, and Craig got ice for the icebox.

Drove until 8:00, reached Chattanooga and got a cabin on the east side. We began preparing supper then noticed a sign prohibiting cooking. The hot food was good. To bed about 9:00.

We came into Chattanooga down a winding road. All we could see were lots of lights and low-slung clouds.

May 1
Welcome May! Arose from our uncomfortable bed at 2:45 am, on the road at 3:30. Stopped in Cleveland Tennessee at 4:00 for coffee. It began to get light at 4:30 — passed a beautiful lake and dam at about 5:00. We changed our watches to Eastern time. Still a low overcast.

Passed through country in Tennessee that could pass for the badlands out west. All vegetation here has been destroyed by fumes from the copper refinery.

Spent the whole morning going through the lovely country. Found the Parkway at Asheville, North Carolina, it was closed so we had to drive 50 miles more before we hit it.

Stopped at Roanoke, Virginia and had a quickie burger etcetera. Didn’t take the Skyline Drive because it was hard to make time on the curves in the dark.

Got a place to stay outside of Charlotte for the night. Craig called Nick Dawson, they are on Daylight Savings Time so we lose another hour.

May 2
Up at 7:30 — out at 9:45. Lousy day again — rain and more rain. Had breakfast and then took off for the final push. Lived on hamburgers and milk shakes all day. Got to Nick Dawson’s at 4:00 — felt good to walk again. Had a nice dinner, a real one for a change. Craig’s aunt Helen, from Hackettstown NJ, arrived soon after we did. We got to bed about midnight. Tomorrow: home sweet home!

May 3
Up fairly early. Slept good. Terrific breakfast then played canasta all morning. Had lunch and left at 2:30. We hope we have a house when we get home. Got home at 7:00, bringing the sun with us. Great to see everyone — Dad and Mom Pillsbury expected us and had dinner for us. The Scotts came over, and Nanna Lou. We had a real party, Wally Mills and C.J. arrived too. There were about six gifts for us. Craig called Dad [Dawson] and Bobbie — we have a date with them next Wednesday. They have some wonderful gifts for us too. Got to bed late — very tired but very happy. Many, many thing ahead of us tomorrow——!

THE END — Patricia P. Dawson, 1950

Patricia Dawson signature - 1950.

Patricia Dawson signature – 1950.

Patricia's father Franklin Pillsbury pops the bubbly, probably the engagement party.

Patricia’s father Franklin Pillsbury pops the bubbly, probably the engagement party.

Wedding announcement.

Wedding announcement.

More from what's probably the engagement party.

More from what’s probably the engagement party.

Some of Craig and Patricia's best times.

Some of Craig and Patricia’s best times together.



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