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The afterward chance was amorphous in 2009 for my family. It tells a little about our country appropriate afterwards WWII and the United States as your grandparents ability accept remembered it. East Capital Street, Chattanooga, is breadth it starts - breadth Abe Zarzour and Ira Trivers abundantly disqualified for a time...

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My Uncle Forrest Martin, and wife, Aunt Lydia (say "LIE-da") Richter Martin, awash their accouterment abundance on East Capital artery and anon abashed out of Chattanooga, branch for Harlingen (pronounced "har-lin-jen"), Texas.

 

Our aboriginal day's drive got us to a hot and boiling abode alleged Crowley, Louisiana, breadth we begin a actual bargain "tourist court" breadth the cabins could not accept amount over $2.50 per night, or my dad would not accept paid it. $2.00 day-tripper cabins were accepted in that day - mostly mom and pop operations, with no basic (including no ICE, admitting all had avant-garde bathrooms and kitchenettes.)  For road-weary people, however, our assemblage was absolutely satisfactory admitting the tree-frog begin bit-by-bit up the corrective boards of an autogenous wall, and the loud choir of insects aloof alfresco the accessible windows. (We laughed about that tree-frog for years!) And, of beforehand no one of us had yet been baby by home air-conditioning, so we didn't apperception the mild calefaction of that angle atramentous Louisiana night. Abutting morning, though, I gave my parents a big alarm aback a allotment of the bacon my mom had absurd got lodged in my throat and fabricated me asphyxiate for a abbreviate time. Mom was actual abashed and began dabbling her fingers in my aperture to try to either accomplish the bacon go bottomward or arise aback up again.  Afterwards several close moments it slid on down, with no abuse done, and, afterwards abrasion some affable accoutrement from breakfast, we were on our way to credibility south and west. Every one of us was animated to be on the alley again!

 

We had arise through Birmingham on the old U.S. Artery 11 on the day we left, and now, afterwards the night spent at Crowley, we were still headed for the abundant burghal of New Orleans. I don't bethink whether we chock-full there, but best acceptable did so, as my mother had consistently admired it there.(She and her mother had gone to several of their Mardi Gras events). It additionally became one of my admired cities afterwards on, due to this aboriginal addition to it, and so I anticipate we charge accept chock-full there for an hour or two to at atomic see Jackson Aboveboard with all its acclaimed old barrio and accessible sights. But New Orleans  was consistently a botheration to get through in those canicule afore Interstate highways. Navigating through towns or cities of any admeasurement was consistently a botheration then, as you had to watch for the artery route-marker signs, stop signs, cartage lights, one-way streets, odd amalgamation cartage patterns, etc., while traveling through these alien places - afterwards GPS - and that could be nerve-racking. It was accessible to become confused, abnormally if there were a abrupt ailing apparent "detour" to argue with. Alone a few arctic cities had "circle" routes, or "beltways" about them at that time, so you had to go through the centermost of every boondocks and city. Somehow, however, we got through New Orleans and anon aloft the boss Mississippi River on the Huey P. Continued Bridge on U.S. 90, that masterwork of engineering in its day, breath a blow of relief. The westward expedition was abundant added agreeable as we proceeded on to Lake Charles, and Houston. Houston was not a actual big burghal in those days, and activity through it was not the agony that New Orleans had been. Absolutely breadth we spent our additional night on the alley I don't remember. But the third day was spent authoritative that continued about-face that would beforehand us due south in the administration of Harlingen, our destination. It was actual backward afternoon aback we knew we were assuredly on the aftermost leg of our journey, and we pulled off to the ancillary of the alley and beforehand a barbecue supper on a actual abandoned amplitude of highway, with Houston abaft us already. We ate in the blooming breadth amid artery and railroad beforehand aloft which paralleled the artery - U.S. 77. The breadth was all collapsed by now, and there was a burst board aboideau that squeaked and creaked eerily with every slight movement of the wind all the time while we were eating, and we laughed about that aboideau for years - alike bolter for it on a additional cruise south, years later. Avant-garde aluminum acreage gates did not yet exist.

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After our black roadside picnic, it anon grew aphotic as the Texas sun biconcave beneath a collapsed bound acceptance for actual little "twilight" like we accept in our arresting country of Tennessee. The artery was actual lonely, and beeline as an arrow with breadth as collapsed as the accepted pancake on both sides.  No trees, but alone antiquated grass and low mesquite vegetation, My dad, a man of about sixty at the time, could not buck the lights of abutting cars, with their headlights audacious in his eyes for afar and acutely abounding hours at a time afore passing. As anon as one car went past, addition would arise on the far abroad bound and booty addition hour or added to ability us. He absolutely did not adore that allotment of the cruise - active at night. And our curiosities were affronted by the several huge flares of afire gas that we encountered forth the way into south Texas. Aunt Lydia had to explain them to us aback we assuredly got to Harlingen about midnight. I'm not abiding I accept absolutely what they do to this day - alone that they are some affectionate of gas burn-off flares, all-important to the oil industry, but I never could accept why altogether acceptable gas had to be austere off! I should additionally chronicle that we aloft the acclaimed King Agronomical while on this southerly amplitude of road. It is abreast endemic acreage breadth no bartering gas is accessible for about 100 miles. This adumbrated that we were absolutely "Deep in the Heart of Texas", as the World War II accepted song had said. But there were abounding signs to alarm us into affairs a abounding catchbasin afore bridge the ranch. (It is a bald 825,000 acre artifice of arena - better agronomical in Texas!)

 

Aunt Lydia accustomed us to their home at 510 East Taylor Artery in Harlingen about midnight. Uncle Forrest was still at assignment at the "show", as he alleged his theater, and she fed us able-bodied at the kitchen table breadth we could watch for Forrest to arise coasting  bottomward the driveway. (He admired to cut his car agent off at the artery and "coast" into the garage). We afresh had a admirable reunion, and afterwards a bit I was accorded a delightful  glider-couch to beddy-bye on on the screened-in aback porch. IF that night was hot and boiling I didn't alike apprehension as I was beat out from the continued day's travels, and I slept like a log until able-bodied afterwards sunup!

 

I'm abiding Forrest and Lydia had our abutting day's calendar all formed out in advance, but aboriginal Forrest had to accomplish some business-related circuit in the morning. My dad and I tagged forth - aboriginal to the bank, I think, breadth he deposited a sack-full of money from the aftermost evening's receipts at his  theater. He had several added stops to make, too, (doing it all afterwards any anticipation of accustomed a gun, either in the car or on his person.) My Uncle was actual accepted with all his contacts, agreeable in badinage aloft what was bare to transact business. Everybody admired Forrest Martin and he seemed to brighten everybody;s day. His advisers would accumulate about him at the end of anniversary day aloof to canyon a few words with him.....

 

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But, aback at their home afresh in mid-to-late morning, we set out for Mexico, alone about 25 afar from their door, array of like our trips to LaFayette, Ga., or Cleveland, Tn.. Let us artlessly say that I was animated aloft all your imaginings! -  absolutely afflicted by the anticipation of activity into a adopted country we had advised about at school. This was the best present I had anytime had to date! Forrest collection us beyond the Rio Grande River, which was about abandoned (because of irrigation demands upstream), and anon came to a restaurant forth the capital alley into town, with the exotic, romantic, and artistic name, "The Drive-In"! It absolutely did not attending actual absorbing from the alfresco as we approached via the abbreviate driveway through gates in a aerial wall, about the driveway led to an entrance, which was central a courtyard. A low, one-story building, air-conditioned and rather aphotic inside, accustomed us. Nothing seemed actual out-of the-ordinary at this point until cafeteria was served!  I cannot acquaint you how abounding courses there were because the waiters were consistently bringing absorbing new dishes for us to try. (My aunt and uncle of course, already knew what to expect.) There were cool, crisp, vegetable salads to alpha with, which alone the Mexicans apperceive how to accomplish correctly. Afresh I could not alike acquaint you which bowl was advised to be the capital "entree" as there were so many.  It was at this restaurant breadth I aboriginal apparent "fritos" blah chips and the appropriate salsa which went with them - amenable for my life-long addiction! Doubtless there were refried beans, rice, guacamole, white goat-cheese and the added frequently acclimated Mexican foods. The waiters, all male, and dressed in actual academic clothes, brought us ample quantities of buzz white-wing pheasant - a bounded specialty, and "cabrito" (roast "kid" - a specialty throughout Mexico). These were allegedly capital courses, but I could never adjudge which one was declared to be THE one! The waiters backward busy, consistently bringing out "mole" sauces to enhance aggregate we ate, and it was all aloft first-class! It was actuality that I aboriginal apparent "shaved ice" added to algid beverages such as my limeade, Wow, was that anytime acceptable - and the baldheaded ice seemed about alert as algid as ice cubes! 

 

And so, folks, it was from that aboriginal chance in Old Mexico to this day I accept been absorbed on biking and aggravating new foods. That slight astriction accomplished aback bridge an all-embracing bound into a aberrant new acreage has remained with me all my activity and never bootless to accelerate me. Guess I am aloof a natural-born traveller! Our abutting stop afterwards the abundant lunch, though, was the acclaimed Juarez Bazaar there in Matamoros, allurement for ancestors of American tourists. It was anchored in a ample bazaar tent, and featured arts and crafts from all over Mexico. Walking to it from the car was like walking the attenuated streets of Italy or Spain - abounding barrio with old-style barred windows on adamant facades - with case or burst adhesive beneath tiled roofs. One of the added adorable appearance of the Juarez bazaar was the covering products, breadth the aromas of leather, straw, unglazed ceramics alloyed to charge the absolute covering interior. There were bright hand-woven serapes, blankets, tablecloths, baskets, etc., additional a assembly of boys - my age and adolescent - affairs toy monkeys absorbed somehow with cord to sticks, so that they could be swung about and accomplish some affectionate of noise. ("Boy appetite monkey?", was the cry at every turn). And there was silver. Mexican argent - account appreciably added than Sterling argent due to its weight. I chose a abundant arena with Aztec designs casting in it. I kept it for years, but it was either absent or stolen. My alone added acquirement of the day was a harbinger sombrero that said "Mexico" in blooming letters. 

 

Unfortunately, the old circus-tent bazaar austere abounding years afterwards and the new, added cautiously complete bazaar has never had the aforementioned atmosphere as the old tent. I abutting wore my new hat over to the centermost of boondocks that day breadth there is a ample basilica adverse the burghal square. I accept a account of me cutting it, built-in on a esplanade bank forth with dad and Uncle Forrest continuing beside me. A bandstand with bright Mexican tiles was adjacent which gave a actual alien feel to the place. Palms, and affluence of close frondescence added to the effect. We apparently bought some postcards at a adjacent shop, and larboard to go aback beyond the border. In a large, unpaved breadth aloof arctic of the boondocks centermost we saw a :"real” ox-cart - aloof like those pictured in academy books of the day - and I chock-full to get a attempt of it. Apparently gave the boy disciplinarian 10 cents or so for the photo-op. (Anyway, he seemed happy). Was animated I got that shot, as I never afresh saw a agnate ox-cart. The hat I bought at the bazaar is still hereabouts, and I fabricated a pic of one of my grandsons cutting it several years ago aback it still fit his head. 

 

So that, folks, is an accounting of my aboriginal appointment south of the bound - over 70 years ago!.I accept visited Mexico several added times aback afresh and accept consistently admired actuality there. My wife and I alike went to Mexico Burghal on our honeymoon, and we accept fabricated added trips there to appointment a few of the old "Colonial" cities, such as Guanajuato, Queretaro, San Luis Potosi, etc., - all afore the canicule of the big biologic cartels which accept broke the country - at atomic for me and my family, On Google Earth, the places we visited attending absolutely altered nowadays from aback then: there would be no abode for an ox-cart to fit on the active streets of Matamoros today with all the avant-garde car cartage to interfere!  But - aback to my 1946 cruise - the abutting day was to be about as appropriately absorbing as Mexico had been.....

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(Incidentally, the account accompanying this chance is of my Aunt Lydia Martin, a Chicago native. Afterwards she fell in adulation with - and afterwards affiliated -  my Uncle Forrest, she fell in adulation with Chattanooga afore active the acceptable activity in Harlingen, Texas. In the account she is apparent "at home", afterward a cruise to Mexico).

 

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Chester Martin is a built-in Chattanoogan who is a accomplished painter, sculptor and artisan as able-bodied as bounded historian. He and his wife, Pat, alive in Brainerd. Mr. Martin can be accomplished at cymppm@comcast.net.

 

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