Every school year, the senior class would take a trip after graduation. Every year, the four classes would take turns selling food and drinks at the basketball games and holding raffles to raise money during the four years of high school.
Our class of six took one of the small buses, a driver and a sponsor and headed to the East coast. The first night we stayed at Rockaway Beach, Missouri which is east of Branson – as of that time there wasn’t anything at Branson. We toured Mammoth Cave in Kentucky, and on to Virginia to George Washington’s home and slave cabins. From there, on up to Washington D C. We went to all the memorials and museums in the area, as well as to the U.S. Senator’s chamber while they were in session. We had to sit in the balcony, and could not take our cameras in. As I remember, it looked like mass confusion and sixty-three years later it looks the same. We went out to the tomb of the unknown soldier and watched the changing of the guard, what a sobering site.
From DC we went to New York City, more museums, the Empire State Building which we went to the top and looking down all you could see for blocks were yellow cabs. One evening, we went to Times Square which was very crowded, but what I remember was a guy with no legs sitting on a small platform with small rollers and a small round tub tied to his body, begging for money. He had two small wooden paddles used to push himself around. I never forgot him after all these years, I knew he never gave up on life.
We went to Radio City Music Hall one night and saw the Rockettes dance. They entered the stage from below, up through the middle of the stage floor, dancing all the way. I never knew they made elevators for stages. The other act I remember was a man with a peg leg tap dancing.
Next we went to Niagara Falls, what massive volume of water. The guide said Marilyn Monroe had just made a movie there a few weeks earlier. From there, we drove across Canada to Detroit. I remember Canada being clean and the fence rows didn’t have weeds growing in them. In Detroit, we went to the Ford factory and watched them make glass from sand, it was fascinating. Next, on to Chicago to see the Don McNeal Breakfast Club radio show. At that time it was a popular radio show, and Don announced that the Latham, Kansas Seniors had made it there. When we were there the country act of Homer and Jethro was performing, with one wearing a red suit and the other had on a green suit, needless to say they were a comedy singing act and were good. We left Chicago and headed to Kansas City for our last stop before Latham. We were gone fifteen days — what a memory.