Part of 1 trip from PA to MN in 1974
We leave our hostess’ house at 6:30 am the following day. Today is Sunday so there are not nearly as many cars on the road. This makes for less stressful driving conditions but it creates another problem. In Wisconsin, we can’t seem to find a gas station that is open. The gas gauge in the Chevy truck is on empty and we are forced to exit at Sparta, Wisconsin. As we are driving somewhat aimlessly around town, Daddy notices flashing red lights behind him.
“Sir,” says the patrolman, “I am stopping you because your truck looks overloaded.”
“It is just furniture and there is no way we can be over the weight limit,” Daddy assures him. “I think it just looks overloaded because of the slant from front to back that resulted from our way of stacking.” Daddy continues on in an effort to distract the patrolman from the back of our truck. “Can you tell us where to find gas? We are almost out.”
After poking his nose under the canvas to make sure it really is just furniture, the officer is satisfied. “Alright, I’m letting you go. There is a gas station a few blocks over; just continue down this street. Have a good day.”
We all heave a collective sigh that the policeman has let us go without dragging us to a weigh station. We are all weary and just want to get to our destination.
Since we have not been getting to church, Daddy and Mama decide that the three of us can attend the Mennonite Fellowship Conference in Goshen, Indiana in August. But we cannot all be gone at the same time so it is arranged for Joe to go first with one of Daddy’s cousins who has been visiting in Cashton, Wisconsin and is returning home to Goshen. Sunday, Aug 10, we drove to Cashton with Joe to meet his ride. Paul and I were to go with another car load from here after Joe got back today, Friday, August 15. But our ride decided to leave earlier than planned. They said that there was no way that they could wait until Friday evening. I am so disappointed. I was so looking forward to getting away for a couple of days. But there was no way that Daddy could milk and do all the chores alone for a day.
Joe is waiting for us at the local bus station and he has quite a tale to tell of his trip home. He had missed his bus at the Chicago bus station the evening before and didn’t know what to do. At age sixteen, this was Joe’s first excursion ever away from the farm by himself. Still young and naive, he innocently went home (in Chicago) with a man who offered him a bed for the night. Joe says he was not able to sleep that night as the apartment was dirty and noisy but the man delivers him back to the bus station early in the morning as promised. I can only believe years later that God was looking out for Joe as this could have ended very badly. Why Daddy allowed Joe to even make this trip, I can never quite determine as it will be the last time that he allows him to leave the farm again alone for another twelve years.