Following Her Bliss in a Model A

Joseph Campbell’s statement “Follow your bliss” is a call to action that has captured the imagination of many people seeking to expand their knowledge of self and make their lives more meaningful. My Aunt Diane (Dad’s sister) is following her bliss in a most interesting way. I’ll let her explain… this is from her email newsletter, Life in the Dash:

The Backstory of the Dream


Grandpa Ike in 1934

On Independence Day in 1934, my maternal grandmother died. I never knew her, but I did know my grandpa, because he lived with our family until he passed away when I was 9 years old.

It was up to my mother to tell about the adventure she and Grandpa had that same year, when they took their Model A on the road to visit Grandpa’s two brothers, who lived in California – over 2500 miles away!

Now imagine this – it’s the middle of the Great Depression and they’re driving a Model A (ever tried that?) on Route 66, which wasn’t even fully paved yet! Gutsy – yes?

The Dream Takes Shape


Mother Vi in 1933

My Mom kept a notebook with many facts about their trip – where they stayed, what time they left town, what they spent for lunch, etc.

I thought about following in their tire tracks some years ago, but nothing ever came of it until last year when our son Brendan’s dissertation topic stoked the fires again – the influence of place in our lives.

I still had the old notebook and I wasn’t getting any younger. So when I brought it up to honorable husband, Gerald, he said, “It won’t be authentic unless WE do it in a Model A.”

OK – so we bought a 1931 Model A! By the time you’re reading this, the car will already be back in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where I was born, ready to recreate that 1934 trip.

The Dream – Almost…


Gerald and the Model A

We haven’t left on the trip yet; Oct 21st is the fateful day. We fly to Grand Rapids, spend a day visiting the house where I grew up, my old school and the cemeteries where Mom and Grandpa are buried.

Then we pick up the car on the 23rd and begin our odyssey, retracing the same route as closely as we can.

Route 66 was de-commissioned in 1985, but it has experienced a renaissance of interest and many sections have been restored. If you’d like to see where the present-day route goes, check out the AAA Route 66 Guide. It has many interesting tidbits.

And if you really want to know what happens – read my upcoming book – An Ordinary Adventure.

Follow Your Dream!

If you have one of those dreams that’s been sitting on the back burner, I encourage you to haul it out of storage, dust it off and make it happen!

Given enough time, some of your body parts may fail and a few marbles may escape. So don’t put it off! Carpe Diem!

Sincerely,
Diane Wood