Friday, May 23, 2008

Family Automobiles V

Finishing the 1985 article in Michigan History:
We stayed that night in Alpena and made Bay City the next day. In spite of the heavy rain we had encountered north of Hillman, there were still columns of smoke at various distances until we neared Bay City. From Bay City we went south and west to St. Johns. On that stretch we had our only car trouble---a flat tire. It was getting dark when we reached Kalamazoo. Though only forty miles from home, we stayed overnight. Driving or riding even 170 or 180 miles, going through every city, village and crossroads, built up fatigue in a way hard to realize today. That eighty pounds pressure in the tires didn't help either.
That is the end of Henry's story. He was remarkable in the way he could weave a story and type it himself although it took a lot of editing to get it ready to go to press. He  wrote great stuff on being a Freshman at MAC, horses at the farm etc.. Linda should give us some sort of inventory of his stories and share some of them with us.
I am going to spend some time with this story and old highway maps and county maps and try to figure out how one could retrace the Pratt family's 1919 trip on today's roads. This is the kind of thing I have done to trace LaSalle's 1680 walk from Lake Mkchigan to Lake Erie and Hugh Heward's 1790 paddle and portage from Lake Erie to Lake Michigan. I will let you know what I work out. This is the kind of thing that either Dick or Dad would have liked to do.

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