|Mystery Trip My trip to Sacramento California was an adventure and a surprise. We started our trip north from Vallejo California in the summer of 1945. I was 8 years old and my Mother decided to take us kids with her to Camp Beal, which was located near Sacramento. |
At the time, we did not know anything about our destination or the reason for the trip. To us it was an adventure and a great opportunity to see and experience something new. Our mother had been very excited since she had received a phone call at our neighbor’s house the day before. She looked especially pretty this morning. Her hair was in a style she called an up sweep. She had a beautiful rose in her hair over her left ear. Her high heels had straps that were fasten around her ankles. Her dress was short and reflected the fashion of the day. She helped us dress. My sister had on her shining pair of mary janes and her favorite dress with the pretty bow tied in the small of her back. My bother and I had on our little sailor uniforms and our shining buster brown shoes. At last we were off. Thanks to the use of a neighbor’s car my mother informed us the trip would not take long. It was after we had piled into the car, she told us she wanted us to meet someone she had not seen for a long time.
She stood before us with misty eyes. We drove up Highway 40. This highway is now Interstate 80. It seem to take all day traveling on that then four lane highway, but the trip was not boring. In those days there were fruit stands along the highway that sold fruit, vegetable, and nuts. The farmers sold the fruit, nuts and grapes at very low prices direct from their fields. The fields of apricots, pears, peaches and apples came down to the road. I can still remember to this day how as kids we went on long hikes along local roads and we would eat fruit from the trees and grape from vines That hung over the fences that in those days did not set back from the highway or roads.
After what seem like all day we arrived, and we parked at the gate. There was what seems like thousands of soldiers with their baggage waiting at the gate area. Their eyes searched every arriving vehicle. The hundred of soldiers were all dressed in new khaki uniforms that were covered with decorations and unit patches. They all seem very young and energetic, but they also, some how, seem to be old. I guest it was their eyes. They seem tired in spite of their fit appearance. They moved very agile like athletes. They all had this demeanor about them. Even the ones on crutches and in wheel chairs seem to have the same look about them. It was their eyes that contradicted their youthful appearance. They were a fraternity apart. While we were occupied with the arrivals and activity in the area, our mother had left the car and walked toward a tall man in uniform whose features looked familiar. He stood out from the other soldiers and there was something familiar about him, but at the time we did not understand why. We could see he knew our mother because he had a big smile covering his face. They met each other half way from the gate and the car. Curiosity got the best of us and. we were not far behind our mother when they embraced for a long time. She hugged the man and they kissed and begin to cry. At last my mother turned and gather us up. She turned to the man and said, “James these are my kids.” To us she said, ‘ kids this is your uncle, James Melancon, my brother. He is home from the war introduce yourselves.” My uncle James had just arrived from the South Pacific after the end of world war two that is how I met my uncle James for the first time.
Submitted By: E.E. Jones from Ca on 2004-02-29