Our Trip Across America-Part 3

24 Oct

Last week Bill and his family were getting all packed up to begin their trip across America. This week they begin their journey. Bill’s wife, DiVoran will be sharing  memories of her first trip to  the South.-ONISHA

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites


We headed North on I-95 to Jacksonville and then I-10 West through Tallahassee, Pensacola, Mobile and Biloxi to New Orleans.  We didn’t stop there on this trip, but told our kids all about our visit there when they were just 3 years and 18 months old.  How we cruised Bourbon Street and how we enjoyed the party atmosphere during our quick stop there.


Bill and I remember different things, so he asked me to put some things I recall into his stories.  He’s speaking of my first trip down south.  Being from the Southwest, where we had mountains and deserts, it was like a wonderland, especially all the trees, rivers, and lakes.  I’d never seen Spanish moss or Pathos vines with leaves bigger than a man’s head covering the trunks of many of the big trees.

Of course, this was the mid 60’s, in the south, which was a time of race riots, sit-ins, and bathrooms and drinking fountains that said, “Whites Only.” Even though it didn’t affect me personally, it was a bit unsettling.

We had been living in LA at the time of the Watts riots, but I was unaware of the way the everyday African-American was treated in public and in the homes of their employers.

One other thing that was so different, I hardly knew what to think, was when we asked about going down to the French Quarter to hear some music that night.  Our hostess, in the very large house where we were staying, told us if we’d put our eighteen month old and three-year old to bed before we went she’d see that they were taken care of. Then she asked kindly if it would scare them if they woke up and saw a black face leaning over them to tend them.

Of course, that would be one of her maids, who had probably tended her children when they were small. “Oh, no, I’m sure not”, I said.  I believed then, and I know now, that our kids are “color blind.”   However, it didn’t come to a trial so all was well, and we absolutely loved the Dixieland band we were privileged to hear that night.

To be continued……..

One Response to “Our Trip Across America-Part 3”

  1. DiVoran Lites October 24, 2012 at 10:25 am #

    Bill’s trip is just getting going and there will be more of him and less of me in subsequent episodes.


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