T – TRAIN TRIP Revisited

This is my tenth A to Z Challenge. My first was in 2013, but I missed 2021. This April I am going through the alphabet using snippets about my family through the generations.

Several years ago, I wrote about a trip to the west that my grandparents, Albert and Pearl Cleage made by train from Detroit to California. They were traveling with a group. I wasn’t sure when or where they went, aside from starting in Detroit. Since then I have found photographs that show they visited The Garden of the Gods in Colorado, the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles and a beach with Oil derricks in the distance which may be Venice, California. They also visited an old west set and a mission bell, which I have so far been unable to locate.

I also decided that a photo of the grown children still living at home, eating dinner with my parents, dates the photo between 1951 and 1953 when we lived in that house.

Waiting for the train. My grandmother Pearl Cleage on the far right.
Garden of the Gods . My grandfather Dr. Albert B. Cleage Sr.
By Dicklyon – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=109743047
Southwest Mission Bell
A stagecoach on a movie set.
My stylish grandparents – Albert and Pearl Cleage. He is wearing the rakish white hat and she is wearing the stylish black hat, with a feather.
My grandmother holding her hat on.

Looking out over the vista. My grandparents are on the far right.

A beach with derricks. Venice Southern California? Venice is a neighborhood in Los Angeles, California.
Venice California oil derricks. Venice is a neighborhood in Los Angeles, California.
Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles, California.
Hollywood bowl
The Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles, California
At a train station

We moved back to Detroit in 1951 and lived down the street from my grandparents who lived on Atkinson. At that time my aunts and uncles in the photo below lived with my grandparents.

My mother seems to be on her way to the kitchen, perhaps to refill a serving dish. From the left, we have my uncle Louis, my mother, Uncle Hugh and part of Aunt Anna and my father. I believe that this dinner took place when my grandparents took the trip. I can think of no other reason that they would all be crowding around the dinner table. The photographer must be my uncle Henry, who doesn’t appear in the photo. Where were my sister and I? Perhaps sitting at a different table. Perhaps it was after dark and we were in bed.

dinner atkinson
Around the table
#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter T

12 thoughts on “T – TRAIN TRIP Revisited

  1. What a great set of photos of your grandparents’ trip. It is good that you could figure out the years it might have happened. When I saw those oil derricks next to the ocean I was agast.

    1. I was horrified to. It ruined the beach, no surprise there. Later they played out and were removed. The beach has been reclaimed.

  2. Wow, those are incredible photos! It’s so fun you were able to figure out the trip and timing. And I agree, the derricks on the beach are so disconcerting.

  3. Everyone dressed so classy in those days. Today those same pictures would have everybody in cut-off jeans and tank tops. ????

    And those oil dericks are incredible. It doesn’t look like that today, right? People in Venice Beach don’t live with hundreds of oil rigs in their backyards, do they?

    1. The oil derricks are gone and the beach is again a beach.

      I think people over 60 today would wear more relaxed clothes, but not cut-off jeans and tank tops!

  4. Amazing photos. I’ve been the to Garden of the Gods and it doesnt seem to have changed – mind you that was probably 30 years ago now! Also the Hollywood Bowl… more trees around, I think, or they’ve just grown.
    I wonder if the Mission Bell was at Santa Monica?

  5. These are tremendous photos of your grandparents’ trip. I wonder if cross-country trips were a grandparent thing in that era, because mine also went cross-country — from Albany, N.Y., to San Diego — although they went by bus. I still have three nested southwestern motif pottery bowls that my grandmother brought back from that trip.

  6. What a fabulous time they seem to have had, and yes they looked very dashing and smart. Good sleuthing to identify the locations and good luck with the mission bell. I wonder if not having handed the info “on a plate”, made the journey more intriguing for you.
    I had never imagined Venice Beach with oil derricks – glad they’ve gone.

  7. My grandparents took a train to California from Indiana to visit their son and daughter in law in the 50s.

    I wonder if the wild west set was at Old Tucson? They filmed so many movies there. But it could have been in CA. There is a bell at Capistrano too.

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