Saturday, May 28, 2011

Rockford to Biloxi 850 Miles

March 25- DAY 1-  Hebron, IL to Rockford, IL  35 miles
The Faust Hotel was grand, service fine and friendly. After settling into our room we took time to consummate our marriage, right then before day's end.  Know what that means. We spoke our vows publicly before family and friends. The priest pronounced us husband and wife. Since it is man and woman who do the marrying we had yet to finish the contract. Thus we did so, alas.  Last day of my menstrual period was this very wedding day. Afterwards we went downstairs to the dining room for dinner. “The dinner salads were so good”, is a notation I made. We were each, by this time, much too tired is all I have to say.  We put closure on an exciting, very special day and a new beginning for the two of us. 
DAY 2-
We awoke the next morning, went down to breakfast and enjoyed the most delicious Pecan Waffles and maple syrup the likes of which we have never, ever again experienced. We packed up.  As we passed the desk the staff told us they hadn’t recognized us as newlyweds. Had they known they would have given us ‘the Honeymoon Suite’. Seemed to a us a validation that as friends we looked and behaved as two people right for each other. Immediately we were off on the road. We had $100.00 cash to spend.
311 miles south from Rockford on highway 51 we stopped at the DX Station in Du Quoin, 52165 speedometer reading, for 8.2 gallons of DX + 1  1/4 quarts of oil.  Total $4.14.
Growing in the tall grass on the roadside

The roadsides were strewn with fresh , bright yellow daffodils  in amongst the green grass. Spring had arrived in the south. Union City, Tennessee, 471 miles from Rockford we stopped for late lunch. First time we truly knew we were south for the people spoke with very southern drawls. 

Guys hanging out together
Now I want to share with you. Ever since I was 13, 14 years old whenever, wherever I walked, particularly when alone, always I would eventually meet up with a group of guys hanging out together. They would whistle at me as I passed and exclaim, “Hubba hubba”. This is one of those areas I was so naive in. I really hadn’t a clue the sexuality involved here. I thought they liked my looks, and my nice friendly smile in response to their greeting. How innocent! As I walked from car to lunchroom this day a group outside did the same as usual, “Hubba, hubba". I want to share this because this was the very last time I recall my eliciting, “Hubba, hubba”. Only explanation I have is I turned off something maidenish as I assumed a ‘taken, ‘married’, ‘not available’ posture. Years later we'd have words for this, ' body language'. I am a married woman. I belong to another.

I kid you not. Everywhere we stopped whether gas station, restaurant, grocery, tourist court, wherever, 'Abba Dabba' Was playing on the Juke Box. I'll bet it is No. 1 on this Saturday night's Hit Parade.

Research tells me we are 688 miles from Rockford in Duck Hill Mississippi on highway 51. Just south of Duck Hill is Winona where we spent the night in cabin like accommodations at the Hiawatha Tourist Court. We pulled in at 10PM and found a vacancy. I recall that I noted in bed the next morning as we awoke together that Bruce had a lot of hair on his chest. Dad, Bill, Jim why hadn’t I noticed yours? This is becoming altogether real.
DAY 3 and 4
A 'swank' motel

Completed our 815th mile as we drove into SUN-n-SAND HOTEL COURT, Biloxi, Mississippi. This was near to Keesler Air Force Base. There were many sites Bruce wanted to share with me, including the Gulf of Mexico. Biloxi sits on its shores. This motel was very modern, ‘swank’ we would say. Put a luxurious touch to our destination, this our holiday together. 
We ate dinner this evening at a restaurant on the seashore Colonial Cafe Seawall Patio Midway between Biloxi and Gulfport.
Broiled Fresh Gulf Shrimp, seasoned to a gourmet’s taste, Cocktail Sauce, Saltines 
All you can eat for $1.00. Milk .10     Tea .10    Coffee .05   Malted Milk .35     Pie  .20
It was so-o-o good!
Breakfast  ex. Juice, Southern Hot Cakes, with ham, bacon or sausage .75
I have a receipt from ECHOLS AUTO PARTS 1317 28th Ave. Gulfport MS where we bought a switch $2.20 + .05 tax, 13 miles west of Biloxi. I remember we ate a Bar-B- Q pork sandwich while we waited for parts. Speedometer reads we’ve traveled 948 miles from Rockford.
Next day we covered 374 miles north from Gulfport and stayed overnight in a brand new motel in West Memphis, Arkansas. We ate dinner this night and breakfast in town at ‘The Coffee Cup’.  Years later we would have a daughter, Joan, who would certainly be asking, 'Are we there yet?' or another might inquire, 'Are we having fun yet?' We certainly are!
DAY 6 
Traveled to Springfield IL and spent the night with sister Cese, Bud, Patsy and Bill, the Whitneys. 
Sometime after breakfast and farewells we drove home. Crossed over the threshold of the Stewart farmhouse. Home. Bruce had $5.00 left in his pocket. The lovely oak tree leaves all about the property were just beginning to burst from their buds. 
Apple trees in the orchard just beginning to bloom

Trees out in the apple orchard were coming into blossom. Spring is arriving and soon the bush beneath our bedroom window will be showing us it's yellow roses. 
Monday morning  Bruce was up at 4:30 AM. I hear him stirring the furnace coals in the basement and head outdoors.Minutes pass and next I can hear what would become so familiar, the putt-putt-putt as he heads out into the field on his John Deere tractor to bring in the cattle. I rise, breakfast and get out on the highway to resume the 1st day of the week teaching my classes in Darien, WI. My students have been instructed to call me Mrs. Stewart. I believe Larry, my boss, enjoyed giving out these instructions for me. 


  1. What a fun honeymoon! Paul and I also had a great time in Maui! Those memories will always be so precious.


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