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Friday, January 17, 2014

Williamsburg, VA: A Promised Trip from 1982 (Part One)

"Granny", with her daughters, visiting the Empire State
Building in 1965.  
"This is where we'll go if you come back..."
It was 1982, and my wife's grandmother, Pauline, a woman everyone called Granny, received a folded packet of postcards in the mail.  She lived here in Lake Charles, Louisiana.  The packet was from her sister, Bea, who lived in Saltville, Virginia.  Saltville was the family home, where Granny had been raised, before she had followed her husband to a job in the sweltering heat of the Louisiana coastal plain with one son in tow in the 1930's.  The transplanted couple added two daughters to the family, the youngest of which became my mother-in-law.  By 1982, Granny had lost her husband to emphysema, her daughters were both married, and she lived with her son, who never left home.  Granny never would move back to Saltville, choosing instead to live out her years in the home she had built with her husband.  She would, on occasion, still visit her ancestral home in the mountains.  Obviously looking forward to a visit later in the year, her sister slipped the packet in the mail.

I found the packet just a few days ago, stuffed inside a high-backed secretary desk in the home of Granny's oldest daughter.  Bea intended to take her sister's family to Williamsburg, Virginia.  Did Granny and Bea ever get to Williamsburg?  I do not know.  I'd never heard talk of such a trip, nor have I ever found pictures to suggest it happened.  Both sisters are no longer here to answer such questions.  Neither are Granny's children.  But what we do have is the packet, which gives us a great look at what they might have seen if they ever made the five hour, 350 mile trip from Saltville to Williamsburg.  The packet is all-in-one, connected and folded to the size of one postcard.  Unfolding it reveals the trip that may or may not have happened.

Watch for part two of this post for the rest of the postcards in this collection.
And for more information on visiting Williamsburg, check out


  1. Jason, the last time Aunt Pauline came to Virginia (I'm assuming that it was 1982) she brought Jenny and Missy with her. They traveled to Lynchburg, VA by train where my Dad, Carl McCready, met them and returned to Saltville with them. To my knowledge they never did go to Williamsburg on that trip. Aunt Pauline loved to visit home and family. Bea that you mention and Aunt Pauline were my Dad's sisters. Aunt Bea passed away in 2011.

    1. Charlie, thanks for the info. Jennifer has often spoken of that trip to Saltville. It left quite an impression on her. I had a feeling Pauline and Bea never made that trip. I'm sure Pauline would have mentioned it. She loved telling such stories. Glad I could highlight Bea's note here. I found it touching.