Summer Time – 1973

The Date: August 15, 1973.  The Place: Coopersburg, PA.  August here is usually hot and muggy, this day being no exception.  Not like NY where we could get by with large window fans and we are so thankful this house has central air conditioning.  Going from the house to outdoors is almost like getting hit with a wave.  Summer will be over in about a month and the good news is that Marge is truly well not and has fully recovered from her operation and fever of last month.  Her back also feels better.  My opinion is that this is due to her not seeing Dr. Quack any more, though of course, I keep this opinion to myself, we are all thankful she is her old self again.

Earlier in the month we had company for a few days.  One of Marge’s friends who used to live in this area now lives near Pittsburg, PA.  I believe this was Joanne Herring and her two daughters; that sounds likely as the Herring family did move to that area and later moved back to the area near us.  Their daughters and ours got along well, so it was a pleasant time for all.

On the 4th of August we took the trailer down to Ocean View, New Jersey intending to leave it there for 15 days. Naturally, the weather was hot but we had no problems on the trip down.  I did have some difficulty backing the trailer into the space, but with the experience gained so far, and the help of Marge giving me signals, I got the trailer in place.

One good feature of this site, after we made it in, was that  we had nobody  in back of us, or on one side of us.  This camp was about 4 miles from the Atlantic at Sea Isle City which is about as close as you can get.

Fenced sandy path to beach at Island Beach State Park of NJ at Sunset

Fenced sandy path to beach at Island Beach State Park of NJ at Sunset

The city has a use fee for the beach, and fortunately for us, the people on the side of us were moving out.  They had a season pass which they kindly gave to us.  That was very neighborly and we appreciated this gift.

I took Monday off and went back to Coopersburg that night.  I also took Friday off and returned to NJ Thursday after work.  All in all, that worked out well, but we decided not to do it again; one week is enough and things can get a bit boring after that.

We did see some interesting local sights though.  We spent one day going to the restored village of Batsto.Batsto Their website gives this information:

Batsto Village, is a New Jersey historic site in the South Central Pinelands, which is administered by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Parks & Forestry. This site is nationally recognized for its historical significance and beauty. The roots of Batsto Village can be traced back to 1766. Two centuries of American history are available to visitors, with the Pinelands environment as a scenic backdrop.

The site included a Revolutionary iron forge which made  “bog iron” from iron deposits which lay on the bottom of the streams in the Pinelands. Wikipedia defines bog iron as: Bog iron is a form of impure iron deposit that develops in bogs or swamps by the chemical or biochemical oxidation of iron carried in solution.  This iron was very valuable in making cannon balls in the Revolutionary war.  

With the discovery of coal, the iron business folded, then the business turned to making glass, but that did not last for long and Batso became a ghost town. NJ State now owns the area and did a good job of restoration. I, and I think our whole family find it interesting to visit these places which abound in the East. These restoration do much to bring history to life, and a better understanding of the area in which we lived, and of course ourselves as well.

 Of course no vacation is problem free, this being no exception.  The trailer has a fitting that you fasten a hose to and the other end on the camp water supply.  This was plastic, it cracked and leaked. I was not able to fix it, and could not get a replacement in the area.  We did use the trailer water tank which had its own pump.  I returned to PA when Marge called and said the pump was erratic so I gave her some suggestions. I could have fixed it at home, and we did manage to limp along until I returned. The problem was simply that the trailer tank had emptied.  Oh well, all part of the fun.

August 29– I returned and was able to refill the tank and we finished our vacation as planned.  We learned that 15 days is more of the Jersey shore that we will do again. We ended up by spending time with the girls playing miniature golf, paddle boat rides, and the amusement rides at Ocean City during the last segment of the vacation.

Our trip back to PA was uneventful but exhausting. When I got home and we got the trailer unloaded, I felt sick and generally lousy and went to bed with a temperature of 102. I did feel better next morning, but not well so I stayed home. Several other people had similar symptoms as did the girls, but all had passed by the end of the week.

We did have company the following weekend as Marge’s sister Pat and family stopped in for the evening while going to NJ for a shore vacation.  Temperature and humidity both in 90s; typical August for us.  It was pleasant to get together and personally catch up.

The following week, Marge and the girls went to visit a friend of hers in Columbus, Ohio. so, I am living alone with the cat again, though he is good company.

Hammond Chord Organ

Hammond Chord Organ

 The Hammond Chord electric organ needed some tuning which was awkward  since you have to tune it from the rear with keys pressed down from the front. The good part was that nobody else was around to bother with the noise and I got it adjusted.  I played some for myself and Rajah, though he doesn’t seem to be a music lover. We were given this organ by my father-in-law when he built a larger one.  It is Hammonds first all electronic instrument.

At PP&L work is going well. A trial project my department has worked on is now completed with good acceptance with requests to set it up  company wide.  I had a job offer to an engineering graduate accepted.  He worked out well and I imagine he has now retired and on Social Security.  

School will be starting in September, with Louise going to elementary school full-time and Ingrid starting middle school.  Of course I expect them doing well and moving along in their lives.  In ’73 I am definitely in middle age and we are not going to have any more children.  

Summer is about over, we were now all well and looking forward to enjoying the rest of 1973.



About R. F.

I am a retired Professional Engineer who spent my working life in the electric utility industry. I am now a volunteer instructor at the University Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV).
This entry was posted in 1970-1980, Coopersburg PA, Relationships, Summer vacations and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Summer Time – 1973

  1. Allan T says:

    Hello Robert, as I think I stated before, I have never( nor Janice) been a camper type person. Although, our family did visit Washington DC, Canada, a various other spots as all the kids( 3 family’s together) slept in the back of two station wagon cars.
    After we were married, I did venture into a lot that sold RV’s, looked around, inside and realized that was not for us. As your trip did sound interesting, I am more convinced that I made the right decision years ago.
    Allan & Janice

    • R. Johann says:

      Hi Allan & Janice, always good to hear from you. In 1973, our youngest daughter was 6 and having a trailer was an activity that we could do as a family. Also, we usually took off at the Spring break for someplace in the South to get a head start on warm weather. Particularly after Ingrid married here in LV, we seldom used the second trailer we bought and sold it to a construction worker who followed jobs around and wanted it as a place to stay while the job lasted. Although some couples do travel, usually in motor homes, I don’t think it is really cost effective, but each to his/her own. Take care,

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