In June 1970 we made the move to Florida. I was 15 and had my learners permit, so I could help with the driving. We had 2 vehicles and a boat that we were going to bring with us.
Early one morning in the first week of August 1970 the moving van pulled up to our home at 114 Beaumont drive.
My friend Carlos Washington and I watched as the movers loaded up the moving van with all of our worldly possessions. We talked and in our minds we knew that this was goodbye. I had known Carlos and his sister Carol all my life. It was hard to say goodbye. I did not want to go. However we said our goodbyes and Carlos drove off home.
The time came for us to go. The cars were all loaded up and the boat was hitched to the Chevrolet. I took one last look around. The backyard with the garden and basketball hoop. Inside the house. The kitchen with the built in kitchen nook. My room. It was indeed hard to leave it all behind. However we did. I took one last look back and got into the car. Off we went!
It is aproximently 1700 miles from Battle Creek Michigan to New Port Richey Florida. We made the trip in 3 days. About 600 miles a day. We enjoyed the stops at the motels and the meals eaten.
Before we got to our new home we stopped at the realtors office to let them know we were there and to get the keys to the house. Then we headed for our new home.
At last we pulled up to 301 3rd Isle North, our new home in Leisure Beach. We were one of the first to build in this new subdivision so there was a lot of construction going on.
We entered our new home and looked around. As you know, I was not keen on moving to Florida. However I loved the house. It had a single car garage. 2 bedrooms. 2 baths. I had never seen a house with 2 baths. A large living room with an adjacent dining room and a functional kitchen. And best of all a canal in the back with Gulf of Mexico access!
There was a problem. The moving van had not arrived yet. In fact it would be 2 weeks before it arrived! Dad made calls to find out what had happened. We had no answers. We would have to make do. So we went to K-mart and bought some dishes. Some cooking utensils. Some lawn chairs. Some tv trays. And sleeping bags and pillows. This would have to do until our stuff caught up with us.
We spent a lot of time inside as it was so hot and humid outside. All homes in Florida at that time had air conditioning.
The time we spent together without television and everything that we took for granted was good for us as a family. I believe it drew us closer together.