Sue Fry shares mid-west, east coast trip

If you were unable to get away this summer for a vacation trip, perhaps reading about someone else’s doing so will compensate for your lack of time off to travel. Sue Hodges Fry, husband, William, son, Greg, and Sue’s mom, Dorothy Hodges, spent three weeks traveling thru the upper mid-west and part of the eastern seaboard. Sue’s husband had a business meeting in Philadelphia and the family turned it into a sight-seeing trip, visiting places that some of us have only read about in history books. This trip took place before T.L. had a heart attack. He stayed with Frankie and Beth in Brownwood and Tommy and Gayle looked after him also as well as friends who came by and helped, while Dorothy was away. Sue sent the following story plus an update on the family. She said that T.L. has made some progress, but needs more care and therapy so he has entered the V.A. hospital. If anyone is down there in Kerrville, I’m sure he would appreciate a visit. Also, Dorothy had a skin cancer removed on Sept. 25. She is recovering nicely, but will be lonesome without T.L. at home. Sue adds, “Our family has really had our share of health problems lately. Shirley Hodges Frost in Fort Worth has problems with her blood. She had to go to the hospital for transfusions, then fell and broke her arm. She will have surgery on it this week. (A note of cheer will reach her at 554 South Summit Apt. 1018 Ft. Worth, TX 76104.)” Sue says, “We do appreciate all of our friends and family in McCulloch County and hope they will keep us all in their prayers.” The Fry’s son, 25 year old Greg, did most of the driving on the trip which was a plus. It takes a young, alert, good driver to cope with the traffic in and around large cities, especially Boston which is extremely hard to drive in. Here is Sue’s account of their trip. “We recently returned from a three week trip that we took’my mother, Dorothy Hodges, went with us. It was so interesting, we enjoyed it so much that we thought we would share it with out friends in McCulloch County. “We left on a Saturday, July 8, and drove to Oklahoma City where we visited the memorial site of the Murrah Federal Building bombing that killed 168 people. It was so impressive and leaves a definite lasting feeling to all who visit there. I wish everyone could see it. “The following day, Sunday, we drove to Tulsa to visit my husband’s aunt, then on to Carthage, Missouri. That evening and the next day we toured the Precious Moments Chapel and grounds. This is a wonderful place to visit. “Sam Butcher, creator of the Precious Moments line of figurines has done so much for people by building this site. His artwork and figurines are done in memory of children who have lost their lives too soon. It is really a beautiful place and a help to those of us who have lost children, or in our case, a grandson, to heal and accept the loss. “We drove to Branson, Missouri on Monday and spent two days. We saw a Country Jamboree Show and soaked up all the Ozark scenery there. Branson is now known as the Country Music Capital of the World. The mountains are beautiful with the roads chiseled through rock. Anyone could stay days or weeks there but we had lots more ahead to see. “On Wednesday we drove to Saint Louis, Missouri and visited the arch, which is known as the Gateway to the West. The Gateway Arch is the tallest man-made monument standing 630 feet tall. It is near the Mississippi River, so we walked along the riverbanks and admired the paddle boats; one was a McDonald’s Hamburger place. “We spent the night in Effingham, Illinois and drove through Indianapolis, Indiana, Columbus, Ohio, the capital on Thursday. We drove on to Akron, Ohio for the night. We took a detour off the interstate to visit Young’s Dairy in Yellow Springs, Ohio. The Jersey dairy farm is operated by the Amish. “They are wonderfully disciplined people. Farms are neat as can be and are tended by the families by horses and plows. They use no electricity or modern equipment. They have horse and buggy for transportation. The dairy farm was in absolutely beautiful country with a restaurant serving delicious food and an ice cream bar. “Another thing we saw was a lot of rain! As we drove along Lake Erie from Cleveland to Buffalo, N.Y. to Niagra Falls and over into Canada, we saw the wet, cool stuff. It was almost cold for several days and we had to buy and wear sweat shirts. Mother and I enjoyed stopping at many quilt and antique shops, while my husband, William, and son, Greg, enjoyed the historical sites. We all enjoyed the beautiful, green countryside, the lighthouses and the Erie Canal. “Leaving Canada, we drove across New York State, down through the capital, Albany, and on to Massachusetts. We visited Mystic, a quaint English style town in Connecticut. “In Boston we saw many tall ships, and we toured the U.S.S. Constitution first launched on October 21, 1797. It is still commissioned and is known as ‘The Grand Lady’. “While in Boston, we saw Paul Revere’s home and the site of the Boston Tea Party. It is, of course, a very old city and the streets have a difficult time handling all the traffic so we were caught in a major jam about 5 p.m. In fact we sat in many traffic jams on our trip. One was a rock concert so we saw all kinds of people and cars. We spent three weeks on the road and could easily have stayed that much longer as there was so much to see and do. “Our next major stop was New York City where we took a ferry to Staten Island to tour the Statue of Liberty and the area where immigrants were processed into our country. This is really a wonderful site andContinued from Page 3 one that can never be forgotten. We did not like the traffic and so many people, so New York was a fast part of our trip. “We drove to Philadelphia, toured the U.S. Mint, the Liberty Bell and underground shopping area, also a museum. Since we are from Texas we were not prepared for the soaking rain encountered there. My husband who works for Bell Helicopter, spent two days in meetings while mother, Greg and I saw the sites. Needless to say, after we had every hair on our heads wet, we found a shop and bought raincoats and umbrellas so we could try to enjoy the sites. “Pennsylvania is Amish country, also. The area around Philadelphia is mostly Amish. We enjoyed the drive through the countryside and seeing how they live. If the rest of the U.S. lost all electricity, we would come to a standstill, but they could operate as usual. The high price of gasoline does not affect them. Their food is delicious. They make their clothing, and all of them dress alike. “From Philadelphia we went to Washington D.C. where we visited Arlington Cemetery which leaves a lasting impression, watched the changing of the guard at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier and visited the Kennedy gravesite. “We took a tour that included the U.S. Mint, Smithsonian Institute, Jefferson and Washington Memorials and the Vietnam Memorial Wall. The next day we visited the White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the most famous address in the United States, and has been the home of every president except George Washington. It is a site every American should visit. The whole D.C. area can be a trip in itself. The Residency Act established the permanent capitol for the nation on July 16, 1790 by George Washington and the U.S. Congress. “After D.C. we drove through the Appalachian Mountains, through Virginia to Knoxville, Tennessee where we attended a huge craft show, visited Gattlinburg, a city that is very unique. It is a beautiful area. At one time we had the Blue Ridge Mountains on one side of the road and the Smoky Mountains on the other side. Yes, the Blue Ridge Mountains are blue! We skipped Dollywood so we could admire more of the scenery. “In Nashville, we caught a matinee of the Grand Ole Opry. It is their 75th anniversary. We saw Bill Anderson, Jim Ed Brown, Little Jimmy Dickens, (his guitar is almost as big as he is) Riders in the Sky, Jeannie Seely and Leann Womack. We went into the Opryland Hotel, a site in itself. “In Memphis we stayed at a hotel across from Graceland, Elvis Presley’s home. The pool was guitar shaped and Elvis’s music was piped in. We were so tired we fell into bed and did not catch the music. The following day we toured Graceland, amazed at how many gold and platinum albums he had. There were many of his costumes and other items he loved and kept in the mansion on display. “He and some of his relatives are buried on the property. The house has been maintained in the same conditions as he left it. We also went through his two planes, the Lisa Marie and TCB, also known as Taking Care of Business. Visiting his home and hearing his music reminded us that he really was a great singer, especially the gospel music. “In Arkansas we saw Little Rock, the capital, and spent two nights in Hot Springs. The springs are actually too hot to even put one’s foot in for any length of time. We walked along Bath House Row and did some shopping. Driving on through Arkansas we visited Hope, the birthplace and hometown of President Clinton. “We drove on through Texarkana to Dallas where we visited with Dr. Janet Frost at her office. We came on to our home and spent the night. The next day we visited with Shirley Frost and brought mother home to Waldrip three weeks to the day after we had picked her up. “On our trip we went through 18 states, into Canada; saw 11 capitals: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Jefferson City, Missouri, Indianapolis, Indiana, Columbus, Ohio, Albany, New York, Providence, Rhode Island, Boston, Massachusetts, Hartford, Connecticut, Baltimore, Maryland, Nashville, Tennessee, Little Rock, Arkansas, and Washington, D.C.; and traveled through six mountain ranges: Ozarks, Smokey, Blue Ridge, Appalachian, Allegheny, and Shenandoah. It was an exhausting but wonderful trip. We all enjoyed it so much, but were very glad to be back home in Texas. We only wish we could get some of the rain we experienced on our trip. “We also would like to thank everyone who visited and called T.L. while we were gone. We missed him and wished he could have gone also, but it would have been too hard on him. It was hard on all of us, but we all had agreed it was a once in a lifetime trip.”

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