The Brave Traveler

Think of this as part two to my last post. If you missed that one, here's the link: 52 Ancestors 2015 Edition: # 20 Lois Johnson Picken --My 2nd Cousin 1x Removed.

When my mother was eight, she found a friend in her cousin Lois Johnson from Pittsburgh, PA. My mother had been sent to Pittsburgh to stay with her aunt and uncle for the summer to give her father a break. He was working two jobs and had his wife/my grandmother was in the hospital once again. At the end of that summer, she would travel home to New York alone by train.

That's right alone!

The Brave Traveler --How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey
This little girl.

The Brave Traveler --How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey
Here's a picture of my little girl.
Puts things in perspective doesn't it! 

These were the days when children could be sent by train without a parent. There were folks who worked on the train who would be responsible of making sure a child would get off at the right location. My mother had her information pinned to her clothing and was given money to get something eat during the trip. 

She did this all by herself at eight years old, I remind you. No parent by her side for reassurance. Just her. Her mother's uncertain condition I am sure was still at the forefront of her mind. She was a brave girl indeed.

So mom made the trip. She made friends with a nice old that was sitting nearby. When it came time to get something to eat, she followed that nice old lady to the dining car. The two ate together. Mom had just enough money to buy a slice of cantaloupe and a glass of milk.

She arrived safely in New York. Mom saw her parents waving at the station as the train pulled in. She waited patiently. She had been given strict instructions at the beginning of her trip to wait to have her hand placed in her parents hands by the conductor. So this she did. 

My mom, the brave traveler.


  1. It is funny that when I was a child I would take the city bus to and from the Catholic School in the next town, it was about a 30 minute ride. I wasn't afraid because I knew where to get on and get off. I would not let a child ride the city bus by them selves today.

    1. I know what you mean. We are living in different times. I wouldn't let a child do it today either. :) Thanks as always Claudia for stopping by.


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