Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Travel Tuesday: Frank W. Lee's Great Adventure--The Grand Canyon

Today's post is another in the series about my dad's 1932 trip out West.  On July 20, 1932, Dad walked to the bottom and then back to the top of the Grand Canyon, a walk that took 7 1/2 hours and covered 14 miles.  The photos below are those that Dad took on this hike into the canyon.  Notice that there are no photos of the trip back up to the top of the canyon.  I assume Dad was too sick to take any!  If you missed his travel journal account of this day, you can find it HERE

Most people rode mules on the trip into the canyon.
Dad and his friends decided walking would be safer.

Dad wrote in his journal that the view of the Colorado River
from the bottom of the Grand Canyon was "the most beautiful site
[he] had ever seen."

"10 degrees this side of Hell"

Grand Canyon photos in Frank W. Lee's photo album

Monday, April 1, 2013

Amanuensis Monday: Frank W. Lee's Travel Journal, Part 3

Entry from Frank W. Lee's 1932 Travel Journal
Sat--July 20--32

Trip to Grand Canyon.  4 of us walked down through the canyon to the Colorado River.  The prettiest site I have ever seen.  Got sick on my walk back & could hardly make it.  Saw many cactus, squirrels, deer & scorpions.  Took us 2 1/2 hrs. to walk down & 5 hrs. back.  A total of 14 miles at the least.  Arrived back in Williams at 9:30 & here I met Kaufman.

Dad talked many times about his trip to the bottom of the Grand Canyon--and his trip back to the top.  After watching other people ride mules up and down the canyon, he said he was terrified to do the same.  He said the mules walked right on the edge of the narrow canyon paths, and he was afraid they were going to step off or slip.  He didn't trust them!  His 14-mile hike in the heat, he said, made him the sickest he ever felt in his life.

Come back tomorrow for Dad's photos of the Grand Canyon!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Amanuensis Monday: Frank W. Lee's Travel Journal, Part 2

(To catch up on this series, "Frank W. Lee's Great Adventure," click HERE.)

Today let me share with you three more entries from Dad's 1932 travel journal.  After leaving his grandmother's home in La Grange, Kentucky, and going to Louisville, Kentucky, Dad traveled by train from Louisville to Williams, Arizona--a trip which took three days. The images below are of the scanned pages of Dad's actual travel journal.

Wed--July 20--32

Left Louisville at 8:15 A. M. on Monon  for Chicago--Heat was terrible, over 100 degrees.  Arrived in Chicago at 5:20, bought Pulman & Canyon ticket & then walked around until time to leave, 10:45 P. M. on the Grand Canyon Limited.

Indiana & Illinois


On train all day although did get off for several minutes in Kansas City, Newton, & Dodge City.  Met 2 boys from Virginia & 1 from Penn.

Missouri & Kansas
Country is nothing but vast plains, no hills & but very few trees.  Large fields of corn, wheat, & potatoes.

July 22--32, Fri

On train all day.  The scenery was very pretty, plateaus(?), wastelands, & mountains.  Saw many Indians & Spaniards.  Arrived  in Williams at 9:30.  Several of us walked around & saw many  ?  sites.  
Also saw many mud or clay villages in N. Mex. where the Indians still live.
Colorado, N. Mex., & Ariz.
Very little farming.  Cattle raising as land (covered?) with sand and sage.

Though Dad was certainly a man of few words, these brief entries contain some interesting tidbits about railroad history.  In the first entry, for example, Dad writes that he went from Louisville to Chicago on the "Monon."  I had never heard of the Monon, and I really thought I was just misreading my dad's handwriting.  When I asked my husband to take a look, he suggested I google "Monon" to see what came up.  (Thank you, dear!)  Well, I discovered that Monon refers to the Monon Railway, also known as the Chicago, Indianapolis, and Louisville Railroad.  Operating as the Monon from 1853-1971, the 300 miles of this railway criss-crossed Indiana. According to monon.org, in addition to transporting countless passengers, the Monon also transported Union soldiers and supplies during the Civil War. It also pulled President Lincoln's funeral train for 90 miles.  In 1971, the Monon merged into the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, and part of the old Monon line is still operated today by CSX.

Dad also writes that he traveled from Chicago to Williams, Arizona, on the Grand Canyon Limited.  Established in 1929, only three years before Dad's great adventure, the Grand Canyon Limited was part of the Atcheson, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway.  It quickly became one of the country's most popular vacation trains, providing access not only to the Grand Canyon but also many other destinations across the United States.  Evidently, Dad traveled in a Pullman Car on his trip.  Since the trip took three days, passengers could purchase tickets to ride in Pullman Cars which provided them with sleeping berths.

What a great way to see America!  Next stop, the Grand Canyon!


www.monon.org.  Monon Railroad Historical Technical Society, Inc., 2013


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Travel Tuesday: Frank Welch Lee's Great Adventure

Frank Welch Lee, age 19, on his Great Adventure
In yesterday's post, I introduced you to a new series I'll be writing for FrankLee, My Dear.  This new series of posts, which will appear here on Mondays and Tuesdays, will focus on my dad's "great adventure" during the summer of 1932.  Yesterday you saw the first entry in his travel journal.

F.W. Lee's
Travel Journal

Today, let me give you a brief preview of the album containing the photos of Dad's trip.  His photo album is just a simple one with a black cover and black paper pages inside.  The front cover has an embossed center that surrounds it's gold-colored title:  Photographs.  The album is in good shape even after spending years in my mom and dad's musty storage room and later my basement.

Frank Welch Lee's 1930's Photo Album

Inside the album are photos of Dad's high school days in Middlesboro, Kentucky, plus photos of his "great adventure."  Dad took the time to create a title or introductory page to the section of the album about his 1932 trip.  He used a white marker or pen for the title page as well as for the labels under some of the photos. The white print shows up well against the black background, but in some places the ink or marker is beginning to smudge.  (Note To Self:  place some archival tissue between the pages of this album soon!)

Title Page  Made By F. W. Lee
1930's Photo Album

I hope you'll visit the blog next week to see the beginnings of Dad's trip.  He'll leave Louisville, Kentucky, and travel by train to California making one "grand" stop along the way.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Amanuensis Monday: Frank Welch Lee's 1932 Travel Journal

Phi Delta Chi Fraternity Composite
Frank Welch Lee (top row, third from left)
University of Louisville, 1934

In the summer of 1932, my dad, Frank Welch Lee, was nineteen years old and had just completed a year of pharmacy school at the University of Louisville.  A member of  Phi Delta Chi, a pharmacy fraternity, Dad was  elected to attend the fraternity's national convention in Los Angeles, California.  Thus, began my dad's Great Adventure.  For the next few weeks, I'll make use of  Amanuensis Mondays and Travel Tuesdays to share with you the travel journal and the photo album Dad kept during this time.  Those who knew my dad will understand how rare and wonderful this piece of family history is.  For Dad to have traveled is surprising enough, but for this very private man to have documented his trip is almost unbelievable.

When I say that Dad kept a travel journal, what I mean is that he wrote down a few details of his trip in a little 3" x 5" notebook he kept in his shirt pocket. Some of the things he saw and experienced, however, are just amazing. Without further ado, here's Dad's first journal entry.

Entry # 1
Frank Welch Lee's 1932 Travel Journal
Tues--July 19, --32

Left home at 1:40, arrive in Louisville at 9: P.M.  Had a very pleasant trip although was very dusty when arrived.  Spent the night with Jim.  I sure did enjoy talking over old times together.


"Home" in this instance was probably his grandmother's home in La Grange, Kentucky, where Dad often stayed during his breaks from college.  He would have traveled from La Grange to Louisville by train.  The railroad tracks ran through Main Street right in front of the Lee house in La Grange.  The depot was only steps away from the house as well.  "Jim," I assume, was a friend, maybe a college buddy.

At the bottom of the page, written in pencil in a different handwriting, are some numbers and the words "Rains" and "gladiola bulbs."  I think these are probably some notes written by Dad's grandmother, Georgia Lee.  More than likely, Dad borrowed her notebook to serve as his "travel journal."

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Treasure Chest Thursday: Frank W. Lee's Baby Book

Frank W. Lee's Baby Book
c. 1912
One hundred years ago today I'm sure my grandmother, Elizabeth Rochester Lee, would have spent a big portion of her day taking care of her three-month old son, my dad, Frank Welch Lee.  I'm glad that she also spent some time writing in dad's baby book!  What a sweet keepsake this baby book is!

The cloth cover is faded, dirty, and literally is shreds. The pages are discolored and some have been left blank.  Nevertheless, the book is a treasure.  Scattered with sweet verses about babies and full of charming illustrations by Frances Brundage and May Sandheim, this baby book was published by Raphael Tuck & Sons, "Publishers to Their Majesties the King & Queen."

Opening verses & illustrations plus Title Page 

One of my favorite illustrations in Dad's baby book

What I love most about the book, of course, are the details it contains about my dad as an infant.  I love, too, that these details are written in my grandmother's handwriting.

Baby's First Smile: seen by father & nurse at 4 days old
Baby's First Laugh:  heard by mother at about age 1 month
First Gifts included Beauty pins, gold buttons, ball rattle, cap, booties

First Word:  Daddy
at 5 months old

Also, in the baby book is one photo of Dad, age four months.

Written on the back of this photo:
Frank Lee Jr.
at 4 mo.

Thank you for this, Grandmother.