Thursday, April 23, 2009

Drive Free or Packard

As ways to get into the history books, there has to be something better than "organizing the largest automobile touring company to cross the continent" up to that date (1908). Maybe "cleaning the most frathouse toilet bowls with a toothbrush in an hour" or "eating the most food made by a tongueless, noseless chef," or "listening to James Blunt for the longest time without retching." OK, that last one is beyond human endurance, but the same might be true of a car ride for 32 days, 5 hours, and 25 minutes (of course they counted the minutes, wouldn't you?) from Pasadena to New York with 6 people including children 16, 14, and 10. But Jacob and Anna Murdock did just that, starting the trip 101 years ago this Friday. Which is how Route 101 got its name. You can't spell murder without Murdock, of course, despite what the denuded -ock might say, and the trip ended badly when Aunt Edna dies and they have to tie her to the top of the Packard. Jacob also became obsessed with Clara Bow driving a souped up carriage, but of course she was only 3 in 1908, so Jacob wound up going to jail. As for me, I need a long vacation.



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