Making it home for the holidays in the North Country

Posted on December 28, 2010


This is the season for travel.  Pile the presents and the kids in the car and head for Grandma’s.  Or pile self in the car and head for the kids’ house.  Or head for Cherry Capital Airport to stand sockfooted in the security line as TSA officials examine toothpaste.  In all cases, prepare for Weather.  Bring your mittens and emergency treats.  But we are intrepid travelers, and are not deterred by a little snow.

Take Jonathan Klinger of Traverse City, for example.  He has been driving a 1930 Ford Model A Tudor Sedan this winter.  He’s going to drive that car everywhere he goes for a whole year.  (You can find out all about it in a story in the Record-Eagle, and a video.)  Why?  Well, as he explains on his blog, 365 days of ASo I can finally tell my grandpa he’s not so tough.

Ah, Jonathan.  Meet Nora Metz. 

Nora drove her grandma to New Mexico in a Model T.  From Ironwood.  In January.  In all fairness, her car was practically new.  But Jonathan, the roads!  The roads in 1936 were barely there!  Nevertheless, off they went, grandma Nora Evans and granddaughter Nora Ayotte, two tiny women driving across country in the snow, luggage and spare tires strapped to the running boards.  They picked up a hitchhiker in Wisconsin where it was snowing very hard.  They let him drive.  It was very restful.  Those were different times, weren’t they? 

Nora says the biggest challenge was crossing the Mississippi River.  It was choked with ice, and that caused a flood, so they had to drive a long way to find a bridge that was safe to cross.  But they made it, and they repeated the trip the next winter.  Everyone pretty much took this in stride.  It was a matter for the Social Notes.

From the Ironwood Daily Globe (Ironwood, Michigan) 20 Jan 1937, page two

News from Ewen: Mrs. Evans of Petoskey who has been here visiting her daughters, Mrs. Lynn Dodge and Mrs. Joe Ayotte, accompanied by her granddaughter, Miss Nora Ayotte, has left for Hot Springs, New Mexico, where she will spend several months.

(Elsewhere on the same page was a story headlined Snowplow Crews Get Workout Here.  I’m just saying.)

Then things got really interesting.  From the Ironwood Daily Globe (Ironwood, Michigan) 31 Mar 1937, page six

Events of Interest in Social Sphere, Ewen, Metz-Ayotte: Announcements have been received of the marriage of Miss Nora Ayotte, daughter of Mrs. and Mrs. Joseph Ayotte of Ewen, to Floyd Metz of Graceville, Okla.  The ceremony took place at Hot Springs, N.M., March 22, in the M.E. church, with the Rev. William Cribb officiating.  Mrs. and Mrs. J. L. Walling attended the couple.  Mr. and Mrs. Metz will reside in Hot Springs where Mr. Metz is employed.

Two months from the time they left Ewen they had arrived in Hot Springs, entered into the social whirl, and met people.  Little Nora in particular had Met Someone, and then gone and gotten married.  Two months!  I told you she was a pistol.

If your holiday travel gets a little complicated, remember that it Could Be Worse. Have fun, be safe, see you when you get back!