At this point in the interview of Grandpa, a time warp occurs. The interviewer writes:
Once the children were in school, Edna went back to work. She worked in Western Michigan [University]‘s print shop. She told Adrian that they were doing fine on his earnings so she was going to invest hers so they could travel. And travel they did. Between 1964 and 1988 they toured Europe (twice), Scandinavia, Spain and Portugal, North Africa, Australia, New Zeeland, Fiji Islands, Hawaii (twice), all the continental United States and Canada! After 1988 illnesses and surgery prevented them from traveling but this past summer  they were again able to travel to Minnesota and Georgia.
In fact, it wasn’t until around the time that a few of us grandchildren were in school that Grandma went “back” into the work force full-time. I used to visit her on campus in the tiny old building where the print shop was housed. In there, she worked the mimeograph and xerox machines. It was fun to see Grandma in her work element with her co-workers–and at the college she had graduated from, as well as so many other family members (including, eventually, me). The only other time I had seen this was when she worked Christmas season at the J.C. Penney,in the basement of the downtown store. In an earlier post, I wrote about Grandma working as a teacher her first year out of college, but then she had gotten married and raised a family.
I remember when they first went to Europe in 1964. They brought me back an Eiffel tower charm for my charm bracelet, a signed book called Ludmila, from Liechtenstein, and a doll in a native Swiss costume.
Grandpa set up a projector in our living room and showed his children and grandchildren their slides from Europe. I remember the glory of the tulips in the country of his ancestors, The Netherlands.
Travel abroad was so special in those days. Grandma and Grandpa spread their belongings to be packed out on a long table in the basement, showing us how they were bringing American toilet paper because the toilet paper was like sand paper in Europe. They were so excited to share all the little details they had learned about travelling out of the country.
When Grandma and Grandpa travelled to California, they took the train. At one point a little boy decided that Grandpa was James Arness, the star of Gunsmoke, or Peter Graves, the star of Mission Impossible (I can’t remember right now which one; the actors were brothers). He refused to be told anything different. That wasn’t the only time Grandpa was mistaken for a movie actor.
Because I was so young when my grandparents started travelling, I think they helped expand my view of the world–and of them.
I hope you’ll stay tuned for Part XI of Grandpa’s story . . . .
Here are the first parts of the story:
Click this link for Part I
Click this link for Part II
Click this link for Part III
Click this link for Part IV
Click this link for Part V
Click this link for Part VI
Click this link for Part VII
Click this link for Part VIII
Click this link for Part IX