Sunday, April 16, 2017

Homeward Bound

With that, it appears The Levy Family Motoring Trip of 1940 had come to an end.  Maybe abruptly, maybe not – I just don’t know.  There are so many questions I have about this trip and as I reflect on what I’ve learned, I may have created even more questions.  I sure wish I’d come across this photo album when Dad was still here so I could get some answers and talk about all of the details with him.

First, I look back at this itinerary.


From the photos and hotel bills, it seems as if the family turned around in Portland and then spent July 9 at the Coquille Hotel.  Why didn’t they go on to Seattle?  Although from the notation at the bottom of the itinerary it looks like Sig might have known this was a possibility. 

And as I went through the few items that were loose in the scrapbook, I found some clues.

Southern Pacific

Southern Pacific’s routes.  Look at that – the Shasta Route went from San Francisco to Portland.  Seems like that would be a pretty interesting trip for a family.  And on the back was this.

Southern Pacific Tickets

Total $99.  For what?  Did they actually make the journey by train??  All this time I thought they were in a car but now I think they were, in fact, on the train!

American Express

Look at that – $99 again.  That can’t be coincidental.

Tickets Itemized

And there you have it – $99 for 9 days.  So was the $99 for the hotels……or for the rail tickets?  I’m not sure but now I’m about 99% sure that they were on the train rather then in their car.  How cool is that?

I have to wonder how they returned to San Francisco since the scrapbooker didn’t leave me any clues.  I do know they made it back and spent some time with family.  In fact, in my boxes of photos I found another family photo where I can identify people more clearly now.

GordonLevy_Sherwin_MervynGunzendorfer_JacobGunzendorfer_IreneGunzendorfr_AlSherwin_RobLevy_LoraineGunzendorfer_SigLevy 1940

Left around the table, starting with my Dad, Gordon Levy, in front.  Carol Sherwin, Mervyn Gunzendorfer, Jacob Gunzendorfer, Irene Gunzendorfer Sherwin, Al Sherwin, Rob Levy, Loraine Guzendorfer Levy, Sig Levy.  Looks like Lois Sherwin was taking the photo.  Either that or Jacob’s wife, Edith. 

Another photo I found was the Potter Hotel, which is in Santa Barbara.  Seems like a likely stop as they traveled from Monterey to Hollywood.  Or maybe on their way back to Fresno.  Since there is no hotel bill, it was probably just a meal stop.

Potter Hotel Santa Barbara

One question I did answer was if the family visited with Abe and Birdie (Schwartz) Gunzendorfer during their time in Pacific Grove.  I figured they did but it’s nice to have proof with this photo of Abe from July 22, 1940.  And I can be almost certain that this was taken in the garden of their home.

Abraham Gunzendorfer 7_22_1940

And that’s the end of the line.  Thanks for traveling along on The Levy Family Motoring Trip of 1940.


  1. Thanks for taking us along! I love that they traveled by train. I am a big fan of train travel and wish the US trains were more accommodating today for travel. It must have been so relaxing not dealing with traffic, driving, parking, etc. Just sit and enjoy the scenery.

  2. Now I'm curious about that train trip. Was it a hop on-hop off thing allowing them to stay as long as they wanted at any particular stop? Or was everyone on the train on the same schedule and everyone stayed at the same hotel together? What are those "code numbers" under each stop in Sig's notes? Do the separate hotel bills add up to $99?

  3. I thought the "code numbers" might have been ticket numbers. But I could be wrong. :-)