June 18 – July 29, 1949
Driving Trip Across the United States
In the Family’s 1946 Chevrolet 4-Door Sedan
Vernon, Esther, Abbott, Patricia PAINE
Travelogue: “The Four of Us,” Written by Vernon Paine
(Unedited, rough draft)
My father, Abbott, was 18 years old when he and his sister Patricia (my aunt) and their father and mother (my grandparents) Vernon and Esther embarked June 18, 1949 on a six week road trip across the United States. They left from their home in Upland, California and returned on July 29th.
Vernon was the owner and editor of the Upland newspaper and compiled this unedited rough draft travelogue of their journey. It is a very interesting and fascinating description of the times in which they were living.
This is their story…….
(this material, by the way, is copyrighted Stephen Paine Technologies 2016. If you are going to copy, comment or connect with me first.)
THE FOUR OF US
Jim, the zanjero for the water company, was at the standpipe when we backed out of the driveway. The bulging trunk and the sleeping bags, each fastened on the front enders, told him we were traveling. It was 10 minutes to six in the morning of June 18, 1949. He was the last of many people in our community to tell us goodbye and to wish up well on our six weeks, 10,000-mile trip.
Abbott checked the movie film footage. Six feet were used to record our departure.
This is the day of the much-publicized All-States picnic on Euclid avenue, Ontario. The beautiful green of the parkway under the well-trimmed pepper trees gave us a picture to remember as we go on to see the nation and nature’s wonders. It is pleasantly cool.
Now at Blythe at 10:30, we are stopping for our first fill-up of gas. The map says the population is 2,600 but the stores and the crowds on the street would lead one to guess the town is three times that size.
It is hot in Blythe but cooler than we had expected. We will likely see many Negroes ahead but there was a fair sprinkling of ’em on the streets here. Our purchases in Blythe included gas, a water bag and a round of ice cream at the drug store.
JUNE 19, 5 p.m. — Lordsburg, N.M. a one-main street town, with a population listed in our Tour-Aid as 3,101, is just back of us. The weather is very pleasant and we are not at all “hot” as we drive along at 50-60 m.p.h.
Back of us also are many miles since last we touched these keys. All of us were very tired as we stopped at Phoenix at 3 p.m. yesterday. The atmosphere was very sultry and the 101 degree temperature wilted us. We stayed at the El Rancho Motor Hotel…a very nice one with swimming pool and everything else. The kids hit the pool immediately. Not far away was the state capital, a court house type of a building of old-time style. The 10-acre park surrounding the building was not well-kept.
On the whole, however Phoenix is a very attractive city of 160,000 people. We were told there are accommodations for 17,000 tourists and the courts are filled up every night. Tours, some agriculture, mining, and industry are the principal reasons for the city. Population has increased rapidly, the Tour-Aide listing Phoenix as 60,000. The largest of the five high schools, has an enrollment of 5,000 students.
The Phoenix Republic and Gazette, morning and afternoon one-ownership newspapers, has just occupied a beautiful stone-finished building.
Early in the evening we visited Esther’s cousins, Walter Righetti, and Uncle Joe Daugherty.
From Blythe to Phoenix there isn’t much to write about. For most of the route there were small desert foothills on either side. Desert shrubs were spotted over the countryside and the intense heat made the barren miles even less attractive. Here and there we passed small settlements with most of the buildings abandoned. Glendale, Ariz. was the only spot of any consequence. It is 25 miles or so from Phoenix.
Today’s scenery has been much more varied. For the first 100 miles east of Phoenix much of the highway frontage was improved with attractive auto courts, health resorts, and Tempe and Mesa were attractive cities. At Tempe we passed the campus of the state Teachers College. Mesa looked especially prosperous and the citrus groves and row crops were well-kept. Mesa has 8,000 people.
The rich, colorful soil and rock formations made varied and interesting scenes in the foothills along the way. For miles ahead of us was Superstition mountain, a ragged skyline and castle-like peaks. Probably named a century and more ago, the early settlers had good reason to call it what they did. Their early-day gods could very easily have resided in the fortress-type knolls and peaks. Copper is mined in this area and varied mixture of ore-rocks gave the mountain-side changing colors.
At Superior, Globe and Miami were large copper smelters and these mining towns, old, were run-down in appearance and Mexicans were idling on the sidewalks this Sunday afternoon.
Our movie camera film has recorded several interesting desert, mountain and mining scenes. We have stopped driving whenever Abbott sighted fitting subjects.
I must not fail to note Safford, a small prosperous business area, surrounded by miles of agricultural land, mostly cotton, alfalfa and dairing. It really looked like a good “spot.”
I also must mention Duncan, 30 miles west of the N.M border. A husky state highway patrolman hailed us an gruffly told us off about not having our ’49 plates. I politely admitted we should have them. The identification cards convinced his we were not a criminal, merely a little negligent. He had trouble making change when we gave him a $5 bill for the $4.50 he charged us for the license papers he fixed us. He said Duncan has had no bank since the “bank holiday.” He said there were several bad characters there and that the old town was a “Wild West” as any place in the west. The temperature was 104.
While in Arizona mountain ranges were always in evidence but here, as we are nearing Las Cruces, N.M. the land is more flat and there are only “hills” spotted along the horizon rather than a connecting range of mountains. There is nothing but desert growth on the countryside. We haven’t seen a decent house for many miles. The highway has two lanes and while it is good, it compares only with our minor streets in Southern California.
We had expected a “hot” trip today but except for a short time, the weather has been cool. A brief shower fell a few hours ago.
We have been nibbling at food most of the day. We fixed sandwiches this morning and the bananas, apples, celery, carrots and cookies we brought from home are still good. Ed Smallwood’s gave us a three-pound box of chocolates just before leaving. I surely like ’em.
TUESDAY, JUNE 21 — A FEW MILES EAST OF SEMINOLE, TEXAS — After staying at White’s City, N.M. last night we are going 50-miles an hour through this hillless farming and oil section of Texas. Fort Worth is our destination tonight. Much to our surprise and pleasure, the temperature is very pleasant while we are riding. The sun really beats down though and mercury is probably near the 100-degree mark.
While this is not supposed to be read by Texans, we must be frank in reporting there isn’t much to see in Texas along our route. Here and there some land is cultivated but the farm houses are small and far between. The soil is red and clayish in appearance. Oil wells dot the landscape occasionally.
Hobbs, N.M. on the Texas border, was largely an oil city. Like the other tow towns this morning, Hobbs had a few large houses and the business district was dusty and unkept.
El Paso, where we stayed Sunday night, will not get much space in this report. Right next to the Mexican border, El Paso is apparently dominated by the Mexican influence. The business district was no appealing, it had very few large buildings. The wartime growth has been great. The fellow at the service station where he got service said there was nothing in that area four years ago.
We drove west to the border just to see it.
In the 160 miles from El Paso to White’s city, gateway to Carlsbad Caverns, there is NOTHING but slightly rolling country sparsely covered with small desert bushes. We saw two non-commercial buildings in that area.
We have already visited one of the big high lights of our trip — CARLSBAD CAVERNS. This one of the nation’s scenic marvels and justifies a long trip just to see it.
The caverns are the result of millions of years of organic creations and far underground are beautiful, fantastic, and weird formations. Down 800 feet below the surface our party of 272 people were within the walls that have remained static for centuries. An occasional drip of water would fall just as it has been doing in the modern era. In a man’s lifetime, however, the little drips have not been enough to make any measurable change in the stalagmites and other formations. Here is the work of the ages.
The cave opening, as it was found by the early settlers in 1862, was our group’s entrance into the underground chasm. Electric lights, spotted expertly, revealed creations only nature and time could fashion, hanging from the ceiling (stalactites), protruding from the floor (stalagmites) and every turn revealed new scenes featuring needlelike creations and mammoth boulders. Pages could be written about this very thrilling experience. We will always remember it as one of the most wonderful sights in America.
An interesting feature occurs at dusk and we returned to the caverns from our cabin at White’s city to see the countless thousands of bats fly out of the cave. This unusual mammal takes to caves, hangs from the ceiling by its tail at night and with the arrival of darkness flies out to forage for insects.
An estimate of 500,000 to several million bats came out of the caves, right on schedule, flew to the amazement of the crowd.
We are really having a lot of fun just driving along, loafing and eating. Abbott took quite a few pictures at the caverns and the camera is ready for anything. We have been buying some food and preparing sandwiches, drinking milk, eating fruit, etc., while we drive along.
A rock just now flew from a truck we met and marred our windshield. We are still in the desert of Texas, although the town of Lamesa, which we just passed, looked fairly good. There were many business buildings.
We bought four oranges at 8 cents each.
NORTHEAST LOUISIANA — Thursday, June 23 — Soon we will be in Vicksburg, Miss., after a very fine trip through eastern Texas and across Louisiana. The countryside has been very green, colorful and interesting ever since Breckenridge, a health resort town about 40 miles west of Fort Worth. As we advanced eastward the desert growth was more dense and taller. Apparently, rainfall is better and the desert blossomed out into fine farms and more intensive cultivation. Shrubbery and grass covered the roadside and all non-farming land.
Fort Worth is a booming city. At the west approach is Arlington Heights, apparently a new residential and business section in very recent years. After getting a place at a nice auto court, we had dinner at the “Chicken Shack” and then for a brief night tour of the business district and a quick glimpse of the new building of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Dallas is another busy place and many big building projects are going on in the business district. The general impression from activity in Dallas and Fort Worth is growth and expansion. The highway frontage between the two towns is something similar to that on Valley boulevard east of Los Angeles.
The Dallas News has a new ultra ultra building. I have never seen any newspaper building so elegant in its facilities and offices.
Eastward along our route were cotton and corn fields or dense underbrush. The landscape is similar to that in Oregon.
It was sultry hot and the thermometer was close to 100 degrees. All of us felt the new kind of “wet” heat and Vernon just couldn’t get enough to drink.
There was a small community about every 20 miles, the larger of the cities being Terrell, Gladewater and Marshall. These are old towns, although the new structures are modern in appearance. At Marshall, on the eastern Texas border, a church building, erected more than 100 years ago, was being town down.
In this town of about 20,000 we were told 80 per cent of the population are Negros. They were in evidence everywhere. They were at work in groups hoeing cotton and there are always plenty of them loitering on the streets everywhere.
Here in Louisiana most of the towns have apparently been “Negro towns.” We had breakfast at Ruston and the waitress said it had 10,000 people. The business district was shabby, the stores small and uninviting. At Arcadia, we stopped at the newspaper office. It looked just about like most small shops.
For most of our trip in Texas and later, the highway has had only two lanes. Road side parks are spotted in shady spots along the route. Just before entering Fort Worth we bought a watermelon and peaches and ate some along the road.
Shreveport, La. was our stopping point last night. It was sultry hot and we can remember Shreveport for that. We got through eating at about 10 p.m. It was 90 degrees. Two fans in the cabin helped keep us cool.
We have changed our route from the original plan in order to see Vicksburg, Natchez and Baton Rouge.
We have just recently passed quite a few very old and small Negro dwellings, apparently “share cropper” houses. (Gasoline is 30 cents a gallon due to a 10-cent a gallon tax.)
We have just crossed the Mississippi river from Louisiana.
MONDAY, JUNE 27, BILOXI, MISS. — We’ll catch up on what has happened. This account must be broad in its perspective because each mile is so filled with changing scenes and interesting spots.
Natchez, Miss., our over-night stop Thursday, is an historic community, described as the second oldest in the U.S. Besides its early history, it is famous for its large early Colonial mansions. Millionaires were made in Natchez’s shipping industry early in the nineteenth century. Consequently, many spacious dwellings were built.
Stanton hall, erected by Frederic Stanton, as his home before the civil war, is the largest and it and the carriage house, occupy the center of a city block. Entrance hall, ballroom, library are all huge rooms to form the first floor and at least six large bedrooms are upstairs. Most of the “large ante-bellum mansions” are in the same general location although a few are some distance apart. We drove past several of them to see the large and beautiful grounds and the palatial colonial-style dwellings. Esther visited Stanton hall, which is maintained by the D.A.R.
Two women’s clubs in Natchez annually sponsor a pilgrimage to the confederate mansions with the result that Natchez has won wide publicity and the tourist business is huge. More than 30,000 people visited Stanton hall in June. Natchez as a town looks its age with a large Negro population. Abbott visited the office of the Natchez Times.
The highway south from Natchez took us through the most beautiful of any countryside on our trip. The large bushy trees and the thick underbrush dominated the area with an occasional plot of corn or cotton dotting the area. Moss, woven like fine thread among the tree limbs, dangled from the branches in various shades of green. In places the trees from each side of the road touched overhead and under this veranda we sped south among the rolling hills.
Negro houses formed small settlements. Two dark-faced, bright-eyed little girls were walking along the road. Abbott snapped their picture as typical characters of the country. Likewise we have gotten many pictures of the green ever-changing countryside.
For our record, we will give Mississippi a top spot as a state of beauty.
Louisiana was on our route again as we drove south on Friday, June 24. At Baton Rouge, the capital, is the 43-story state capital building, a monument to the late Huey P. Long. Like a pile of blocks, the first story was a base and the succeeding stories reach up to the sky for all to see. Its high tower was easily distinguishable as we approached B.R. Elevators were kept busy taking tourists to the top, from where we could a bird’s eye view of B.R. and the Mississippi River.
Many industries and oil concerns are in the northern part of B.R. Like many places on this fast-moving trip, B.R. is being changed by new industries, new stores and increased commerce.
The Mississippi river is muddy as we could see from the ferry that took us from B.R. to Port Allen. The river is about a mile in width.
Ernest Abbott lives at Houma and his home was our immediate destination for this day. Through this area we recognized for the first time sugar canes. From Ernie we learned much about this crop.
From Friday night to Monday morning we were at Houma and had a wonderful time and a grand rest. In view of the fine time we had at Houma it might be inconsiderate to mention the weather. Suffice it to say, it was hot night and day with the humidity very high. We know now why so many people spend so much time on their front porches, just a-sitting. They are trying to keep cool and living as easily as possible.
The Abbotts have a very comfortable house. We were at Ruth’s piano recital Saturday night and on Sunday they took us thru the sugar plantations. Three large companies own most of the land with Negro workers housed in company dwellings adjacent to the plantations.
Cant stalks, produced by the bush-like plants, are cut by machine and huge crushers squeeze out the oil which produce the white sugar crystals. The sugar cane stalks are taken to the crushers by endless chain and at the end of the process the white crystals are sacked.
Across the Mississippi river to New Orleans is the longest bridge over the famous stream — ad it bears the name, why, of course Huey Long.
NEW ORLEANS, the big metropolia of the south and famous for its French history, took several hours of our time. The narrow streets were lined on each side by old buildings, most of them three stories in height. Up the stairs and in front of the windows were intricate patterns of iron grill work. Characteristic of all the old-time buildings, business and residential, is the fancy iron work.
The “French” part of the city is indicated in red on our map for many buildings, all more than 100 years old, are within a close area. A hue statue of a prancing horse with Andrew Jackson in the saddle occupies the central portion of a public square, known as “Jackson square” in the midst of the French section. The statue is in front of the “Cabildo” the official headquarters of the early government. It was in this building the seven governments, in turn, ruled the territory. In the rear is a prison. An old time auction block from which Negro slaves were exhibited for sale is displayed along with many other relics of the slave era.
Adjacent to the “Cabildo” is the St. Louis Cathedral, Catholic church, built in 1794. A few blocks distant are the St. Louis cemeteries with their hundreds of above-the-ground tombs. Some of the tombs, placed in the early 1800’s and perhaps earlier, are crumbling. Interior of some tombs were open to the public eye due to deterioration. Many of the tombs were large and housed remains of families. There are two cemeteries, St. Louis No. 1 and No. 2.
One of the popular and famous historical cafes is Antoine’s — and so to it we went even though the minimum per person charge is $2.50. It was established in 1840 and in so far as possible its appearance is the same now as 100 years ago. Each of us had “Filet de truite a la Marguery”. It was very good and the atmosphere helped to make us glad we had included “Antoine’s” on our tour to New Orleans.
The New Orleans business district looked good. Heading east, we went through beautiful resort and farming areas. Soon after N.O. we saw the Gulf of Mexico. Along the gulf coast to Gulfport and Biloxi were many typical colonial houses, some very spacious. Bathers were in the gulf here and there for miles along the water front. The atmosphere was very pleasant.
Corn appears to be the principal farm crop through this area and there are very few undeveloped spots – there is either farming or wooded areas.
The “deep south” is very attractive. Rains apparently are very frequent. There are no barren spots but everywhere are wooded areas, green grazing land or farming plots.
WEDNESDAY, June 29 — Just out of Ocala, Florida — Abbott just stopped to let Tricia remove a butterfly from the radiator ornament. We are heading toward Tampa and will arrive there early this evening. We stop for anything of interest. For example yesterday morning we were speeding along out of Pensacola, Florida, when we saw ahead a Negress carrying a package atop her head. Abbott put the movie camera toward her. She turned her back but soon walked normally. Esther offered her a quarter but she wouldn’t take anything. Her smile was broad and her gold tooth was prominent.
And so it goes…..
We are in what is reported to be Florida’s citrus district but apparently we are not on the right highway for we have seen no groves in this area. A few miles out of Tallahassee this morning we saw a grove or two.
Vernon attended the Lions club at Ocala. Afterwards we went to Silver Springs, a much publicized lake and springs. This is a major attraction in Florida and many tourists were there but we gave it a brief view, bought some ice cream cones and left. The place is commercialized to the limit.
It is impossible to keep this report up-to-date. Here we are many miles south of Mobile, Alabama, where we stayed Monday night, and which is a very attractive fair-sized city. Some building activity was in evidence and in general the place was neat and looked prosperous. The newspaper and radio station occupied a new building. Azaleas are a common crop but we did not see any.
Mobile has a long water front and several sizeable ships were in the bay. Fishing boats and buildings were in evidence.
Most of yesterday’s route was in sight of the Gulf of Mexico, a route we took especially to see the water. Many new residences and beach resorts are being built along the waterfront and there are such comunities as Hollywood, Long Beach, Santa Monica — all a little Californish. The sand was very white and salt-like in texture and the water was warm. A short distance north of Panama city the kids went in swimming for a refreshing dip. The temperature was fairly high.
Much of the area was wooded, called such by the highway signs. The pine trees had been planted to a large extent and at St. Joe was a paper mill with truck loads of logs heading toward the plant.
Oyster canning was an apparent industry near Apalachicola.
Much of the Florida we have seen has been a woodland, many miles of natural beauty, kept green by daily rainfall. Agriculture is not extensive along our route, although there are many plots of corn, much grazing land and an occasional orchard. Every few miles are small communities but not many people. Ocala has about 11,000 people, but it is a good many miles from any other city.
It is raining now but not nearly as hard as when we left Tallahassee this morning. One of those inch-an-hour downpours occurred for about half an hour as we headed south at 7:30 a.m.
Florida’s capitol is a beautiful city and as in most places new buildings were going up on a small scale. The capitol building is right in the business district.
Small rolling hills are characteristic of Northern Florida and Tallahassee’s streets have a slight slope. North of the town we saw the red roofs of the U. of Florida buildings. There are many auto courts. We have seen nowhere else the public benches that were on the main corners at Tallahassee. A dozen or so benches were placed at several corners — and people were just sitting there.
The rain shower is over. With very little notice the rain comes and when the shower clouds are empty the rain quits, that’s all.
Throughout Texas and all the south, church buildings occupy prominent places in the community. Road side signs advertising and locating churches are very frequent.
Prisoners are used for road work. At several points small groups of prisoners have been working with two guards, each carrying a rifle, watching them.
July 5, Indian River section up the east coast of Florida. We had just gone through the small town of Coco. This seems to be a citrus district. From Miami practically all this way (215 Mi) we have had the Atlantic in one form or another on our right.
Last Thursday we came from Bradenton to Coral Gables through the famous Everglades. Bradenton, Sarasota and Ft. Meyers are the main towns on the “west coast” before we cut through the Everglades to the east coast and Miami. Coral Gables is a suburb of Miami.
When we arrived at Phil and Emma’s home, 1203 Columbus Blvd, it was about 3 p.m.
Our trip through the Everglades was interesting. No doubt they are much more impressive when one knows more about them and really gets back into them. A small creek-like canal ran along beside the highway with innumerable little sloghs coming into it. Part of it seemed to be covered with low swamp grass and scrubby shrubs then it would suddenly become a forest with impenetrable underbrush.
Dotting the highway now and then were Seminole Indian villages. They were quite picturesque with their grass huts up n stilts. We saw signs advertising their wares and the opportunity to come inside and see an Indian wrestle an alligator but we did not stop. Abbott did get a picture of some Indian boys and an Indian woman fixing some vegetables down by the stream. The huts were mostly just a platform with a grass covered roof. Around the collection of huts, or at least along the front was a sort of fence made of the same grass or rushes as the roofs.
No doubt we shall know a great deal more about all this territory after we have read “The Everglades” by Margaret Stoneman Douglas, which Phil gave us.
Phil and Emma really went all out to show us a good time. Highlights of our stay were the barbecue dinner in their large yard and the trips to the beach where Phil had rented two cabanas for three days.
The surf is so warm and comfortable that one could stay in indefinitely — except for the sunburn. The awning in front of the cabanas makes a pleasant place to sit and relax before and after a swim. Beach chairs are a part of the equipment with each cabana.
On the 4th of July we went over to Miami Beach to see the sights. There are hundreds of hotels fronting on the ocean. Some are very tall and modern while others have been there for many years. We walked through the Saxony which is very new and swanky. Summer prices range from $16 per day to $35, while winter prices begin at $35 and go up to $65 per day.
JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA, July 6 — Just a note about the weather. I was up at 4:30 a.m. making sandwiches in the small kitchen of our auto court. I perspired quantities in the early still, sultry morning. “Now at home,” I thought, “this would never happen.” (The weather — not the work.) Later the radio told us low for the night was 74 degrees. Outside of the building it seemed cool until the darkness was wiped out. A road crew was on the job at 6 a.m. in an apparent effort to beat the sun. The workmen, nevertheless, were soaked with perspiration.
Nearing Savannah, Georgia, we are passing through many miles of tall pine trees. Brunswick, Ga., where we stopped for breakfast, has several mills making wood products. An occasional field of corn is the only agricultural product interspersed with the pines, the dense underbrush, swamp land and many small creeks and rivers.
To the left Esther called my attention to a nice colonial-type home. In the pasture were 50 or so head of cattle. The highway is an open range for cattle grazing. Esther is at the wheel. Abbott and Patricia are asleep.
Only occasionally is there a good looking house along the route. As to Negro shacks, there are many of them.
Agriculture must be getting more profitable as we get nearer Savannah. At the right a well-plowed field, enclosed with a strong white fence, was being planted to a row crop, two men and a tractor being on the job. A large white-painted meeting hall was adjacent to the field.
Now, a few miles later, cultivation is gone and the high swamp-growth is cloaked with moss hanging like veils. We are crossing another river — about the tenth this morning. None of them have names but often they serve as a county border line. We are now in “Chatham county.”
Tourist cars are much in evidence and every few miles is a cafe of sorts for the traveler.
A patch of beans is on the left and now there is a field of corn with a few more houses. Trees, probably pecan, are shading a herd of milk cows. A young colored man is resting under a roadside shade tree. A stock farm is being passed but by the time I get to these words, there is more swamp land with a short dried-up growth.
Grazing land is what the swamps apparently turn out to be if the water isn’t too high for a large pasture was next in order.
Savannah was just advertised on a billboard as a year-round resort city. Actually, it is steeped in history and we plan to see some of the historical places.
Usually, these historical centers are maintained for the edification of the visitors as well as securing income for their support — and as the towns’ attraction for the tourists.
This morning’s trip is on the whole through very beautiful country. As has been most of the south, there is here the dense growth and miles of trees. The frequent rains produce this covering.
THE SOUTHERN STATES: LOUISIANA, MISSISSIPPI, ALABAMA, GEORGIA, NORTH CAROLINA, SOUTH CAROLINA, VIRGINIA
If we were making a colored map of the nation, each color to indicate the appearance of its landscape, we would put the south down in green. And there are no mountains — all of this based on what we saw.
Frequent rains give the moisture and if there isn’t any cultivation by farmers there is underbrush, trees, grazing land, even swamps. Mile after mile the scene changed but the green growth was everywhere.
Louisiana near the gulf had its many bayous, extending miles inland. It also has its sugar cane plantations. Cotton and corn are grown sparingly in the northern part.
Mississippi, envisioned by us as a desolate, unattractive area, afforded us a route of beauty. Our glimpse of Alabama was only brief, principally of Mobile and environs. Attractive as an agricultural area, it also had a long waterfront on the gulf and fishing and shipping industries.
Georgia is a state of medium-height trees and there was some sign of a lumber mill and manufacturing industry. Agriculture was on a small scale.
As we proceeded north through the Carolinas, trees and shrubbery gave way to tobacco, cotton and corn farming. Many tobacco fields were in bloom and harvest was to start within a week. We were told a new agricultural era has set in and there was evidence of general prosperity. Commercial fertilizer is used and if 1,000 pounds are spread on an acre of tobacco, the crop forecast can be 1,000 pounds an acre.