1979 Tullahoma Trip

In 1979, May, about a year and a quarter after my parents and younger two siblings left LA and moved to Tennessee (while I stayed to live in LA), my father financed a trip for me to visit them, there in Tullahoma. In the few days before the trip, I researched and bought a serious camera, a Pentax SLR (single-lens-reflex), to take on the trip. Here’s a photo of the camera, with which I took all the photos from 1979 to the late ’90s (until I bought my first digital camera). As I recall I spent $240 on it, in 1979, an in era when my rent on my admittedly tiny apartment was $200 a month; about half my take-home income for a month. (It seems to be in working order, still; the mechanism work, and for all I know after 20+ years, there’s a roll of film still in camera, unfinished and undeveloped…)

(Personal aside. My plane trip to Tullahoma, at age 23, was likely the first time I’d been on a plane since my parents brought me to the US as an infant, from England, in March 1957. What is memorable about the trip is that it was before the ’80s Reagan era of “deregulation,” when standard pricing for airline seats was revoked. The effect of regulation was that airlines had no motive to fill every seat in order to make a profit, or at least stay in business. And what I remember, on one of the flights of that trip, is that I was on a large plane that was half empty. I was, in fact, stuck in the middle seat in the center section of a wide-bodied plane (on a red-eye, cheap overnight flight), with two military men on either side of me, who carried on a conversation as if I weren’t there. That’s what I remember, that, and the fact that the plane was half empty. Later, by the late ’80s when I began taking business trips for work, and in the ’90s when I began attending science fiction conventions in far-away cities, and long after Reagan’s deregulation, that was never true again. Planes were always packed.)

This was the Tullahoma house. It sat along a highway southeast of town, likely 41A (looking at a map just now), and included about an acre of woods behind the house.

This was the view from the front, looking across the highway:

And the area behind the house:

My father had acquired a pickup truck and camper shell, since leaving California.

Interior, living room:

Here’s my little brother Kevin, all dressed up for some event. What would it have been, at age 15? Perhaps he’ll let me know.

Here he is more casually, sitting pensively at a piano.

We took a drive to some nearby river mill, where I tried out my new camera on some landscapes.

And here’s Kevin carousing with their new Samoyed.


Finally here are several pics from a day drive to Huntsville, Tennessee, to visit the air and space museum there. (In later decades, on business trips from LA to Huntsville, I had at least a couple additional occasions to tour the place.)