Don't Make Me Pull Over! by Richard Ratay
eBook review copy; 288 pages
Don't Make Me Pull Over!: An Informal History of the Family Road
Trip by Richard Ratay is a highly recommended look at the historical and personal aspects of family vacation roadtrips.
As late as 1975 four in five Americans had never traveled by plane, so how did families travel then (and earlier) for their vacations? By car, of course! Family vacation roads trips are legendary and most (large) families who experienced these treks have the stories and quotes to back up their claims. In Don't Make Me Pull Over! Ratay,
who focuses on his family's road trips in the seventies, and covers:
the history of the development of interstate highways; the beginning of
road trips and those who pioneered driving cross country; maps; speed
limits; radar detectors; CB radios; diversions along the way; eating on
the road and drive-ins; gas stations; camping and motels; car styles
and station wagons; seat belts and safety - to name a few topics.
Early family road trips, before portable DVD players, electronic games,
etc, were an option, required a bit more work to entertain or keep the
whole carload happy or at least content. My experience of family road
trips started off earlier than Ratay's family trips. Of course many of
us remember no ac or seat belts in cars and that it was the oil crisis
of 1973 that started the 55 mph speed limit. And some of us had to learn
to drive in a station wagon.
This is an imminently readable and enjoyable mix of history and personal
recollections. Ratay does a nice job mixing light hearted nostalgia
with the history and
developments that the love of car trips encouraged. I appreciated the
historical context along with the footnotes. Readers who have
experience the family road trip will appreciate the
historical context of many of the topics Ratay covers. It will also
bring back some memories of road trips in your past. After you, perhaps,
learn a historical fact or two, you will want to
call family members and laugh about vacations in the past.
My review copy was courtesy of Scribner.