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Being a Backseat Driver in the 1960's.
Learning about the World from the Backseat of a Car
Oh, the back seat!
I remember many road trips where I was in the back seat. My Sister was there with me and we did enjoy the scenery.
From an early age, I learned about not only what I saw on my own, but what my parents pointed out to me.
While we still see these things today, think about viewing them in the 1960's; that's when I first saw them.
Any comments or views about your early nostalgic road trips would be appreciated in the Guestbook below.
Thanks for taking a drive through the country with me!
The View from the Backseat - Are we there yet?
This is where it all Began - The 1960 Volkswagen
The Back Seat of the Car - Let's go for a Ride!
I remember the back seat of the car very well.
I was born in the early 1960's. During my early years, my Father had a 1960 Volkswagen.
In those years, there was no such thing as a baby or car seat and we just rode on the seat. I don't even think there were seat belts. I do remember a strap that hang from the roof that you could hold.
Before riding in the back seat, I remember riding on my Mother's lap. In the 1960's, there were no laws that children needed to be in the back seat and we rode in the front.
As I got older, I remember being able to see out of the windows and watching the scenery roll by.
I have many memories while riding in the back seat. What are yours?
You can't grow up without your own Steering Wheel - Start your own family tradition in the backseat of your car!
Growing up, I think every kid had one of these.
Whether it was a hand-me-down, or a new one, I have seen these in cars for of almost everyone that have raised children.
Your children want to emulate you when you drive and this little activity center will ensure hours of fun.
If you don't bring any other activities for your child, you need to have one of these.
What Activities do you and your Children do while taking a Roadtrip?
How do you have fun while riding in the car?
This is how the Previous Generation Predicted 1960 would Appear - Not exactly the way it was!
The Road Trip
Growing up, the highlight of our week would be to "go for a ride." on Sundays.
Although it was not the same "ride" that the mafia would take passengers on, we traveled many of the back country roads in Ohio.
I learned much about the country and about things from an early age, just from traveling these back roads and rural highways.
There were a lot of things in particular that we drove to see, but many times, we just took a ride. I loved riding in the car. I would steer my steering wheel, mimicking my Father, and we would also sing and play games. Roadside bingo was one of my favorites and I was surprised to find that this fun game is still made. I have included the ad for it below so you can order it for your children.
I have collected numerous photos and interesting facts for you to enjoy during your ride with me on my road trip and I hope you have fun during our journey!
I played this as a Child! - Roadtrip Bingo - It kept us busy while we were traveling in the car!
I remember that this was a favorite during our times in the car.
The purpose of the game is to look for the objects on the bingo card. Once you find and call out the object, you close the little window.
The rest of the game is just like bingo. You fill up the card and the first one who completes the card, wins!
None of the cards are exactly the same and there are different objects on each. This makes the game interesting and allows variety every time it is played.
Wilmington Ohio - My Hometown - And all of the surrounding highways
Being Safe while Taking a Roadtrip - What should you take with you on your roadtrip?
You may not need all of these items but you can never go wrong by having them in case you need them.
- Always have plenty of drinking water. Although it may not be hot, if you break down or get lost, you will not know if you will have access to drinking water.
- A flashlight along with an extra set of batteries.
- A small folding shovel - This could be useful if you get lost and need it for any reason.
- A set of jumper cables.
- Enough blankets for everyone in the automobile.
- A set of tools including pliers and screwdrivers.
- Food or rations (enough to last several days).
- Rain gear.
- Extra clothes.
- Sleeping bags.
- Toilet paper.
The Road Sign
One of the most common sights on a road trip is a road sign.
When I was a child, I was fascinated by the numbers on the signs. As I got older, all of the numbers get became more confusing!
Highway road signs were first used in the the mid 1920's. Before that, you drove by landmark. "Turn at the 3rd tree past the picket fence."
The highway road "shield" design was actually created in the late 1700's, after the Revolutionary War.
The Backseat Driver Song for Children - by Frank Leto
Get the Backseat Driver Song Here
This is a great little song for children who love riding in the car.
There were similar songs when I was a child and this song will keep your child entertained and have fun while taking a road trip.
Bridges have a unique history.
Everyone remembers the first covered bridge they've ever seen. There were many of them where I lived. They were created long before cars to keep the horses and riders from getting wet in the rain.
In the early days of the automobile, there were not many bridges but they took on many shapes and compositions to enable people to travel during all types of weather.
When I was young, I remember the flooding over bridges and I am scared of floods to this day.
The Highway Billboard
I have shown two billboards from the 1960's era with designs that were very popular during that time.
Billboards have been prominent on highways since the advent of the Ford Model-T.
There were so many billboards emerging during the 1960's that Lady Bird Johnson helped promote the "Highway Beautification Act" to help minimize advertising.
In taking a road trip through the Midwest, there is no shortage of old buildings.
Many of these are old barns and homes, but other numerous types can be seen.
When I was younger, I would go in these old buildings on personal treasure hunts, although I had to be very careful.
The General Store
When I was young, I lived near a general store.
I remember the wood floors and old advertising, including the bread signs that were strapped diagonally along the screen doors.
Many of these exist today but most are abandoned or used for another purpose.
It was common to pass many of these on a road trip in the 1960's. Some of them doubled as the post office.
Free Roadtrip Games from the Department of Motor Vehicles
- Road Trip Games from DMV.org
Ever wonder what to do on a boring road trip? Put down the smart phones and play these interactive games. These will keep you busy and provide hours of fun for the entire family.
The One Room Schoolhouse
I first went to school in a brick schoolhouse, although it had more than a single room.
The back roads of the Midwestern States are littered with these old one-room schoolhouses.
Most are brick but you can find them built with other materials.
We need to Stop at the Filling Station
Gas stations were local in the early 1960's and accommodated all types of auto-related purposes.
Other than filling up for gas, you could usually buy your tires, oil and windshield wipers. The attendants would fill up your gas, wash your windshield and also check your oil. There was no such thing as "self serve" in those days.
Also, there was usually a "pop" machine, you couldn't buy any other food there. You needed to go to the general store for that.
Don't forget to drink a Bottle of Pop with Goober
The Old Country Church and Cemetery
Along with all other types of buildings, there are also many country churches that dot the countryside of the Midwestern United States.
Old churches take many shapes and forms. Some are abandoned and some are still in use.
Usually, a church had a cemetery associated with it. While other cemeteries exist, most of the families that attended that particular church were buried behind it.
I have a friend who lives in an old church, converted into a home.
Rusty Old Vehicles
If you live in Ohio or other Midwestern states, you will most always see old rusty vehicles either along the road or around the properties.
While most people in the 1960's didn't think their junk was worth anything, there has been a resurgence of interest in rusty vehicles.