Steve L


On the roadtrip of a lifetime, my then 12-year-old daughter, Lauren, and I loaded my TR-6, said farewell to family and friends in San Diego, CA, and headed across country to Newport, RI. See the photo from 1992. I was being transferred from command of Destroyer Squadron 21 in San Diego to be a Fellow on the Navy's Strategic Studies Group for a year. Timing allowed us to have this grand father-daughter adventure exploring National Parks and famous roadways across the country. Each day, Lauren would look at our AAA TripTic and select a place to stop that evening including picking the hotel/motel, side routes to explore, and places to stop and visit. Every afternoon she would reach back into our little cooler behind the seats, pull out cheese, crackers, hummus and fresh veggies, and cold drinks for 'happy hour' in the Triumph. I got to watch her grow along the way as she carefully studied the motel listings, restaurants in the towns where we stopped for the night, and made her selections. In the evening, I would pull into the motel or hotel parking lot, and she would go into the office to ask if there was a room available and decide whether or not she wanted to stay there. Building self esteem, from tot to teen, was a theme in raising our children, and this was a great tool along the way.

One of our favorite stops was in State College, PA, to visit my alma mater, Penn State University. After walking on campus, and visiting my fraternity house. we stopped by the famous Corner Room for Grilled Sticky Cinnamon Buns and coffee. It was August, a week or so before classes begin, so State College was pretty quiet. Suddenly there was an in-pouring of young ladies fresh from practice with the women's gymnastic team -- our booth was surrounded. The girls were wonderful, said hello to Lauren and me, and then chatted as we enjoyed our 'grilled stickies'. Several invited Lauren to see their sorority suites and dorm rooms, and we found ourselves all over camous again in a flurry of young gymnasts. Lauren loved every minute, and it was worth every penny of the ice cream comes I provided for one-and-all at the infamous Penn State Creamery. We then walked back downtown, picked up the TR-6, put the top down, and drove back to the Creamery so Lauren could show the girls "her car". What fun! The following day we drove on to Newport and diretly to Fort Adams to visit our new home, and gaze over the Atlantic as we had done with the Pacific from Point Loma only a week earlier. Nothing better than a road trip in your classic car, flashing headlight exchanges all the way across country, with one of your kids by your side! Happy Motoring!!

As for, as Paul Harvey would say, the rest of the story.....although we were living in Singapore at the time and Lauren had her pick of universities to attend, she selected Penn State and loved her four years as a Nittany Lion. Meanwhile, my '69 TR-6 has now made 18 cross-country trips since April of 1969 when I picked it up at the British-Leyland factory in Coventry, England, and shipped it home to Philadelphia, PA. After 400,000+ miles, the photos below show my Jasmine Yellow TR-6 newly restored and ready for the million-mile-mark -- hopefully driven by our daughter or son.

1 Reader Comment

  • 1
    Claire W. TC, Michigan July 10, 2014 at 13:43
    I absolutely love this story. Thanks for sharing, Steve!

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