Originally Published 06/15/2011 05:43:17 AM
It was their first time together since leaving the west last August, and they were going to have a grand time of it. Donna and Carol flew from Los Angeles to Atlanta, transferring in St. Louis, by way of TWA Connie. Nancy set out from Tuscaloosa in the ’34 LaSalle she borrowed from her dorm mate, and the best friends were together at last and bound for Miami.
They spent two days motoring, US 80 to US 1 in Swainsboro, GA, and south on 1 the rest of the way, eating roadside cafeteria food, laughing, reconnecting, planning, dreaming, smoking Camels, drinking whiskey by the flask, all so happy to be fulfilling the desperate longing to be Somewhere Else and the hurt of being so far from their Racine home and past and each other. They shared driving duties and stayed at a Howard Johnson's Motor Court in Holly Hill, FL.
The next day they made Miami, crazy Miami with the subtropical heat pounding down, the world painfully bright for three middle west girls not used to the pastel blues and greens, the orange, coral and salmon everywhere. They spent four days on the beach: four days lounging under umbrellas, swimming in the warm Atlantic, being together. And four gay nights of dancing, drinking Rum and Coke and Gin and Tonic and discovering the boys of Spring Break.
At the end they all bought two Greetings from South Beach! post cards. On the back said “Wish you were here!” And Donna, Carol and Nancy each wrote “We were!” on each and mailed them to the other two; keepsakes and resonant memories of their trip and friendship hanging on dorm room cinder until the adhesive tape wore away…