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1938 Trip-Detroit

1938 Henry Ford and the Gypsy Coeds

From the most reliable of sources, it appears that for 1938 Darlene was not intent on planning a more spectacular trip to top the 1937 journey into Canada. The trip she planned was to head the car, her “Silver Streak” back to the camping area around the Wisconsin Dells, which the girls had come to enjoy. But a rather spectacular trip actually ensued, one that had its genesis in spontaneity.

For this 1938 trip, Darlene would again take her youngest sister Margie. Margie had finished her junior year of school at Our Lady of Angels boarding school in Clinton Iowa. Ruby McDonald, who had traveled in 1937 was anxious to go again. There would be two new travelers on this trip. Rosemary Moran, who lived on a farm south and west of Bradford was the younger sister of Kathleen Moran who had camped on the first trip in 1935 would make this trip. She had graduated from Bradford High School in 1936, and was going to school at Illinois State Normal teachers college. More than likely Rosemary convinced her dear friend and Bradford high classmate Winnie Swearingen to join her on the 1938 trip. Winnie was attending the University of Illinois, was home for the summer and living with her parents on South Peoria Street. Five girls would pack there belongings into their “Lizzie” to go camping.

Having pitched their tent in the campground near The Wisconsin Dells, the girls were getting to know those camped around them. A group of young boys camped next to them saw their car, the Silver Streak and remarked that the car’s creator, Henry Ford would be celebrating his 75th birthday in a couple of days. Later that evening Darlene and the girls talked themselves into the idea of driving over to Dearborn Michigan to meet Mr. Ford, and personally wish him a Happy Birthday. They had no idea of whether they could be successful, but were determined to try. Early the next morning, they broke camp and headed to Dearborn Michigan. Arriving at a gate to the Ford Motor Company, they were almost turned away, but persistence paid off. They would meet get their picture taken with, and dine with one of the most iconic people of the era, Mr. Henry Ford himself!

1938, Gypsy Coeds with Henry Ford in Dearborn

1938, Gypsy Coeds with Henry Ford in Dearborn

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