1 June 65 : Off the beaten track: Alabama, USA

Tuesday 1st June 1965

Dear Family,

Owing to the fact that we are needed in a hurry at the new job in Shreveport, Louisiana our tour here in Alabama has been cut short. The jobs that we were to do in Florida have been done by someone else, so we shan’t be going to Panama City after all.

We don’t mind at all though, as this gives us more time in the middle Southwest, and we shall have more chance to get into Texas. We shall probably be leaving for that area early next week.

This means that we are now going to spend this weekend in New Orleans, as this will now be our only chance. This should be a good weekend as everyone says that it is a great place. We are planning to go on one of the famous Mississippi Riverboats.




There is lots of cotton grown around here, and it is beginning to grow now. It grows on small bushes which grow every year from seeds, and these bushes are now about a foot high. They grow to about three feet high before the cotton actually appears.

Although it is grown here in Alabama, it is grown more in Mississippi – so we should see a lot there.


cotton in the field Alabama - from wikimedia
cotton in the field Alabama – image in public domain with thanks – By Sandlapper1709 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=44458068



Last evening we got completely lost. We were trying to get to a very small town and had to go on small side roads. Lots of these roads have no surface and are just dust tracks. The soil is very red and as you drive along you leave behind a huge red cloud of dust (just as you have seen in the films).

We started to become doubtful when the road started to get very narrow and we began driving through fields, and overtaking coloured workers on their way home from the fields on their mule drawn carts and buggies.

We finally couldn’t go any further when the road became a cart track, and we finally decided we were lost. We ended up by doing 120 miles to do a 50 mile journey. Still, we saw a bit of the real ‘off the beaten track’ countryside.


1965 05 Alabama horse drawn cart
Tony’s photo of farm workers in Alabama


To be continued… 

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