Don't make me pull over! : an informal history of the family road trip

by Ratay, Richard,

Format: Print Book 2018.
Availability: Available at 10 Libraries 10 of 14 copies
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CLP - Woods Run Non-Fiction Collection E169.Z8 R37 2018
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Carnegie Library of Homestead New Non-Fiction 306.0973 Rata
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"A lighthearted, entertaining trip down Memory Lane" ( Kirkus Reviews ), Don't Make Me Pull Over! offers a nostalgic look at the golden age of family road trips--before portable DVD players, smartphones, and Google Maps.

The birth of America's first interstate highways in the 1950s hit the gas pedal on the road trip phenomenon and families were soon streaming--sans seatbelts!--to a range of sometimes stirring, sometimes wacky locations. In the days before cheap air travel, families didn't so much take vacations as survive them. Between home and destination lay thousands of miles and dozens of annoyances, and with his family Richard Ratay experienced all of them--from being crowded into the backseat with noogie-happy older brothers, to picking out a souvenir only to find that a better one might have been had at the next attraction, to dealing with a dad who didn't believe in bathroom breaks.

Now, decades later, Ratay offers "an amiable and informative" (New York Newsday ) that "goes down like a cold lemonade on a hot summer's day" ( The Wall Street Journal ). In hundreds of amusing ways, he reminds us of what once made the Great American Family Road Trip so great, including twenty-foot "land yachts," oasis-like Holiday Inn "Holidomes," "Smokey"-spotting Fuzzbusters, twenty-eight glorious flavors of Howard Johnson's ice cream, and the thrill of finding a "good buddy" on the CB radio.

An "informative, often hilarious family narrative [that] perfectly captures the love-hate relationship many have with road trips" ( Publishers Weekly ), Don't Make Me Pull Over! reveals how the family road trip came to be, how its evolution mirrored the country's, and why those magical journeys that once brought families together--for better and worse--have largely disappeared.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Gen Xers in particular will find themselves at home in the pages of Ratay's first book, which combines memoir and historical narrative to explore the American family vacation. In a style reminiscent of George Saunders' essay collection The Braindead Megaphone (2007), Ratay regales readers with personal anecdotes filled with the sort of bemusing details that make brain candy of the most mundane of events. Ratay's opening chapter, Swerving through the Seventies, transports readers to a Wally World-esque destination in search of good old-fashioned family togetherness. In other chapters, which include Smokeys in the Bush: Dodging Cops (and Stops) on the Interstate and Heavy Metal Highways: Land Yachts, Station Wagons and The Thing,' Ratay seamlessly weaves together histories of transportation, travel, and the various industrial changes that brought about and shaped the road trip as the iconic American family vacation. Artfully entertaining and informative at once, Ratay's book will interest all those who look back fondly on days spent fighting with siblings in the backseat of a station wagon, on the road to somewhere.--Glendy X. Mattalia Copyright 2018 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "With smartphones and rear-seat entertainment systems, the family road-trip experience has changed dramatically, writes Ratay in this enjoyable reminiscence on what they used to be. Ratay, an advertising copywriter, begins his story in 1976, when, as a seven-year-old, he and his family crashed into a ditch during a blizzard while driving from Wisconsin to Florida; years later, everyone would deem that incident "the best start to family road trip ever." Ratay recalls taking long car trips with his father, mother, sister, and two brothers, playing games in the backseat with his siblings while his parents engaged in the "Battle of E" (in which his mom continually asks his dad to get gas while dad waits for the last possible second before running out). Throughout, he also explores how America's love affair with the automobile forced better safety requirements (e.g., enforced seat-belt regulations) and pushed lawmakers to develop an interstate road system. He explains how road trips influenced the concept of roadside diners (in the 1930s a Georgia pecan farmer started what would become the convenient road-stop restaurant, Stuckey's), the creation of travel lodging (a road trip inspired Charles Wilson to open the Holiday Inn in 1951), and how cars were developed to accommodate entire families. Ratay's informative, often hilarious family narrative perfectly captures the love-hate relationship many have with road trips. (July) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Automobile travel -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Family vacations -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Popular culture -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
United States -- Social life and customs -- 20th century.
Publisher New York :2018.
Edition First Scribner hardcover edition.
Other Titles Do not make me pull over
Language English
Notes Includes index.
Description xii, 272 pages ; 24 cm
ISBN 9781501188749
Other Classic View