After my grandfather, Harry Nunn, retired from the New York City Public Works Department in 1946, he and Nana decided to move from their home on Krueger Avenue in the Bronx to Florida. My mother’s parents knew folks, the Doxstaders, who had moved from Ithaca to Bradenton, Florida, so that became the destination.
My parents and grandparents drove to Florida and upon arrival in Bradenton immediately connected with the Doxstaders, who took them to the local trailer sales and helped them pick out just the right one. My grandparents purchased a small trailer home, had it delivered to the Bradenton Kiwanis Trailer Park (noted as the largest trailer park in the world at that time), and were able to sleep in it that very evening. The trailer did not have a bathroom, so they had to walk to the park’s bathhouse to wash and use the facilities.
|Nana and Pop outside their new Florida home|
Their small trailer became our family vacation destination for many years. Sleeping arrangements were creative; I was on a cot set up in the tiny kitchen area after dishes were done, and my brother slept in our station wagon. We did not mind.
Those were the years of the warm Florida winters. Each day we drove the Tamiami Trail to Sarasota’s Lido Beach where we swam and played in the sand. Catching coquinas as they dug into the sand after each wave was one of our favorite pastimes. When they dried, we spread their colorful shells like butterfly wings.
My grandmother always had a delicious dinner awaiting us. Roast pork, mashed potatoes and gravy, fresh green beans and tossed salad was one of our favorite meals. There was always something delicious for dessert, and of course, sweet fresh picked grapefruit was always available. My mouth waters just to think about it.
In later years, my father purchased a cabana for the trailer that doubled the size and included a small bathroom. What a treat that was for the family.
Watching the state-of-the-art RVs on the Interstates today reminds me of that little trailer of the 1950s. In spite of its limited space, we made do and created wonderful family memories.
|Left: Ed and Harry Nunn; right: Mary Ellen Nunn|