EXIT Of The DAY: EXIT 101b I-4s To: Heathrow, Florida
This is what you would hear if you had the RoadSpoke app and drove past this Exit:
Off this Exit is the AAA National Headquarters. Given that it claims over 60,000,000 members, Triple A may be considered the mother of all RoadTrippers. Or not. That honor really belongs to a plucky housewife from New Jersey named Alice Huyler Ramsey.
On a Saturday in August 1909, 59 days after starting in New York, Alice Ramsey drove off a ferry into San Francisco. She thus became the first woman to drive a motor car across the United States.
The Hackensack, New Jersey native discovered that the lack of suitable roads made the adventure more similar to a trip by gold seekers in the days of ’49 than it did to modern day travelers. Only 152 of the 3600 miles was paved. Despite this, Newspapers remarked on the good shape of her Maxwell car. It was dusty but clean. They said it was not battered and scarred but showed that it had received treatment "much more considerate than would have given by a man."
Still, Ramsey had it right when she said, "Good driving has nothing to do with sex. It's all above the collar.” As for the transcontinental trip itself, articles described the machine climbing steep grades, crawling roads made from goop, extracting the machine from an irrigation ditch, suffering multiple blow outs and the necessity of driving as much as possible alongside the railroad tracks of the Transcontinental Union Pacific in order not to lose contact with civilization.
Other than the tracks, Ramsey used maps provided by Triple A. She needed the best horse trails wide enough for car travel.
By the time she had reached Sacramento, Alice was leading a parade of vehicular well-wishers who followed in her dust. They honked to announce her extraordinary feat.
Remarkably it is very difficult to imagine how stone aged vehicle travel was just a few generations ago. In 1960 she was named Woman Motorist of the Century by Triple A and she would live until 1983.
In large part, the safety standards of both highways and vehicles as advocated by the Triple A are responsible for today’s smart standards. And so it will be as the world embarks into a future of driverless cars. Then as now, safety, technology, Triple A … and of course women…. lead the way!
Thanks Triple A! Thanks Alice Ramsey!
#CrossCountry #Roadtrippers #RoadWarrior #Firstladytodriveacrosscountry #AAA #TripleA #AAAMaps #WomanMotoristoftheCentury #Motorist #SpokenRoad #Roadtrip
Hear this …. HERE!
EXIT of the Day: I-95s Exit 22b a in MA To: Grove St & Newton, Wellesley MA
Funny girl Jane Curtin grew up in upcoming Wellesley, Massachusetts, where, as a good Catholic girl, she attended the Convent of the Sacred Heart. Perhaps it was there that she perfected her stone faced reactions to outrageous statements. The straight man in countless over the top skits that assaulted her sex and dignity, Jane later became famous as “The Queen of Deadpan”.
In a Hollywood Reporter article in 2019, she reflected on sexism and misogny in TV. If any comedian has a perspective on the excesses of the industry, it's Jane. You see Jane in 1975 was with John Belushi, Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd, Gilda Radner, and Bill Murray in the freshman class of Saturday Night Live.
She was an original member of the so-called "Not Ready For Prime Time Players”. Thanks to this high testosterone ensemble, the show was an explosive success — a success soaked in sex, drugs, shock and yes, misogyny.
A lot of the humor was sexist. And behind the scenes, it was surprisingly no less enlightened. This secretly irked the young actress. While all of the male cast members got their own dressing rooms, Jane Curtin, Gilda Radner, and Laraine Newman had to share.
Says Jane in the Hollywood Reporter, “It was a different time. It was stunning because in the improv group I came from in Cambridge, Massachusetts, there was no sexism. We were all equals; we all respected each other. But by the time I got to Saturday Night Live the Equal Rights Amendment didn't pass, which was stunning to me. And I go into this world where they hadn't even discussed an Equal Rights Amendment. It wasn't a part of their life; it didn't affect them. So they were still continuing in that late '50s, early '60s kind of culture. They hadn't evolved yet.”
But SNL was nothing if not disrespectful equally to everyone. Minorities as well as women got short work. On Weekend Update segments, Curtin's newscaster introduced baseball expert Chico Escuela played by African American comic, Garrett Morris. In heavily accented Spanglais, Chico repeated his famous catchphrase, “Baseball been bery, bery good to me!”
Can Jane Curtin say the same thing about her years on SNL— that SNL had been berry berry good to her. Likely yes.
In the years since, Jane got to choose her own career path and has won a pair of Emmy Awards for Best Lead Actress in a Comedy Series on the 1980s sitcom “Kate & Allie”. Jane later starred opposite John Lithgow in the hit series “3rd Rock from the Sun”. Plus she did dabble in films reprising her SNL skit as a feature in "Coneheads".
Then as now, Jane chose TV over film because she enjoyed regular 8 hour work days. Probably in reaction to all the chaos of SNL, the lady from Wellesley chose to go home every night to spend quality time with her husband and daughter. Seems the "Queen of Dead Pan" was just as comfortable with a frying pan all along.
#SNL #SaturdayNightLive #JaneCurtin #WeekendUpdate #Wellesley #ConventoftheSacredHeart #JohnBelushi #DanAkroyd #GarrettMorris #HollywoodReporter