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  • In 1961 two housewives from Peoria answered a small ad in a magazine - advertising a roadtrip through Mexico. My mom and her best friend Bracha had never been on a roadtrip before, let alone to Mexico. Somehow they convinced their husbands to let them go. The tour guide turned out to be a guy with a station wagon who drove them to a lot of places. I so regret that I never tried to get the details of their three week adventure and only have some small black and white photos of them at various ruins and some with weavers. There are a few playful shots of my mom and the tour guide and a few by the roadside changing a flat tire. My mom was 32 then.

    I know that their visit to the weavers outside of Oaxaca was a seminal one for Bracha. She was deeply inspired by the work of those village craftsmen and began to take weaving classes when they returned. Over the years she would become a master weaver herself creating pieces for museums and even some woven sculptures of people that hung in the basement where I stayed with her sons when I slept over.

    Perhaps 15 or more years later, my Mom told me that they had taken peyote at a village they visited. Unfortunately, it had not gone well for Bracha, who rose up outside of her body while her vital signs took a scary dip.

    I know that when the 3-week trip was about to end they asked their husbands to send some money so they could stay a little longer. My dad told me he convinced Irv not to do it and so they returned home to their routines and duties raising five sons between them.

    My mom died over thirty years ago and Bracha has had Alzheimer’s for many years so I’ll never know the whole story. But I’m happy they went so far off of their grid and for whatever experiences they savored and stored away in their hearts and minds. I’m certain that their roadtrip sewed seeds for the many passages my mom undertook in later years. I suspect it even helped me ten years later when I was 18 and told my mom I was going to hitchhike to California. She lived in St. Louis then and I was home during the summer after a year of college. We argued about it for most of the weekend, but she dropped me off on Route 66 on her way to work Monday morning.
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