Climax family travels to California and back

Published 5:43 pm Tuesday, July 21, 2015

We were supposed to go to the Philippines this year,” began narrator Joseph Kelley of Climax, and teacher at Bainbridge High School, as he commenced telling the story about taking his parents, Paul and Juliet Kelly, and Aunt Luz Musgrove on another road trip of their life!

He said, instead of the Philippines, his Aunt Luz asked him if he would go with her to California. It seemed Luz, by way of Facebook, had contacted some of her former co-teacher friends she had worked with in the Philippines who were now living in California. They asked her to come for a visit and she had not seen them since she and they had left their home land around 30 years prior.

Different plans were tossed about, Joseph said, including flying to California. This was when Paul told Joseph one of his lifelong dreams had been to see the giant redwood trees in the Sequoia National Park, and visit Napa Valley.

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At a young age Paul had taken his parents, Maggie and Melvin Kelly to see the Grand Canyon, this fact along with Paul’s lifelong dream became the deciding factor in how the trip to California would be made. They would drive making it easier on some of the health conditions of Paul and Juliet.

Joseph said since his Dad had taken his parents, to see the Grand Canyon when he was about his age, he felt that it was rather poetic that it was now his turn and he could take his parents to the Grand Canyon, and then a little farther, all the way to California.

Joseph said he set up the entire itinerary down to the very hour, and the trip kept growing with everyone wanting to see different things. It went from one week to two then to three weeks.

Joseph said the goal following his itinerary was to leave Climax, Monday June, at 3 a.m., so they could be in Oklahoma City Monday night.  Joseph said they left on Highway 84 going past Bainbridge High School to pick up Aunt Luz.

After loading Luz’s luggage, they hear this declaration from Paul, “Joseph, I think I dropped my wallet in your yard, I don’t have it with me!” Joseph said they turned around passing back by Bainbridge High to Climax, sure enough they found Paul’s wallet in the yard! Leaving Climax again and passing back by BHS they are on their way. That is until they reach the Alabama/Georgia line when Paul said, “I think I left my breathing machine at home! I have to have my oxygen. I can’t sleep without it!”

So the travelers turned around again back by BHS, back to Climax and back to Paul and Juliet’s house, found the breathing machine, loaded it up and were back on their way.

Needless to say the itinerary was shot to pieces! Joseph said it is OK to say he was ticked off by now.

Joseph said the next day they made up for the rough start, and they were back on schedule and from then everything went wonderfully well.

One of their goals he said was to get their “Kicks on route 66!” With only bit and pieces of the old historic route 66 left, they made stops along the way, one being in Amarillo, Texas, “The Big Texan Steak Ranch.”

He said they stayed one night in New Mexico. They saw the Painted Desert in Flagstaff, Arizona, and they also saw the Petrified Forest, and visited Tombstone in Arizona.

Then next on their to do list was the Grand Canyon. Paul and Joseph had both seen the canyon, but Juliet and Luz had not. He said it was beautiful, if anyone thinks there isn’t a God he said they should go to the Grand Canyon. It is very evident!

At the Grand Canyon Joseph said his Dad’s Climax Ambassadorship clicked in again. Paul met a couple from Holland and told them he was interested in Holland. He told the couple he collected coins from other countries and he would pay them if they had any to share.

The lady told Paul she had about $1 worth, but Paul paid her $5. He said she didn’t want to take that much but he told her he didn’t have anything smaller.

Joseph said no matter where they went or what they did his Dad talked about Climax (a true Ambassador).

The next day the group drove through the Mojave Desert for around 4 hours meeting only one other car. Due to the drought in California they were conserving water even in the desert. Signs said 300 miles to the next rest stop. Paul said they stopped at the last one and it had no flushable toilet only portable ones like some we see around Climax at Swine Time.

They called home asking for everyone to pray they got out of that desert! It was so hot and they couldn’t use the car’s air conditioner. They said they were so glad to see Bakersfield California.

The next day Paul got to see his dream. They went to the Sequoia National Park redwood forest where Paul saw the General Sherman tree. This is the biggest redwood tree by volume in the world; it isn’t the tallest or the oldest although it is over 2000 years old. These trees grow so slowly, but Paul brought two saplings home to plant when they get big enough. He said he was planting them for future generations maybe his great great grandchildren.

The same day they also toured the Castello di Amorosa winery in Napa Valley. They viewed the castle and the vineyards

Paul said since he wouldn’t get to see these things but once in his lifetime, he was going to bring back a redwood tree and a bottle of wine, except it was grape juice and Paul had it shipped home.

Joseph said San Francisco was the prettiest city of all to him. They toured the city and ate at fisherman Warf pier 39 while there.

Then they traveled to Salinas, California to visit more of Luz’s co-workers from the Philippine and Mrs. Pagal who was also Juliet’s teacher in the Philippines. This is also a farming area too. There is a heavy Filipino population in and near San Francisco, so Joseph said because having worked with Aunt Luz they treated them royally.

One night they were taken to a very nice restaurant, Joseph said.

Of course Joseph said they were all laughing and having fun and probably a little loud too. While shopping earlier before dinner, they had bought some Pilipino sardines, and to add to the fun Paul opened a can of the sardines. Joseph said there they sat in a fancy restaurant passing around a can of sardines!

They caught the attention of a lady close to their table. She came over and told them that they appeared to be a close fun loving family, and she didn’t see much of that around where she lived. She said, that was truly a Blessing, and she felt led by the Holy Spirit to pray for the group if they would permit.

After the prayer Joseph said his Dad offered the lady some sardines and ketchup! He continued saying they broke bread and had some sardines comparing it to when Jesus fed the masses with the fishes and bread! Paul said even after she had a sardine there was still one sardine left, “our basket was still full, we were fishers of men, we threw out our little sardines and she caught it!” Paul said.

Of course Joseph explained, the Climax Ambassador came back out, and before the others knew what happened, Paul had exchanged addresses with the lady inviting her to Climax. She said it had to be a wonderful place for such nice people to be from there.

They visited the Ronald Reagan Library, and naturally out came the Climax Ambassador. Joseph said his Dad had a tour guide and he scolded Paul for stopping the lady from her work. Later before they left, the tour guide talked to Joseph alone telling him to let his Dad talk, she said he is very proud of you his son and where he lives, “so you just let him talk!”

L.A. was next on the list they took a tour of Beverly Hills, Hollywood, and etc.

Then Juliet’s dream for the trip was to be on the Price is Right. However, they were not taping at that time so they got tickets for Let’s Make a Deal instead.

They had to sign a contract stating they would not discuss what happened on the show until after it aired.

Joseph was dressed like Cesar so he called himself Cesar of Climax and our Climax folks are in the audience. We will stop there except to say that this issue will probably air on Oct 1st.

Joseph wanted to go to Disney Land so he and Aunt Luz took their day there since they were celebrating the 60th anniversary.

June 20, the travelers were heading home to Climax, with a stop in San Antonio, Texas because Paul wanted to attend Church at the Corner Stone Church of John Hagee.

Joseph said that at the end of their trip there was a beautiful rainbow greeting them when they left Texas traveling home. He also said, “while it is good to travel seeing other places, and after our rough start we did end the trip on a good note, with God traveling with us all the way; it is still good to be home in Climax where the birds sing you to sleep and you can tell the time of night by a lone train whistle!”