Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Vintage Thingie Thursday - Carlsbad Caverns, a boy in a basket!

Carlsbad Caverns
White City, New Mexico by Jim White

As a little girl I remember stories about Jim White, the man who discovered Carlsbad Caverns.
I made two visits there.. one as  a child and one as an adult with our sons.

The story goes, Jim White and my grandfather
were friends in New Mexico. My grandfather was in the hotel business in Roswell and Portales, New Mexico.
Around 1926 Mr. White was busy promoting Carlsbad Caverns. He had told my grandfather about his discovery several years earlier. It wasn't until 1926 that he offered to show my grandfather the caverns and would even take my father who was only about two years old at the time.
Mr. White is pictured displaying the bucket that
was used to lower the first tourists into the caverns. The means by which my grandfather and father were lowered was described to us
was a basket. My father says he remembers
going "down, down into pure darkness".
Personally I would have found that incredibly
frightening, however, my father never let on if he was scared. But he did remember the experience!

Here is a picture of my grandfather and father
about the time of their "journey into darkness".

I was very fortunate to find this publication with
the pictures of Mr. White in an antiques mall in Austin, Texas. It is autographed by Mr. White.
It's a great story and it was obvious that he was an amazing adventurer.

I wonder now how much this childhood experience for my father
led him into further experiences in his life that would call for
extreme bravery... combat in WWII, living in Africa, Syria, Iran, Pakistan during a times of
government turmoil. Viewing the Kyber Pass knowing that it was probably the most dangerous spot in the world.
His close calls were many.
Most of us would never consider lowering our small child into a dark cavernous pit. I'm not sure what my grandmother was thinking
when my grandfather took my father on an adventure of
a lifetime. But one thing my father learned that day... he set a high standard for surviving danger.

I wonder if I allowed my children to ever have such an experience.
I can't wait to ask them what was their first memory of
danger... and did I condone it?

I am linking to
Colorado Lady

Vintage Thingie Thursday

If you enjoy vintage items as well as the search for
family, you will enjoy her blog!


Julie Harward said...

Very cool...I have always heard of this place but this was so interesting to see pictures and hear a personal story..thanks for sharing it. I loved the picture of your dad as a little boy! :D

Olive Cooper said...

A mother does have a time with allowing kids to subject themselves to danger. Very interesting detailed post. Happt VTT. olive♥

Rita said...

Very interesting. I have been to Carlsbad Caverns three times and enjoyed it each trip. We never know how an experience will change our lives until we go through it. Thankfully, you found that brochure and could connect it to your family.

Marydon said...

What a lovely remembrance & story, Karen. The picture is wonderful for you to share with the story for all your wee ones.

Have a lovely summer's eve ~
TTFN ~ Marydon

LV said...

Many years ago I visited Carlsbad Caverns. I found it most interesting, but a little frightening. I am not one that likes to be under ground alive. I did not remember all the history of it. Thanks for sharing that with us.

Neil and Susan Brown said...

Your dad was certainly a brave man! We visited Carlsbad when we were children. What a wonderful connection you have. Great blog Karen! :)

Marydon said...

Karen, 1/2 the pics are recent. There will be more tomorrow posted. Don't you just love that owl just sitting there? He sees the most fantastic animals up there.

TY for popping by.
TTFN ~ Marydon

Postcardy said...

By coincidence, I just found a postcard a few days ago that has the picture of Jim White with the bucket. The postcard mentions the book on the back.

Theresa said...

What a cool story and the most adorable picture of your DAD EVER! I just love it!

I can't imagine letting my child go into such darkness but I am sure your Grandfather was being the great protector!

Enjoy your evening my friend, HUGS!

Memaw Barbie said...

I grew up in the suburbs of Dallas, and visited Carlsbad Caverns as a child. I remember how beautiful they were.
Love your recipes and family photos. Seems we enjoy the same, food, photos.blessings

Anonymous said...

I've always wanted to see the caverns. Someday. As my son always said - I'm a paranoid mother. I wouldn't have allowed him in, but he would have found a way.

From the Kitchen said...

Karen, I really enjoyed this post. It gave me cold chills to think of going down into the cavern in that bucket. Yikes! I hope you'll post more about your father. He sounds like a very interesting person.


Deborah said...

I would love to go there one day. Such a fascinating story. People in the past were a lot less likely to pamper their kids than we are.

hip-chick said...

What a great and interesting post. Isn't it wonderful that you were able to find that book. Your father sounds as if he was a very interesting man.

Miri said...

WOW! Terrific pictures and a fantastic story!

Blue Ridge Altered Art said...

What a lovely momento you have. Having the story and know the experience you Dad have is a treasure. Thank you for sharing.

Pam said...

What a great story! Those photos are amazing.

dogsmom said...

This is such a wonderful find. Sometimes I think things are left for us to find if we will only look.

AshTreeCottage said...

What a terrific story Karen. I would be terrified to allow my child into such a dark and unknown place. What a great tale for your father to share!! Perfect VTT post!!

Susan and Bentley

Sarah said...

"What was their first experience of danger and did I condone it?" Wow...I've never considered that I would have been the one to expose them to their first dangerous situation. (Imagined or not! :) I'm looking forward to finding this out from my kids as well :)

Thank you for sharing your great story!

Have a happy VTT!


Diann @ The Thrifty Groove said...

What a cool keepsake with great memories for you! All of it was very interesting. My hubby and I visited the caverns years ago. It is just amazing to go in them.

Vonlipi said...

Wonderful story! I'm sure it had a lot of influence on your father's life.

I'm really glad I stopped by to read this. Thank you for sharing :)

Coloradolady said...

I have never been there but always wanted to go. Very interesting post and the pictures are great! Have a great VTT!

Andi's English Attic said...

What a fantastic piece of family history. There is no way I'd go down there, especially in a basket!
Thanks for dropping by. I love the 1920's era too and I'm hoping to post some pics nearer the performance date. xx

Maureen said...

What a wonderfully interesting post. Certainly your own personal slice of history.

Jo Anne said...

The last time I visited The Caverns it was with Gerye, so you know how long ago that was. At that time the bucket was on the wall for all to see. I betcha Momma did not know Daddy was taking Calvin, Jr. down in the basket or the bucket as the case may be.

Jo Anne said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Linda said...

What a wonderful piece of history your family has. Great pictures too!