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