Don't Make Me Pull Over!: An Informal History of the Family Road Trip

Don't Make Me Pull Over!: An Informal History of the Family Road Trip

“A lighthearted, entertaining trip down Memory Lane” (Kirkus Reviews), Don’t Make Me Pull Over! offers a nostalgic look at the golden age of family road trips—before portable DVD players, smartphones, and Google Maps.The birth of America’s first interstate highways in the 1950s hit the gas pedal on the road trip phenomenon and families were soon streaming—sans seatbelts!—t...

DownloadRead Online
Title:Don't Make Me Pull Over!: An Informal History of the Family Road Trip
Author:Richard Ratay
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Don't Make Me Pull Over!: An Informal History of the Family Road Trip Reviews

  • Cindy Burnett

    Don’t Make Me Pull Over is a tribute to the American family road trip, but the book encompasses a whole host of topics – 1960’s and 1970’s pop culture, the history of roads in the U.S. including the creation of interstate highways, a short look at airline regulation and eventually deregulation, the development of motels, the creation of the drive-through, and so much more. Much like Rocket Men by Robert Kurson, Ratay effectively weaves in fascinating factual detail fluidly providing information

    Don’t Make Me Pull Over is a tribute to the American family road trip, but the book encompasses a whole host of topics – 1960’s and 1970’s pop culture, the history of roads in the U.S. including the creation of interstate highways, a short look at airline regulation and eventually deregulation, the development of motels, the creation of the drive-through, and so much more. Much like Rocket Men by Robert Kurson, Ratay effectively weaves in fascinating factual detail fluidly providing information on whichever topic he has introduced. He manages to briefly and efficiently address many side items that add depth and fullness to the story without bogging the reader down with too much information. The result is a compulsive and highly-entertaining read that kept me turning pages late into the night to finish it.

    My family moved some while I was growing up, and we lived abroad part of the time. As a result, we didn’t road trip much except the 6-7 hours it took to go see my grandparents because most of the places we went required flying to get there. However, my husband grew up taking long road trips and loves driving long distances even now. Thankfully, he has imparted that love to our family, and we drive every summer to Colorado and have taken other fun road trips to Arizona and South Carolina, always stopping to see all sorts of fabulous National Park sites as we go. Some of my kids’ favorite trips (and memories) involve road trips we have taken. While I am unfamiliar with some of the roadside attractions Ratay highlights, I have been to Wall Drug in South Dakota, and his mention of it caused me to fondly recall one of our best road trips through the length of South Dakota stopping to see Wind and Jewel National Parks, Mount Rushmore, the Badlands (one of my kids’ all-time favorite things to see), and Custer State Park, home to hundreds of buffalo. While Wall Drug was a hoot to see (it goes on and on and on now), the Corn Palace would be the side attraction I would highlight for anyone heading through South Dakota. To me, that is the beauty of this book: I learned about a myriad of topics, but the book also sent me back in time helping me recall both events from my childhood and fun trips my husband and I took with our children.

    A while back, I read Sting-Ray Afternoons by Steve Rushin, and I marveled at how little I recollected about many of the things Rushin mentioned from the 1970’s; as I read that book, I almost wondered if we had lived through the same decade. Don’t Make Me Pull Over was the exact opposite – I felt like I was taking a trip down memory lane, and I loved every second of it. He references the handheld Madden football game, Pop Rocks (and the rumor that Mikey’s stomach had exploded when he ate them with Coke), Atari’s PONG, Mad Libs, riding in the back window of a car, MTV (and the Buggles), and tons of other things I vividly remember from my childhood.

    My one quibble with the book is that Ratay reaches the conclusion that the family road trip is a thing of the past, and for those few who still drive long distances, it is no longer the same experience. I completely disagree. When we travel by car, the kids do watch their iPads and listen to music some, but they frequently do it together. We still play the license tag game and the alphabet game (we choose a category and work our way through the alphabet naming things in that category, each time starting from A – I am terrible at it when it gets very far at all), and we have Fam Jam where we listen to whatever is a family favorite that particular summer- one year it was a new Taylor Swift album and another it was the Hamilton soundtrack. I also find it is the one time that my husband and I are able to talk uninterrupted (usually) for hours – there are no chores to be done, errands to run, etc. We have discovered countless gems that we would have never seen if we had flown. I believe that for some families the road trip is still alive and well; it may not be the only way we travel, but when we do drive some place far away, the trip is always an experience that we will treasure for years to come.

    Don’t Make Me Pull Over is a fabulous read, and I highly recommend it. I felt the book started slow but am so glad I kept reading. I received this book to read and review; all opinions are my own.

  • Nancy H

    Richard Ratay has written an excellent book about what it was like to travel on America's roads with his family on many family vacations. As a person who shares this type of experience with him, I relished this book and his memories of what it was like in the back seat of all of those over-the-road journeys. His descpriptions are spot on! In addition, he has added a lot of background information on highway travel, which adds depth to his story. This is definitely a good read!

  • Janette Mcmahon

    Wonderful history of American travel, not just family road trips. As one reads, memories good and bad will come to every reader. Even though long road trips have gone out of fashion, we continued to take them with our kids, even today as they are adults. They are a special bonding for families and never fail to give a good travel story or adventure, that faster plane travel cannot provide. Part non fiction and part memoir. Recommend to those who enjoy travelouges and fond memories.

  • Biblio Files (takingadayoff)

    If the cover and the title make you curious about the book, chances are, you will enjoy it. The design evokes nostalgia and humor, and Richard Ratay delivers both. In between reminiscences of family road trips from his own childhood in the 1970s, Ratay explores some of the aspects of road tripping, such as the interstate highway system, rest stops, and drive-thru restaurants. He looks at the rise of automobile travel, paved roads, camping, and motels. Some detours include thoughts on video games

    If the cover and the title make you curious about the book, chances are, you will enjoy it. The design evokes nostalgia and humor, and Richard Ratay delivers both. In between reminiscences of family road trips from his own childhood in the 1970s, Ratay explores some of the aspects of road tripping, such as the interstate highway system, rest stops, and drive-thru restaurants. He looks at the rise of automobile travel, paved roads, camping, and motels. Some detours include thoughts on video games, candy cigarettes, and the CB radio fad. He calls it an "informal history," and that becomes especially clear when he injects a fair amount of attitude when describing the "strangling effects" of government regulation -- on airline routes and fares, on highway speed limits, on the use of seat belts. A mostly fun and light hearted look at the fading era of the family road trip.

    (Thanks to Edelweiss and Scribner for a digital review copy.)

  • Diane S ☔

    Pure nostalgia, both entertaining and informative. As a young boy, the last of three boys and one sister, the author was baby of the family. As he recounts the road trips he took with his family he used to love riding in the back window of the family car. Of course cars were much larger then, and gasp! Seatbelts were not required. The book opens with a doozy of a beginning, and a near disaster at the beginning of one trip, but as is often the case when something goes wrong, that is the thing or

    Pure nostalgia, both entertaining and informative. As a young boy, the last of three boys and one sister, the author was baby of the family. As he recounts the road trips he took with his family he used to love riding in the back window of the family car. Of course cars were much larger then, and gasp! Seatbelts were not required. The book opens with a doozy of a beginning, and a near disaster at the beginning of one trip, but as is often the case when something goes wrong, that is the thing or trip that is remembered. No screens, just game bags, treat bags, fighting, arguing, the title of the book announced again and again, along with I'm hungry, need to go potty, and are we there yet. Oh, sweet remembrances.

    It is also chock full of history, the first roads built, road side attractions, amusement parks, cruise control, rest areas, car games, cb radios so cops could be spotted and relayed to all. Remember these days fondly, the good and bad, not so much with my parents, but with my hubby and I with are seven kids in a conversion van. Reading maps, no gpr devices yet, finding our way was half the battle, but somehow or another we made it. The days when families took vacations together without faces buried in individual screens. Yes, the good old days.

    As I'm sure you can tell I enjoyed this book immensely, in fact I'm buying it for my hubby who won't read anything unless it is in book form.

    ARC from Edelweiss.

  • Cheri

    --

    Richard Burton, Songwriters: Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe

    Despite most of our family vacations being courtesy of the airline for which my father flew, we took a lot of road trips. For my father, as much a

    --

    Richard Burton, Songwriters: Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe

    Despite most of our family vacations being courtesy of the airline for which my father flew, we took a lot of road trips. For my father, as much as he loved flying, road trips were family bonding time. They were, for me, also a chance to bond with my cousins who lived a drivable distance in Virginia, but living on the east coast afforded us a lot of drives to places like Olde Mystick Village & the Seaport Museum, Gettysburg, Plimoth Plantation, Independence Hall, Mount Vernon, Williamsburg, and probably a hundred places where George Washington slept, it was often quipped by the tour guide that Washington slept around a lot (thereby setting a precedent for future Presidents). My favourite Sunday drive was to the Delaware Water Gap, where a fellow pilot friend of my father lived on a Christmas Tree Farm. Most of the early years I only recall the radio not working once we reached less populated areas, and singing replaced the static. But then came 8-Track tapes, and when it came time to replace my mother’s car, lovingly referred to as “Ol’ Bessie,” he had an 8-track player installed for her by the dealer and life changed. Instead of hours and hours of “us” singing the same songs over and over, we were blessed with Camelot, and now and then a break with an 8 track of Bill Cosby comedy. Mostly, the soundtrack of my childhood road trips, though, was Camelot, especially the song

    Perhaps we all reach an age where we look back on the mellower, happier eras of our childhood, which is partially what Ratay covers in his

    his fondness for the years of being forced into the family station wagon for long hours each day, with a father not likely to pull over for pit stops, no matter how little gas there was in the tank, or how long it had been since they’d visited a rest room along the way. There were long stretches of driving in between such places even in the 1970’s, and even fewer in the 1950’s, depending on how far outside civilization you were.

    When Ratay went from restless to annoying, his brothers would promptly deliver a

    which would promptly be followed by his father’s

    My father’s refrain was a similar, but slightly heightened

    which I never doubted he would do, and neither did my brothers.

    There’s a simple, but tongue-in-cheek approach to much of this book that is reminiscent of some of other authors noted for their similar writing style, Bill Bryson comes easily to mind – his ability to weave facts into something amazingly entertaining is very similar to Ratay’s style.

    My oldest son used to laugh as only a toddler can and point to those cars, referring to them as “Weeble cars” (as in “Weebles wobble but the don’t fall down…”) (

    )

    Ratay touches on such topics as the advent of CB radios, the advent of seat belts along with several other changes made in the pursuit of safe driving, the eye-opening factor of trips made to, or even through, places unlike the one we call home, dining on the road, finding places to rest or sleep on the road in an era without GPS, the boon of chain hotels, the changing of America through these years. He even touches on airline regulation, and their family’s first trip by airline after deregulation. For those nostalgic for the items of your childhood he talks about such things as Pop Rocks, Atari, Pong, and a list of others. There is a lot of information in these pages, but at its heart, this is an entertaining, nostalgic read.

    John F. Kennedy was known to be a fan of both the musical

    as well as the song, and his favourite lines were in the final song, when Arthur knights a young boy and tells him to share the

    story of Camelot to future generations.

    Ratay’s story reads a bit like that, this era and its ties with his memories of days spent with his parents and siblings are also a part of what this generation has now, and future generations will have in the future.

  • Karen

    Gee willikers this is a fun book and blast to the past honoring the great family road trips of days gone by. Ratay and I are close in age, both the youngest of four kids and I felt kinship as he chronicles his family’s car trips in simpler times before electronics, google maps and seat belts.

    Ratay has similar humor to one of my favorites, Bill Bryson. He intertwines personal experiences with interesting history of our highways and byways, beloved landmarks, and recognizes trailblazers and vision

    Gee willikers this is a fun book and blast to the past honoring the great family road trips of days gone by. Ratay and I are close in age, both the youngest of four kids and I felt kinship as he chronicles his family’s car trips in simpler times before electronics, google maps and seat belts.

    Ratay has similar humor to one of my favorites, Bill Bryson. He intertwines personal experiences with interesting history of our highways and byways, beloved landmarks, and recognizes trailblazers and visionaries who were involved in building up our highway infrastructure. One of the most compelling historical bits surrounds Carl Fisher, a man who was involved in the construction of numerous high-profile projects. His rags to riches to rags story is fascinating.

    Creative chapter titling like ‘Swerving through the Seventies’, ‘Packed in Like Sardines’, ‘Smokeys in the Bush’ made me chuckle. I engaged from the early pages and found myself nodding my head often in recognition of the author's experiences paralleling mine. Gosh, I appreciate those trips more now than I ever did at the time. Hopefully, Ratay’s words will propel his readers to give it a go (but don’t forget to put on your seatbelt!). Comfort and humor for the soul.

  • Kelly (and the Book Boar)

    Find all of my reviews at:

    I knew I was going to have to get my hands on a copy of

    as soon as I saw the cover. I mean, who could really resist the siren song which is that of the family truckster . . . .

    Being that I am of a certain age, my fondness doesn’t lie courtesy of film alone. No no, I was a willing

    passenger of the “way back seat” as a child. Much like the author, some of my best memories spurred from the place where only

    Find all of my reviews at:

    I knew I was going to have to get my hands on a copy of

    as soon as I saw the cover. I mean, who could really resist the siren song which is that of the family truckster . . . .

    Being that I am of a certain age, my fondness doesn’t lie courtesy of film alone. No no, I was a willing

    passenger of the “way back seat” as a child. Much like the author, some of my best memories spurred from the place where only the youngest member(s) of the family were forced to ride. If you’re looking for a bit of nostalgia, Richard Ratay’s take on family trips might be for you . . .

    Funny how the timing worked out such that I was reading this right when my family is set to embark on a weekend road trip. Of course, their “must see” item on the road is where Last Chance U is filmed while mine would be something more traditional . . . .

    Luckily Ratay was of like mind with me. You might find yourself a little bogged down with the history of not only how the automobile came to be mass produced, but also how roads themselves were developed/designed/funded. But right when you think it has gone off the rails, Ratay swings you back in the direction of his personal history and tidbits that make you chuckle from nostalgia. Like dodging Ol’ Smokey courtesy of the fuzz buster and CB radio . . . .

    Or the holy grail of road trip time passers . . . . .

    If you had one of these, you know time spent was precious because not only did it suck batteries like a G.D. hoover, but it also had no volume control and its use was sure to be permitted only momentarily before the elders in the car went batshit and snatched it away.

    All in all, this served as a pretty decent trip down memory lane of all the fun that was had while trying to reach our destination . . . .

  • Pamela

    Nostalgic . . . Historical . . . Entertaining . . . Fun Reading!

    Richard Ratay had me laughing at his family vacation anecdotes AND fascinated by the history elements too - along with America's obsession with automobiles and expansion, family dynamic travel nuances, and the hunt for quirky entertainment.

    A delightful read, for the most part. Had the line editing been tighter and some of the language a bit less colorful, this would a have garnered four stars from me. Still though, easily recommend

    Nostalgic . . . Historical . . . Entertaining . . . Fun Reading!

    Richard Ratay had me laughing at his family vacation anecdotes AND fascinated by the history elements too - along with America's obsession with automobiles and expansion, family dynamic travel nuances, and the hunt for quirky entertainment.

    A delightful read, for the most part. Had the line editing been tighter and some of the language a bit less colorful, this would a have garnered four stars from me. Still though, easily recommendable.

    THREE *** Entertaining and Enlightening, Nostalgically Fun *** STARS

Best Free Books is in no way intended to support illegal activity. Use it at your risk. We uses Search API to find books/manuals but doesn´t host any files. All document files are the property of their respective owners. Please respect the publisher and the author for their copyrighted creations. If you find documents that should not be here please report them


©2018 Best Free Books - All rights reserved.