Thursday, January 3, 2013

Those Places Thursday–Webster Family Road Trip: California ~ A New Home

This is part of a series of posts dedicated to the immigration story of Debs Webster and his family.

It's been a few weeks since the
last installment of my Grandpa Debs Webster's Immigration Story.  In that post, I shared my uncle's memories of traveling across the country in a crowded unairconditioned car in the middle of summer.  I also shared some photos of an interesting early air conditioning system that some people were lucky enough to have on their cars.

During this long trip, Grandpa Debs Webster and his family had many exciting experiences and visited some very interesting places as they immigrated to the United States from Brazil.  It was really quite an adventure!

But it was probably a bit sad as well.  They had to
say goodbye to the only home most members of the family had ever known.   That must have been very difficult.  But, they said their goodbyes and looked forward to whatever adventures awaited them.

As it turned out, these adventures included: 
a port of call in Trinidad on their voyage to America, arriving in New York City in July, and staying in an unairconditioned upper floor hotel room, buying a car and camping equipment in New York in preparation for their cross-country trip to California, and foraging for watercress to add to their picnic meals

After about a month's travel time by ship and automobile, Grandpa Webster and his family finally arrived at their destination in Glendora, California.

When my Grandpa Debs Webster and his family emigrated from Brazil to the United States, they had a Sponsor named Mr. West.  He and his family lived in Glendora, California along Historic Route 66.  Mr. West graciously let my Grandparents and their family live in a house on his property.

The photos below are some of the last ones in my Grandpa Debs' 1952 Photo Album.  I'm so glad he put this album together which photographically documented their immigration trip.

See the house behind the shed?  (The shed is the building in the foreground next to the huge tree.)  That house is where my Grandparents' family lived until they bought a house of their own.

I think this photo is especially fun because it shows my uncles learning the All-American sport of Baseball.

See the car parked next to the shed in the photo below?  That's the 1951 Chevrolet Sedan Grandpa Debs bought in New York before their cross-country trek to California.

After arriving in California, it was time for the Webster family to see the sites in their new home state.  Here they are visiting the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  My two uncles are the little boys in the photo and my Grandma Willis is to the left of them.

 The Webster Family in Hollywood California 1952

I hope you've enjoyed reading the Debs Webster Family Immigration Story as much as I've enjoyed sharing it.

Thanks for reading!


Copyright © Jana Last 2013


  1. Jana, it has been fun reading about your grandfather's travels! You are so fortunate that he organized and labeled so many pictures as a record of that trip!

    1. Hi Jacqi,

      Aren't you sweet!! Thanks for your kind comments.

      Yes, I do realize how fortunate our family is that Grandpa Debs created his 1952 Photo Album. Thank you Grandpa!

      Thanks so much for stopping by Jacqi!

  2. I'm not a Genealogy blogger but I do find it fascinating reading other peoples and how you find out all that information. Look forward to more

    1. Hi Bill,

      Thanks so much for your kind comments! I really appreciate you stopping by to read my Grandpa's immigration story.

  3. It sounds like they had a great trip from Brazil. It's wonderful that there is an album documenting such a momentous occasion.

    I just joined up with Geneabloggers and started doing the daily prompts. It is so great to read all the wonderful posts that everyone shares.

    1. Hi Norma,

      Welcome to GeneaBloggers! It's a fun community. And thanks for visiting my blog.

      I really am grateful to my Grandpa Debs for creating his 1952 Photo Album.

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

  4. I returned to read your previous blog, too, and saw pictures of the "car cooler." First time I'd ever seen that, but boy, do I remember those 1950 Chevys. My aunt's family had one in North Carolina down near the South Carolina border where I used to visit my cousin on vacation. I loved that car. You had to park it in the shade, or the upholstery would be to hot to sit on! Our "car cooler," especially for trips, was a big pan full of ice, which we put on the floor of the back seat, where we kids would soak our bare feet while riding.

    Your grandpa Debs has a good, frank voice in his letter. He sounds like a guy who takes life as it comes.

    1. Hi Mariann,

      Those "car coolers" were really something weren't they? I'd never heard of them until my uncle emailed me his memories.

      Thanks for sharing your memories of your own version of a "car cooler" too. That must have been quite fun, if not a little wet and messy.

      Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your comments.

  5. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this important piece of family history. Thank you so much for writing all the installments as well as digitizing the photographs. What a gift you've given the family!

    1. Hi Cindy,

      Aww, thanks so much!! I'm so glad you enjoyed reading Grandpa Debs' immigration story. This means a great deal to me. I'm touched by your kind comments.




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