Coast to Coast 1965
By Tom Demarest, George Nimorwicz & Pete Tepe

 This page of the oregrownmusic website is being posted just prior to the 40th Reunion of the Class of 1965, New Milford High School, New Milford NJ.

I now live in Corvallis, Oregon and I will not be able to attend this "momentous event". So I thought I'd post some pictures and pertinent narrative that might help answer the primary question I, and two of my classmates would most likely be asked at said reunion by our high school companions whom we have not seen in 40 years. What might that question be??

"So, like what ever happened to yous guys on dat trip yous was gonna take to California?"

When last seen or heard from by most of our graduating class, 'we three' were heading West in a red '52 Chevy Pickup sporting a homemade camper on the back. Our summer odyssey would last 43 days, cover 10,000 miles through 21 states and 4 Canadian provinces, to California & back. The price tag was a whopping $600. Because we were musicians, we befriended many folks along the way and received generous food offerings at the end of numerous evenings of playing music around campfires in campgrounds, & State and National Parks.

Any of you other incidental visitors to this page, suffice it to say,
"This is what we, Tom, Pete & George, did during our summer of 1965"

When we were seventeen, it was a very good year..... But...

Did I ever grow up?


Departure day July 2, 1965. My dad snapped this photo and we drove away. Would we make it? We'd been counseled by skeptics & believers for months. But our confidence was unshaken and overflowing.
Aaaah the sweetness of youth!
Notice the phony white-wall on our tires disappear as the journey progresses

Receiving some food for the road from friends in Pennsylvania. We tried, and succeeded in recreating this scene as often as possible in state after state. Of course there were always different supporting actresses.

Camping in a rest area on the Ohio Turnpike. Hardly anyone did this in 1965. can hardly find a place to park amidst the RVs. If my sons were going to do what we did, the way we did it, I'd be worried stiff about them.


Surveying the scenery in Nebraska. We stayed off the Interstate Highways most of the time., though not always this far off.

Dinner in Nebraska. Eating on the road, literally. 

The obligatory "Here we are at Yellowstone Park" picture. This was day #16

Bryce Canyon, Black Canyon, Snake Canyon.. Here we see a couple of desert rats in Red Canyon!! As Tennyson wrote.."Canyons to the left of me, Canyons to the right of me.".......

....and of course the Grand Canyon. George seems to think I need a closer look! 

July 24th, Day #22 of our journey. Need I say more?
By this time the old truck was leaking oil at the rate of a quart every 50 miles. During our 10 day stay in LA with Pete's mom & step-dad, George plied some mechanical wizardry and all but stopped the oil leak.

The man in the suit is Carl George of the 5:00 News on ABC in Los Angeles. He'd spotted us the previous day as we cruised Sunset strip and asked us to meet him for an interview the next day at Grauman's Chinese Theater. So we did and later that day we watched ourselves on the Channel 7 News at 5:00!

Leaving LA on August 3rd we headed north to Yosemite, a most awesome place. Camped on the banks of the Merced River, we saw the famous "firefall" from Glacier Peak 3,000 feet above us.
We played lots of music and met some other folk musicians from the Bay Area.
That's not a rock behind the truck, it's a tree trunk of a fallen redwood tree 

Atop Sentinel Dome with half dome visible in the distance on the right. At nearby Glacier point we looked straight down 3,000 feet to where we had been singing around the fire the previous evening. Yosemite is truly awesome!!

At the South end of the Golden Gate Bridge. Having left Yosemite that morning we had been roasting in the heat of the Central Valley until we reached the coast at Santa Cruz. Pete's arms capture the feelings of the moment. 

George looking toward a socked in San Francisco from the North end of the Golden Gate. 
We continued up the coast and just pulled off the road for the night, overlooking the surf below with the wind buffeting the camper, rocking us to sleep.
"Does it get any better than that?"

Our breakfast table the next morning. What we may have lacked in cuisine was made up for by the view. "Martha Stewart, eat your heart out!!!"

Our destination this day, #37 was the North Coast Redwood groves. I hesitate to use the word awesome again but how else does one describe these monstrous trees.

Here we are waiting to board the Puget Sound Ferry in Port Townsend, Washington on the Olympic Peninsula. We are beginning to feel the urge to turn right soon and head back toward the East Coast!

Somewhere along the Frazier River in British Columbia we started to head East across Canada and home to New Milford; body, soul, truck and wallets still in tact. Still many miles to go......

Beautiful British Columbia. Once you descend the East slope of the Canadian Rockies on Trans-Canada Rt1 you're in for hundreds of miles of flatland that makes the US midwest seem like hill country.

Real guitar players know how to cook! Whenever we cooked it also seemed to attract an audience. As I recall we gave more advice to this trio than we received. George was probably convincing them that folks back East cook eggs differently.

Do you think if the term "Chick Magnet" had existed in 1965 we might have qualified?

Playing guitar and being from "out of town" were more than likely our greatest positive attributes.


August 22, 1965. Home, but not for long. The wanderlust bug had a firm hold on me. One year later I left for the USAF and have never lived in the East since. Raising my 5 sons in Oregon, far away from relatives has been one thing I missed out on but..."How can you stay down on the farm after you've seen Parie'?"

This is the only photo we took in Oregon, the land which has become my home and "the native land of my sons". This is a sunset in the Willamette Valley, probably not far from where I now live.
We didn't know much about Oregon, didn't even camp overnight.....but now I've spent 35 yrs here, lovin' every one of them!!

"Well, thanks for the visit! If you want to know more about the music or the truck,
follow the link below. Have a good life"

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