“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!—to a range of sometimes stirring, sometimes wacky locations. In the days before cheap air travel, families didn’t so much take vacations as survive them. Between home and destination lay thousands of miles and dozens of annoyances, and with his family Richard Ratay experienced all of them—from being crowded into the backseat with noogie-happy older brothers, to picking out a souvenir only to find that a better one might have been had at the next attraction, to dealing with a dad who didn’t believe in bathroom breaks.
Now, decades later, Ratay offers “an amiable guide…fun and informative” (New York Newsday) that “goes down like a cold lemonade on a hot summer’s day” (TheWall Street Journal). In hundreds of amusing ways, he reminds us of what once made the Great American Family Road Trip so great, including twenty-foot “land yachts,” oasis-like Holiday Inn “Holidomes,” “Smokey”-spotting Fuzzbusters, twenty-eight glorious flavors of Howard Johnson’s ice cream, and the thrill of finding a “good buddy” on the CB radio.
An “informative, often hilarious family narrative [that] perfectly captures the love-hate relationship many have with road trips” (Publishers Weekly), Don’t Make Me Pull Over! reveals how the family road trip came to be, how its evolution mirrored the country’s, and why those magical journeys that once brought families together—for better and worse—have largely disappeared.
Richard Ratay was the last of four kids raised by two mostly attentive parents in Elm Grove, Wisconsin. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in journalism and has worked as an award-winning advertising copywriter for twenty-five years. Ratay lives in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, with his wife, Terri, their two sons, and two very excitable rescue dogs.