It was the ride of a lifetime, when Maria LaMotta Fay ’61 and her cousin Ann Varsalona set out on an 8,900-mile road trip across America and back. Last summer, they drove from Maria’s home in Pompano Beach, Fla., across the southern United States to Los Angeles, up the Pacific Coast Highway to San Francisco and back to the East Coast via a northern route.
The traveling cousins visited Yosemite and Yellowstone national parks and the Grand Canyon, drove their convertible down Rodeo Drive and stayed at the oldest motel on legendary Route 66, in Gallup, N.M.
The free spirits planned little, stopping at each state’s visitor center for maps of attractions. Then they would head off the interstate whenever possible to catch the authentic sights of America.
“It was fun, we drove with the top down most of the time. One time we thought we had gotten a beautiful tan,” Maria remembers. When they stopped after driving through the desert, Maria called her cousin in to see sand draining after her shower. “We weren’t tan at all,” she recalls. “We were just plain dirty.”
Maria’s impression of America? “The majesty of the mountains, the lakes, the snow on top of the mountains: Our country is beautiful,” says the world traveler.
For all her awesome memories of the trip, Maria still cherishes her remembrances of Oswego with her Alpha Delta Eta sisters. “The big snowstorm of 1958; going to class in the barracks;
making the ‘conga line’ [to pass books] for the first Penfield Library under Helen Hagger,” are some of her favorites.
“We were a close class,” she recalls. “Twenty to 25 of us keep in touch and see each other every year or every other year [at Reunion].”
A Reunion 2011 planning committee member, Maria has already planned one more road trip — to Oswego June 10 to 12 for the college’s Sesquicentennial and her own 50th reunion.