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Publisher's Summary

Part pop history and part whimsical memoir in the spirit of National Lampoon's Vacation - Don’t Make Me Pull Over! is a nostalgic look at the golden age of family road trips - a halcyon era that culminated in the latter part of the 20th century, before portable DVD players, iPods, and Google Maps.

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.

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. Frequently, what was remembered the longest wasn’t Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone, or Disney World, but such roadside attractions as “The Thing” in Texas Canyon, Arizona, or “The Mystery Spot” in Santa Cruz, California. In this road tourism-crazy era that stretched through the 1970s, national parks attendance swelled to 165 million, and a whopping 2.2 million people visited Gettysburg each year, 13 times the number of soldiers who fought in the battle.

Now, decades later, Ratay offers a paean to what was lost, showing how family togetherness was eventually sacrificed to electronic distractions and the urge to "get there now". In hundreds of amusing ways, he reminds us of what once made the Great American Family Road Trip so great, including 20-foot “land yachts”, oasis-like Holiday Inn “Holidomes”, “Smokey"-spotting Fuzzbusters, 28 glorious flavors of Howard Johnson’s ice cream, and the thrill of finding a “good buddy” on the CB radio.

A rousing Ratay family ride-along, 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 

©2018 Richard Ratay (P)2018 Simon & Schuster

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Loved it! Super for Oldsters!

I loved this fun and informative book that even surpassed my expectations. It was a great "drive" down memory lane, full of relatable anecdotes and lots of history. I can't recommend this one enough! Excellent narration, too.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Memorarble.But didn't hold attention.

I really enjoyed the telling of him packing up the kids in the middle of night, whisk them away only for them to wake up in morn . Has a very good start . Some places were even humorous..Overall, enjoyed.

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Wonderful memories

Great stories interspersed with history of of great family vacations in the 1960s and 1970s. Highly recommended!

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Childhood memories

This is a great history of childhood vacations. It also has a great background in travel on roads, rail, and air.

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A super fun read and a great trip sown memory lane!

A terrific, enjoyable read and a great trip down memory lane of my own childhood memories with family road trips! Being the youngest of 6 meant long-distance road trips were the norm. Lots of middle of the night departures, Triple A Triptiks, the on-going mission of making “good time”, squirmy, squished bodies, car games, listening to favorite songs until the static radio stations forced you to wait “foooorevvvvver” for the next best radio tower reception (warm smile) ... and lastly, the so called “sharing” of mushy, yet awesome PBJ and Egg Salad sandwiches and snacks. This book brought back so many fond memories I hadn’t thought of for years and made me appreciate the special bonding time I had with my family over the years. I also especially enjoyed the fascinating historical tidbits about the formative years of how the Interstate Highways, Hotel, Restaurant and Travel Industries grew over the years to where it is today. It brought attention to facts and tidbits I never would’ve thought of before and makes me want to take another road trip soon. A clever, well-written book that you will appreciate having in your library to check back on the historical facts.

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MY FIRST AUDIO BOOK

VERY COOD AND HISTORIC LIKE A TV PRESENTER USED TO SAY IN OLD IRELAND A THUMPING GOOD READ THOMAS HEGARTY HOLLYWOOD FLORIDA

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Took a ride back t o my youth!

Great book full of nostalgia and stuff I totally forgot about! Great quick listen - super narration and just lots of fun to listen to. Just enough history and info mixed in without it being too boring! If you like this book next listen to Sting Ray Afternoon also.

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Not funny stories

As the sample let me to believe this book is not about funny stories from driving across country. It’s a history lesson on roads and cars. Not exactly what I thought it was.