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The Today Show, June 24, 1956. June Meyer tells David Garroway that she is looking forward to “the adventure of a lifetime” as she and her friend Teri Foster leave New York City on a pair of three-speed Schwinns. Neither has any bicycle touring experience, but they want to get to California and see as much of the country as possible along the way....
The Today Show, June 24, 1956. June Meyer tells David Garroway that she is looking forward to “the adventure of a lifetime” as she and her friend Teri Foster leave New York City on a pair of three-speed Schwinns. Neither has any bicycle touring experience, but they want to get to California and see as much of the country as possible along the way. Ninety days later, their adventure concludes in Los Angeles. Forty years later, June’s daughter and son-in-law stand before a nationwide audience, explaining to Bryant Gumbel that they plan to follow the same route on their modern 24-speed Schwinns, undertaking their own adventure of a lifetime. The Adventure of Two Lifetimes fuses the story of Peggy and Brian Goetz with the tale of Peggy’s mother, June, who keeps in touch during the trip, reconstructing her 1956 journey from her journal and scrapbook. The Adventure of Two Lifetimes compares and contrasts America of the 1950s with America in the late 1990s; towns that were booming during June’s trip are now shells of their former selves, stripped by big-box stores and interstates. Friendly strangers opened their doors to the weary cyclists in both eras, but June’s idealistic naivete—which results in a horrific assault and near-rape—is matched by Peggy and Brian’s careful cynicism. This is not so much a travelogue—of daily mileages and linear directions—as it is a memoir of time, of places, of a mother and a daughter. It’s a book about how one woman’s courage and quest for a place in the world forever changed her life, and how her daughter emerged from the shadow of that feat to find her own place in the world, together with her husband. And finally, it’s a book about America and Americans, in two very different generations.
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