The Weber Family VW Camping Trip Summer 1964 revisited

The adventures of the patty wagon is more about the adventures of real people. One doesn’t have to go far to have an adventure; simply check in with your neighbors. This 1974 VW camper attracts the adventure, which leads to stories worth sharing so we may, should we choose, live vicariously through others journeys. The backdrop of this adventure is in a little Norman Rockwell section of New Haven called City Point; it is magical. Yes, New Haven is the Pizza Capital with Sally’s, Pepe’s, Wooster Street, and Modern Pizza, all worth a visit, along with Yale, however, one should also venture to the New Haven Harbor. The summer of 2018, neighbors, Tom Ahern, 90 years old, 87-year-old Joe Weber and Dan Moore, all shared their memories of growing up at City Point at a community chat held at City Point Kitchen. The conversation was priceless. Collectively, one could sense a common thought, the simple times were the best of times, and having little money led to creativity. These men eagerly shared what life was like at a time before I 95 was erected. For that moment, we were all transcended back to life in the 40s and 50s at City Point, where doors did not have to be locked and kids were playing with a baseball they made out of elastic bands, all having the time of their life. As a society, we should probably embrace our elderly neighbors more, they have a lot to say. Wholeheartedly, we could all benefit from hearing what is really valuable. Upon leaving the history chat, Joe Weber was again brought back in time to 1964, when he saw the VW camper patty wagon outside of city point kitchen. Who knew this amazing 87-year-old man had chronicled his journey across the USA of his 1964 camping trip in a VW camper with his wife and four children, all written for the New Haven Register. Shortly after Joe shared a snapshot of his story on that summer day in August 2018, his son Michael, while enjoying his eggs over easy with rye toast at City Point Kitchen, introduced himself as Joe Weber’s son. The world goes full circle if you pay attention. Michael passionately shared his memories of that summer journey and later produced copies of the articles written for the New Haven register in 1964. As a boomer, I was six years old when the Weber family took this summer journey. Joe Weber was a teacher with four children and had summers off, my father, also a teacher with four children and summers off. Can’t help smiling while embracing the parallel and warms my heart with the vision of my parents reading these articles in 1964. And here we are; another patty wagon adventure.


  1. Art Art

    Great post, Pat! I grew up in NH and that section of the city was a best kept secret.

    And I agree that we need to hear and record these great stories before they’re gone for good.

    • Patty Nicolari Patty Nicolari

      So glad you enjoyed the post Art. When I first moved to City Point from Westville 25 years ago, I couldn’t believe I never knew about this area of New Haven; it is magical and needs to be kept alive through these stories.

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