ADVENTURES ON THE PAN AMERICAN HIGHWAY OF SOUTH AMERICA
June 4, 1953 to November 20, 1953
By Lucretia Ayres Donnell and Earl Roe Donnell, Sr.
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What happens when an intrepid and resourceful sixty-something woman decides in 1953 that a long driving trip, touring the newly opened Pan American Highway in South America, would be just the thing her ailing husband needs? Follow the Donnells in this page turning, true yarn as recorded by Lucretia Donnell in her letters. Robbed, stuck in the mud, marooned with car troubles, with very little Spanish speaking ability, these resourceful love birds travel from Puerto Rico in June, 1953 and end up in Rio in late November without the benefit of the Internet, cellular phone and guide or driver services. Much like today’s backpackers, the undaunted Dallas couple relied on directions from friendly locals often scribbled on scraps of paper, their printed maps proving to be not the most reliable sources. Along the way, Lucretia, a respected Texas artist, sketched as Earl, a cattle and dairyman, admired the livestock he saw. Snug in their 1951 Cadillac sedan, Earl and Lucretia revel in the beauty of the land and the wonders of its culture, ultimately discovering what ties the world together into one people. Magical and compelling, Adventures on the Pan American Highway of South America is an inspiring and spirited true story.
Lucretia Ayers Donnell was born in a covered wagon near Blanket, Texas in 1893. She graduated from Baylor Female College (University of Mary Hardin Baylor) in 1912 on a Fine Arts Scholarship and won the Gold Medal Award for her original designs in china painting. Later, she studied art under John Knott, Frank Klepper, Martha Simpkins and Frank Reaugh, as well as Oscar Berninghaus, Ernest L. Blumenschein and Frederick W. Becker in Taos. For forty-five years, Lucretia taught oil painting and fine china painting in her University Park studio and was instrumental in forming the China Painting Teachers of Texas, serving as its first president from 1958 to 1960. She also was a founder of the National China Painting Teacher’s Organization that became the International Porcelain Artists and Teachers Organization.
Earl Roe Donnell was born in 1889 in Wellborn, Texas. His father served in the Texas House of Representatives and owned the Donnell Creamery in Temple where young Earl worked. After working in the oil business, he founded the Donnell Ice Cream Company in Dallas. He was a member and officer of the Dallas Lions Club, Gilbraltar Blue Lodge and the Hella Temple Shrine. After retiring from Borden’s, which had bought the Donnell Ice Cream Company, Earl raised and exhibited cattle and founded the Donnell Farm Implement Company.
Lucretia Donnell Newman Coke, Lucretia Ayers Donnell’s daughter, was a recognized pastel artist, having been a student and protégé of Frank Reaugh. She excelled at portraiture and landscapes and exhibited throughout Texas. During the Pan American Highway trip, her mother mailed letters home to the family in Dallas. “Little Lucretia,” as she was called, then typed the letters and painted the images in this book in India ink and watercolor using the postcards the Donnells sent to their three grandchildren.
8 1/2 x 8 1/2 Illustrated, Color
8 1/2 x 8 1/2 Illustrated, Color