A Virtual Chat with Marshall Hockett, Author of Tripping 1975: Falling in Love One Country at a Time
With Susan J. Farese, SJF Communications
SJF: Marshall, please tell us about reactions to your book Tripping 1975 that was published last year.
MH: When Tripping 1975 was published last year, we had no idea what reaction, if any, it might have with our friends, neighbors, or the general public. We were in for a big surprise! Slowly, the book was "discovered" and Debbie and I found ourselves invited to just about every library in the San Diego area to discuss the book.
SJF: Describe some of the connections that readers have had with Tripping 1975…
MH: It seemed to us that those who had read the book described a favorable "connection" of some type. Some people thought it was a travelogue while others were just as convinced it was a love story. We assured everyone that every word of the book was true. Yes, there really was a Marian Malkus. She gave us the red-bound journal which was inscribed in gold with the title she had picked on the binding Tripping 1975 and became the genesis for this book. Oh, yes - not to forget our agreement that the journal had to be completely truthful and that Marian was to be the first one to read it.
SJF: So…did Marian have the opportunity to read it first?
MH: Marian was indeed the first person to read the journal. She loved it. Unfortunately, Marian passed away shortly after our return.
SJF: What have you learned from people that you speak to about your travels?
MH: We cannot tell you how many people would come up to us and say that they wished they had taken time off to explore the world, or at least some part of it. We watched countless silvered-haired ladies seeing Europe by motor coach without their husbands. It didn't take long to realize that they had waited a bit too long before beginning their travels. Big Mistake! Very Big Mistake!
SJF: Tell us about what books you read during your 1975 trip
MH: Debbie and I love to read both fiction and non-fiction. One of the first things we did when we settled into a new campsite was to see what books we could trade so we had a steady supply of reading material. Set out after the Epilogue of Tripping 1975 is a list of the forty books I read during the trip. Some I read simply because they appeared interesting or because I read a book that no one else wanted. In that case, I would splurge and buy a book from the nearest bookstore. Both of us rated "The Source" by Michener our all-time favorite.
SJF: Any wisdom to share about traveling together?
MH: A little advice about taking a one-year adventure: Be very careful with your choice of companion. We were very fortunate to have found each other. Not insignificantly, Debbie was told that she was worth at least three hundred camels.
SJF: Do you still have your original red journal?
MH: The red journal is now, once again, residing back on our library shelf where it belongs.
SJF: Where can the book be purchased?
SJF: Many thanks Marshall!