In the summer of 1974, my parents and two brothers (both older than myself), took a cross-country trip from our new home in Connecticut heading to the West in a light green Buick LeSabre.
We covered 36 states in six weeks, and every night was spent pitching a family tent in Koa Kampgrounds. The smell of my mother's rotis
being cooked on a Coleman gas burner is something I'll never forget. Back then, however, I was embarrassed that in our little corner of the campground we emitted scents of turmeric
rice while the other campers around us had hot dogs and hamburgers on their grills... what I would've done for a Oscar Mayer Wiener!
But when we got to Mapleton, Iowa and stopped for some gasoline at a rural gas station/convenience store, we became an item of interest to a local journalist who asked if she could do a feature piece on us. We obliged, and she took us on a fun-filled day to the local Brenner Farm where we saw the operations of a dairy farm, my brothers and I got to pose for photos with new-born piglets, and we got to ride shotgun on a tractor with Mr. Brenner. This was capped off with orange creamsicles at the Brenner's home.
Several weeks later, when we returned to our home in Connecticut, we received a copy of the article the journalist wrote for her local newspaper. There we were, on the front page of the Mapleton Press under the headline "Family from India Visits Mapleton"! And in the second page of the two-page article there was even a photo of my family. But above all, to this day I remember that, in my first experience in the lime light, my name was misspelled as "Angul"!
It was only the first time...