Frank Ira Bennett, co-founder of the Caldwell Theatre Company, had just turned sixteen when his wealthy Aunt Lucy Armstrong Moltz, his motherís sister, invited him to join her, her daughter and a lady friend on a Grand Tour of Europe.
It was 1930. Much of the United States was suffering through the Great Depression. Not Aunt Lucy. She had married George Armstrong, a shipping magnate of Savannah who built the magnificent Armstrong House on Bull and Gaston Streets in that great city. When he died, she gave the mansion to the City of Savannah where it became a Junior College, and later the offices of prominent Savannah attorneys.
She married another wealthy man, timber tycoon Carl Moltz. He encouraged her to build a home atop a mountain in Lake Toxaway, North Carolina. She called it Hillmont. It is now one of Americaís most famous Bed and Breakfasts.
Frank sailed away on the luxury ship Saturnia. In the next few weeks he saw some of the great cities of Europe, stayed in first class hotels and developed a rich love of travel, architecture, design and the arts.
He wrote in his journal every day of the trip. I transcribed it, page by page, scanned his photographs, postcards, ticket stubs, and programs, and turned it into the attached 114 page book, My Trip Abroad. Travel to Europe in 1930-style with Frank. Savor the sights and opinions of a sixteen year old designer-to-be.
Click Here to read: first 10 pages of MY TRIP ABROAD (If it says "Cannot use Adobe Reader to view PDF in your web browser," ignore it and click OK)