In Sept 1978 Ken was 24 yrs old and joined me on a trip to Europe, the first for both. I was relocating to Frankfurt for a job, bringing my used Volvo and Ken wanted to keep me company. He was an easy-going traveler, sometimes complaining of my fast driving, but appreciating the sights. We played Songs in the Key of Life which Ken had copied to a cassette.
We spent a few days in Earl's Court London, observing punk fashion and doing museums, then drove to the Dover ferry, crossed to Calais and reached Amiens for 1 night before driving into Paris. Here we stayed a few days being tourists, plus he had been invited to contribute some of his art to a photography museum.
We rarely paid for the privilege of restaurants, but snacked on wine, bread and cheese, which did smell up the car until we gave up the habit. We visited Lyon, then crossed the mountains into Turin, Italy where we both wanted to see the famous Shroud of Turin.
Next was Milan, and Leonardo's Last Supper. I mimiced the Italians driving on the sidewalk, which Ken thought was significant, and liked to remind me of it. Also I had a fender bender, scraping past some delivery truck. Without any common language, I paid the victim whatever lira was in my wallet, which didn't satisfy him, but we got away without a police complaint. Exciting!
We stopped in Genoa, then drove to Fienza where we bought leather coats and a "Fienza" plate that Ken packed to bring home to Mom. Next was Venice. We parked outside and boated in. We talked with some Italian kids, and tried to meet them to see The Last Waltz. Leaving Venice, someone had stolen my Virginia license plate, presumably a valuable souvenir, so I filed a police report, but one license plate remained.
We drove back to Milan then north to Lake Garda, where Tennyson wrote "Row us out from Desenzano, to your Sirmione row!". After a night in Sirmione it was back to Milan where we said goodbye at the station. I drove through the Alps into my new job in Germany. Ken had more vacation and took a train to Barcelona and enjoyed a more leisurely pace.