You’re Invited to Hear … "Adventures of the Bradford Gypsy Coeds in their Tin Lizzie"

Staff Writer
Chillicothe Times-Bulletin

It was a bygone era. The year was 1934. Darlene Dorgan — a hairdresser from Bradford, Illinois — along with four of her friends prepared to leave on the first of what would be nine consecutive historic summer vacations in her 1926 Model T Ford. That first trip was a simple camping trip to Devils Lake, Wisconsin, but travel and camping by a group of young single women during the 1930s and early 1940s was uncommon. On that trip and successive thrill-seeking vacations, these “twenty something” adventurers would attract much attention. They hailed mostly from Bradford, Illinois, but more broadly from Stark County. An ever-emboldened Darlene would lead the group on epic trips thru 44 states, Canada and Mexico. They would meet the rich and famous by day — including Henry Ford, movie stars Don Ameche and Peter Lorre and a world-famous doctor — while sleeping in country school yards and even jails by night. They would become famously known as the “Gypsy Coeds.”

Altrusa International of Chillicothe invites the public to attend this FREE presentation at the Chillicothe Public Library on Tuesday, Oct. 10, at 6:15 p.m. Author John Butte will tell the story and have copies of his book, Darlene’s Silver Streak and The Bradford Model T Girls, for sale. He will conduct a book signing after the presentation. For more information on this presentation and/or Altrusa, contact club president Linda Krider at 274-5796.