Cover Gallery: Travel Nightmares

These Post covers of travel nightmares might make you re-think that summer road trip.


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Rainy Day at Beach Rental 
Stevan Dohanos 
July 31, 1948 


[From the editors of the July 31, 1948 issue of the Post] While most of the country was sitting around complaining about the rain, Stevan Dohanos was watching the sky anxiously, wondering if we would ever get over a stretch of good weather. He started this cover while taking a vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. Friends posed for him, the sun was shining brightly. Dohanos went home to Westport, Connecticut, sure that whole summer would be fair. “I had a marvelous break,” he said. “It rained for three days straight. I could go out any hour of the day and get rain research.” He added gratefully that “one man’s nuisance is an artist’s gain.” We hope readers who get soaked will remember that while it may be raining rain to them, it is raining research to an artist.

No Passing 
Stevan Dohanos 
October 9, 1954 

[From the editors of the October 9, 1954 issue of the Post] Grandpa and Grandma Chugchug, bless their elderly souls, are hurtling along on a holiday joyride. To which the subsequent motorists might well add, “And more power to them!” Oh, well, let the dammed-up itinerants repress their damns, for they’ll fetch loose in time, though not when the no-passing zone ends, for them fourteen vehicles will approach from the other direction. Now, who is right in this clash of desires: the people who want to get someplace, or the two who are where they want to get, out in the green land leisurely absorbing the beauty of the placid hills? Maybe both conditions have virtue—like the time Mr. Dohanos got stuck while trying to catch a train. He thought up that cover while awaiting the next train.


Go Two Miles, Turn Left… 
Amos Sewell 
July 9, 1955 

[From the editors of the July 9, 1955 issue of the Post] John J. Pathfinder is lost, and his wife is accompanying him. With the gallant pioneering instinct which has made America great, he took a short cut between Points A and B, and see what soul-soothing scenery he has found. The helpful scyther is telling him to turn cast beyond the second creek, then bear south just past a pasture of black and white cows, hut Pathfinder is still lost, having forgotten how Scyther said to get to the second creek. If he had heeded his wife’s counsel that short cuts tend to be long cuts, Mr. Sewell wouldn’t have had a cover; besides, men don’t do that anyway. Well, as lost souls wander in circles. Pathfinder probably will come out at Point A where he started, and won’t that send him into gales of laughter!


Fork in the Road 
George Hughes 
July 7, 1956 

[From the editors of the July 7, 1956 issue of the Post] The way for a loving husband and wife to resolve a conflict like this is to toss a coin; then, when they find they are on the wrong road, both can talk to the coin, which has a phlegmatic personality and won’t care. Unhappily, one of these helpmates will prevail over the other; then, after the road proves wrong, conversation will be renewed, a total of two conflicts. Shouldn’t that man do the steering and let his wife navigate, in as much as nobody can think clearly under a cap like that? Anyway, let us hope that after they’ve been lost a while longer, they will see the drollery of their predicament, and laugh, and savor its humor, but this is a forlorn hope. As those people aren’t illustrator and Mrs. G. E. Hughes, what they are doing with G.E.H.’s suitcase is incomprehensible.


Packing the Car 
Stevan Dohanos 
September 8, 1956 

[From the September 9, 1956 issue of the Post] A vacation is wonderful, except to come home from. Well, pop, skip the head scratching; whisk the stuff in, and let’s go. Time’s a fleeting; 175 miles wend ahead on the road map; and if that sky isn’t cooking up an all-day precipitation, maybe there’ll only be a brief nor’easter with gusts up to fifty mph. When pop gets home, will he find his grass eight inches tall? That’s a mean, heartless thought, which is hereby withdrawn with apologies. Kind thought: happily it hasn’t occurred to mother that if she transplanted her flowers into peach baskets, they might bloom at home for many a day. Why doesn’t pop turn that boat over, dump all the debris in there, batten raincoats over it, and stop fooling with his head? Because then Steve Dohanos wouldn’t have a cover.


Missed Exit 
George Hughes 
June 15, 1957 

[From the editors of the June 15, 1957 issue of the post] High-speed pikes are wonderful inventions, except for a few bugs that need to be ironed out, such as exit signs moving by too fast. To go along with George Hughes’ trouble-making, let’s assume that Mr. and Mrs. Tripp ran low on petrol some miles ago, had to exit into the hinterland to raise a gas pump, and now are unfashionably late as guests at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Waite, away over that away via Route M-20. Should Mr. T. back up, thus enraging pilots of gasoline thunderbolts behind him, and mayhap landing himself a ticket? Should he, with keen regret, proceed ahead 32 miles? Or should he throw cautionary signs to the winds, turn right beyond the rocks, drive gallopy-gallopy across the greens ward, and beat it hell-for-rubber up old M-20? Real moot questions, eh?


Seasick Sailor 
Richard Sargent 
August 22, 1959 

[From the editors of the August 22, 1959 issue of the Post] “A life on the ocean wave, a home on the rolling deep.” She is having the time of her life, but he is not at home there at all. Indeed, Mr. Tiller is not in good health, and the smartest tack he can take is to tell his lady fair he just remembered an important business appointment on shore. Artist Dick Sargent heartlessly churned up those waves to turn his man gray-green, for when Dick sketched a sailor on Long Island Sound, the water was humane, and the man looked fine—so did a pretty model who was with him. After they landed, the girl turned gray-green—and that’s a switch. Originally Mr. Tiller was located on the far side of that boat, but Sargent moved him for fear he’d tip the whole shebang over. Dick’s a good sailor; he didn’t get sick painting this.


Convertibles Take Cover in Rain 
John Falter 
September 15, 1962 

[From the editors of the September 15, 1962 issue of the Post] Part of the fun of owning a sports car stems from coping with minor inconveniences such as having to put up your top in a sudden rainstorm. Artist John Falter approached this “fun” with feeling. Once he owned a sports car himself—a 1947 English Singer Drop-Head Coupe with self-canceling trafficators. It wasn’t waterproof.

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  1. I love all of these covers, and I’m sure many of these dilemmas are still happening today. Lots of people are still given the wrong info with GPS and phone apps. Having to stop and ask for directions? 2017, welcome to the mid-1900s.

    ‘Rainy Day at the Beach Rental’ could still happen now. These people are making the best of it. Sometimes Mother Nature can be a real Mother.

    Love ‘No Passing’, love Stevan Dohanos! A Model T at the top, 2 late model
    Fords (with a green Oldsmobile in between) a ’54 Bel-Air coupe and then I’m not sure. Hopefully Grandma and Grandpa will wisely move to the next shoulder–if there is one. It could be a a long and winding one-lane road.

    Love ‘Two Miles to the Left’. The expressions on everyone’s faces say it all. I think they’ll get to their destination, but without laughter, for now anyway.

    ‘Fork in the Road’ doesn’t look like there’s much laughter coming up here either; more like ‘I told you so’ in this great George Hughes cover.

    ‘Packing the Car’ needs to re-thought out before that ’54 Mercury coupe can go ANYWHERE! A lot of decisions will need to be made, sooner than later.

    In ‘Missed Exit’ I’d say his best bet is to do a U-turn in that ’57 T-Bird (minus the fins) and get on the right road. I think he’ll get away with it.

    ‘Seasick Sailor’ isn’t looking too good at this point. The lady’s fun may only last another 30 seconds or so in this truly great Richard Sargent cover.

    These convertibles are lucky to be able to take cover at all in this John Falter cover. I once saw a lady driving a pink ’63 convertible in the pouring rain with the top down on a surface street. She was about 70, having spent too much time in the tanning parlor, too much peroxide on her hair, and too much zinc oxide on her lips! She looked over at me, I blew her a kiss, and despite the rain, self consciously checked her make up in the rear view mirror.


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