British couple takes four-month tour of United States

Published 11:57 pm Sunday, May 24, 2009

NATCHEZ — Some people celebrate their retirement with cake and punch, but Eve Clevenger decided to hit the road instead.

When The Dart landed on Melrose, Clevenger with her husband Jim were enjoying the latest stop on their retirement trip — Natchez.

The couple, from England, started their trip on May 2 and will conclude the nearly four-month vacation Aug. 21. Their first stop was New York where they cruised in on May 8 aboard the Queen Mary II.

Email newsletter signup

“I just retired as a (general practitioner), and we wanted to do this trip to see friends and family before we got too old to do it,” Eve said.

Their most recent stops include a trip to Memphis, Tenn., to see the Civil Rights Museum — “that is something really spectacular,” Eve said — and a stop in Oxford to see the home of William Faulkner.

Prior to coming to Natchez, the Clevenger’s took a small detour to see Fayette.

“Since Jim grew up in Fayette, Mo., we thought we would go there and get a little taste of Fayette,” she said.

Their next stop will be New Orleans where they will spend a few days enjoying The Big Easy and visiting with one of Jim’s friends from school.

They will also return to Jim’s Missouri home for his 50-year high school reunion.

The Clevengers met while Jim was doing post-graduate work at a university in England. Eve was at the same university continuing her studies to become a doctor.

“I met Eve and just never left,” Jim said.

But while the couple never made their home in the United States, they have made many trips to visit family and friends.

“We’ve been back and forth too many times to count,” Jim said.

But this trip, because of its extended time frame, has been a little more special. The couple has never been able to see as much of the country as they are experiencing this summer.

“Usually our trips are just to see family, my brother in Dallas or my family in California,” Jim said.

The Clevengers discovered Natchez in a guidebook and Eve said the description was too good to not make Natchez one of their planned stops.

“It said ‘come see the most beautiful place in the South,’” she said.