8 Jan 65 : Riches, packing for the road, sibling relations : New Jersey USA

This continues the letter dated 4th January 1965, which began…

Collingswood, New Jersey

Dear Mum, Dad, Carol and Nigel,

Friday 8th Jan

Well, our training is over and we have been let loose.

It’s almost unbelievable the money we have at our disposal. We have a book of cheques – each one to the value of $125 (£42) and we cash one every week.

We have a ‘charge plate’ which enables us to hire a car anywhere in the States without paying a penny. We have two blank cheques for an unlimited amount of money, and $100 cash in our pockets, and $75 a week wages.

Also we are on a scheme where we don’t officially receive a ‘salary’ but subsidence, so our $75 isn’t taxed. We’ve never had so much money at our disposal in our lives!!

We have been told to hire good cars and stay in good hotels to create the right impression with customers, and can also entertain them on expenses. Everything is paid for, seven days a week.

We have been told that at weekends if we want to go and see another town, or something of interest, to do so – as it makes no difference to them. They are paying out the money for seven nights anyway, so where we spend them makes no difference.

Colin and I are being treated slightly differently to the other three in the group, which is a bit embarrassing – especially as we are getting more than them per week – plus paying no tax!!

Our instructor has made one or two remarks appertaining to ‘who we know’ (meaning that he knows we are well in with the people we have met, at the top) – but nevertheless we are thrilled to bits with this chance of a lifetime – which it undoubtedly is!!

The SKF organisation here is even better than in England, which is saying a lot.

We have just packed all our needs for six months, and have put everything else in the trunk, and tomorrow are taking it up to Vi’s who is going to keep it for us until we return.

We shan’t see her or Herb for at least six months which is a pity.

In answer to Dad’s question, Colin is fine, and seems to have settled to this new way of life as well as I have. Although he did take longer than me to adjust – I think mainly because he was in charge of staff before we left, and is now at the other end of the scale. He did rebel at the Eden Roc when told to clean the toilets and quite rightly so – I would have done the same!!

Health-wise we are both well, although Colin has had a few colds which seem to affect him quite badly – but so far (touch wood) I have been lucky. I think it’s due to the excessive central heating here.

By the way, regarding the mail arrangements, if you have anything URGENT which you want to tell me, write to Mr Barrows, who will read it, and can phone me at any time. I think this arrangement for mail should work quite well, although some of it may chase me about the country for a few weeks.

I am sending some odds and ends home in a parcel. Things I bought in Nassau. There is nothing in there for Nigel at the moment of writing – this is because I am trying to locate something I have in mind for him, and as yet haven’t been able to find, so I haven’t forgotten you Nigel (although you seem to have forgotten me – what’s the matter, have you broken your arm or something?)

Carol seems a little annoyed in her letter, because I haven’t written sooner. I assume she reads all these letters, as I include her name in them, so I feel that if I write to her I will be repeating myself. I hope she will understand this, and bear with me.

Well I think I had better put this in the post. Look after yourselves.

Love,

Tony

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