14 Jan 65 : Catskills, American generosity and seedy clubs : Long Island, USA

This is a continuation of the letter dated 11th Jan 1965, which began… 

Albany New York State

Dear Mum, Dad, Carol, Nigel and Kipp, 

Thursday evening  

Our plans changed somewhat, very unexpectedly, and the result is that we are now in New York again, or rather just outside, at a place called Farmingdale on Long Island. We are in another very deluxe hotel but will be moving in to the Manhattan Hotel in Manhattan for the weekend.

It is very cold here, in fact much colder than it was up in Albany.

We left Albany early this morning and had a beautiful drive down. It was bright and clear when we left, and all the countryside was covered in snow.

The road from Albany to New York goes over the Catskills, which is a range of quite high hills, and reputed to be the place where Rip Van Winkle lived.

(NOTE: They are in fact mountains!)

It was very picturesque with the forests and the snow, and I imagined it was very much like Canada. As we got higher into the hills we ran into a blizzard and the snow was very thick and quite dangerous. We were a bit concerned for a while but luckily we drove through it, and out into clear skies again without incident.

The road all the way is like the M1, and we did the 150 miles in about two and a half hours.

We were soon looking at the now very familiar New York skyline in the distance, but had to go straight to a warehouse where we met the manager, and went out to lunch with him.

After lunch we went to another place to do a changeover and met the owner who was an extremely nice fellow who had a revolver sticking out of his hip pocket, and who frightened us to death by whipping it out and spinning the chamber and flipping out the bullets.

He was extremely interested in our story and insisted that we have his Cadillac car for the evening, but as we are still with Roger and have full use of his Ford Galaxy anytime we want it, so we didn’t take advantage of the offer.

We get on well with Roger and we have had quite a few laughs believe me. His girlfriend spends most evenings with us, and we went out quite a few times together.

(NOTE: As described in a previous letter, Tony and Colin were astonished that their boss Roger was bringing his mistress, and not his wife, out with them! But they were assured that Roger’s wife, and his mistress’s husband, both had lovers too, so all was well!)

We went to a very seedy night club the other night and saw a very boring show.

It’s very nice to be able to eat without bothering about the money, but we don’t go raving mad, as by eating carefully we can make a profit of $21 a week on food.

We are allowed $52.50 a week for food alone, and as this is more than we have earned in a week before, you can imagine that this is quite generous. So we eat reasonably priced meals, and put the rest in our pockets.

To be continued… 

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