20 Jan 65 : chaos at work, police dramas, beautiful Jones Beach and New Brunswick disappointments: New York, USA

This continues the letter dated 17 January 1965, which began…

New York

Dear family,

Wednesday 20th January

Monday and Tuesday weren’t very successful as far as the job was concerned. We went to several places where we had been told to go and do a changeover, and found we weren’t wanted – so we had time on our hands.

On top of which another three or four inches of snow was in the process of falling, and this didn’t exactly help matters!!

We decided to visit Jones Beach, which is the biggest and most famous beach close to New York, and drove along the length of it through deep snow. The sun was just setting out on the sea, and it was very picturesque.

Nothing much has happened really this week. We had a lot of excitement yesterday. We were in a stockists sorting out bearings, when we saw a wagon outside in the process of towing away our car with the aid of a crane!! Colin rushed out to find the police there, and it appears that they had been trying to find us all morning, as we had parked in an area reserved for snow clearing.

Certain streets, or side streets, must be left clear during heavy snow, so that the snow maybe piled up ready for removal, and we had held up the operation. The policeman was wild!! He had really lost his temper, and was shouting at Colin at the top of his voice!!

We got a ticket – and a case pending in February!! But as there is a set scale of charges for offences, we went to the station and pleaded guilty – and were fined $2. We were amazingly lucky, as if it had been a few minutes later, it would have been towed away, and that would have cost us $30!!

I learnt that the police here get a percentage of the fine paid, and we were told this cop was probably so annoyed because we had robbed him of a fat bit of commission!!

Tonight we are staying the night in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and we went to the best hotel in the town – and when we saw the rooms we decided not to stay, as it wasn’t up to our standard. So, you can see how things have changed for us – we are getting really choosy.

We have been doing our first big job today, and the result has been absolute chaos. It will be a miracle if we ever finish it. This morning we were knee deep in bearings and could hardly move. The terrible thing is that everything MUST be correct, as a mistake could be fatal, so we have to really concentrate. We are really earning our money.

The owner of the store’s wife came in yesterday, and today brought her three children in, just to hear us speak!!

To be continued…

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Note: Photo from Wikimedia commons, with thanks – credit Christopher Michel – Hello NYC, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37110964

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