24 Feb 65 : Sporty Mustang, drunk Mayors and American cinema : New York, USA

Wednesday 24th February 1965
Dear Mum, Dad, Carol, Nigel and Kipp,

Well, we have had a real turn up for the books since I last wrote. We, as you know, have a rented car and we took it out in New York. Now, if you take it out of the New York area there is a ‘drop-off’ charge of $15 which pays for it to be returned to the original area.

You can sometimes prevent this by telling them where you are going, and if they have a car from that area, you do a swap and take the car for them, and save the $15.

As we are now on our way to Philadelphia, we went in on Monday to see if they had a Philadelphia car, and sure enough they did. They had one – and it was a red (convertible) Ford Mustang, which is one of America’s only two sports cars!!

We are not supposed to have sports cars, as it might create the wrong impression with the customers, but we couldn’t resist it – so we accepted it. Up went the Union Jack and off we went like a rocket! It’s a fabulous car and the acceleration is fantastic, and we are making the most of it as we only have it for a few days.

Ford_Mustang_Convertible_1965

Tony says it was identical to this one πŸ™‚

We are dreading going into Philadelphia as we don’t have any expenses there. We have slowed right down in the hope that something will happen before we get there, and so they will have to send us somewhere else. But as yet nothing has happened.

Yesterday afternoon we wasted a bit of time. We worked all morning in the motel, and after lunch went ice skating. We found a fabulous open-air rink which has only just opened, in the middle of the countryside. It was almost empty and we had a fabulous session. We have been there three times in four days, and the result is that I am aching all over. Still, it’s good exercise and very fresh air.

We were out all afternoon in a temperature of 24 degrees Fahrenheit and didn’t feel a bit cold. The other night it went down to 5 degrees Fahrenheit. During this spell, we were at the Americana Hotel and the sparks were flying again.
(NOTE: For weeks they, and others in New York, had been plagued by electric shocks from static electricity.)

We have finally traced the cause. It is a combination of very cold air and nylon carpets. It was so bad this time that people were putting on gloves to open their doors, and walking around with a key in the hand, to frequently touch something metal, to release the electricity.

We were in the audience of ‘What’s My Line?’ again this week, and James Mason was the guest – and the panel upset him. They all thought he was Peter O’Toole, and there was a great deal of confusion and talk about Peter O’Toole, and he got fed up with it and got up and left without saying a word. As it’s one of the few live programmes, everyone saw it on their television sets. (NOTE: both men were extremely successful British actors.)

James Mason Whats My Line Feb 65

James Mason (left) as the Mystery Guest on What’s My Line?

Peter O’Toole is staying at the Americana so we were in good company.

By the way Mum, what has happened to your driving lessons? I haven’t heard much about them lately. Are you still having them, or have you given up and decided not to bother? I hope you haven’t.

Over here you could learn to drive in a few minutes. These automatic cars are fabulous and very simple to drive. Nearly all women here drive and have their own cars.

Today we have been working in a little ‘one horse town’ called (Name deleted to protect the inebriated). It is only a mile square, and has a population of nearly 2,000. The owner of the store where we were working was the Mayor, and the Fire Chief – and was permanently drunk!!

We met the Chief of Police and learnt that the entire police force consisted of two (him and a cop). Everyone there was very friendly and it was quite a nice place to be.

It’s been quite an occasion here today as it’s been raining, one of the few times since we have been in America. It doesn’t seem to rain here much, and I can’t understand where they get their water from.

Last night we went to a very unique place. It was a drive-in Movie Theatre, but there was also an ordinary cinema too. They both showed the same films, and the one ticket admitted you to the two cinemas, the idea being that if it starts to rain or snow or get misty, you can move from the outdoor to the indoor (to enable this there is a half hour difference in the showing times).

We saw the first film outside in the car, and then went inside to see the second film. The cinema was very new and very plush. It’s funny, whereas in England they are pulling down cinemas, here they are building new ones. The cinema here is very popular.

To be continued…

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3 thoughts on “24 Feb 65 : Sporty Mustang, drunk Mayors and American cinema : New York, USA

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