15 – 16 April 65 : colour TV! Comparing Canada and USA, home news : Rochester, USA

This continues the letter dated 13th April 1965, which began:  

Dear Family,

Thursday 15th April

Today we went to do a job in Ithaca, in New York State, and had to drive through the Finger Lakes – a series of lakes which are spaced like the fingers on a hand, and the countryside was tremendous – although the day was awful.

We have had a lot of rain lately which is causing a terrific amount of flooding in the Northern Central States.

New York State’s Finger lakes after a snowstorm (NASA photo) According to Native American legend, the 11 lakes were left by the Great Spirit who blessed this land with his hands.


We have tomorrow off as it is Good Friday, although this is not general. They don’t seem to observe Easter here at all, and most firms are working Friday and Monday too.

Our boss hinted strongly that some religious firms ‘may’ be closed tomorrow – which we assumed was the go ahead to take the day off. We will probably go to Canada again for the weekend.

We are at the moment in the most fabulous Motel-cum-Hotel. We had heard about it from our boss. It has a huge indoor pool, and has colour TV facilities. So we decided to try a bit of super luxury.

The colour TV was terrific. We watched a full length film in colour and also the Johnny Carson Show, an hour long interview comedy show. The colour was so fantastically real, and it made the whole thing much more enjoyable. We stayed up very late watching it.

Friday 16th April

We got up very late today and went down for a swim. The pool was massive and the water very pleasant. It was a mistake though for me.

All last week I had a chill in my stomach and I have just finally got rid of it, and believe it or not about an hour after my swim it was back again, which is a pity as I shall now have to start the treatment all over again.

We had a late lunch and then set off. We have finally decided to go to Montreal in Canada for the weekend, and we crossed into Canada this time at a place called Landsdown (on the Canadian side) over the Thousand Islands Bridge.

Just before we crossed the bridge we saw a customs duty free liquor shop (and other things) so we had a look in, and found the things extremely cheap, and as we were on our way to Canada we were entitled to buy, so we bought a bottle of VAT 69 for $3 which is just under £1, which seems very reasonable.

The bridge I mentioned crosses over the St Lawrence Seaway, which is very famous. This week it has just reopened after the winter, when it freezes, and the first of this year’s ships has started to come through.

Thousand Islands Bridge – photo in public domain, with thanks, by Ad Meskens. https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=791953


The scenery around the lake is very nice, and we have stopped for the night at a place called Kingston. We have decided we don’t like Canada too much. It is a very much poorer country than the USA and it is very obvious.

Even the people seem different. In this town there seem to be lots of scruffy young teenagers making lots of noise. They reminded me of the ‘teddy boy’ types and it made us realise that we hadn’t seen any of these types in America. The young people there are very tidy and smart and generally very quiet and polite.

I had a letter from Mum yesterday, and also was pleased to get the photos. Kip looks great and very lively. Nigel seems fatter in the face, Dad looks the same as ever, and Mum looks very well, although I thought a little tired looking. I gather from your letter that you have seen Dr. Coles, so I hope you are alright Mum.

I know how you are with your letters, you only send the good news, but I usually get the complete news from Dad. I hope you didn’t work too hard at the shop during your full-time spell.

I was delighted to hear that Carol has such a good job, so soon, although I was disappointed for your sakes to hear that she will not be living at home. I know how much you were looking forward to that, and I hope you all are not too disappointed. That’s the trouble with a nursing job – you so often have to live in. The job certainly sounds very good and I wish her luck.

Colin had some bad news from home yesterday. He had a letter from his mother informing him that she is in bed (at Sheila’s) with a slipped disc and has to sleep on a board. She will be in bed for 3 weeks, including Easter. She had to go up to Sheila’s as there was no one to look after her at home.

Let’s hope she is better in time to come over here later this year. Colin is making plans to show them around, and show off his knowledge of New York, which will be very nice for them.

To be continued… 

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