13 July 65 : They make it hard to leave America! : Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tony and Colin will soon leave America – but first Tony is going to briefly return to Britain for his sister Carol’s wedding… 

This continues the letter dated 8th July 1965, which began:

Dear family, 

Tuesday 13th July

Well, it’s Tuesday already and I haven’t even had a chance to add a few lines since last week.

The pressure is beginning to really pile up now as we have only a short while to finalise our plans, and make all the arrangements. The things one has to do to leave this country are fantastic, and it’s doubly complicated when they hear that I am leaving the country twice in a short space of time. Anyway, I have now cleared with the Selective Service people, and the Income Tax people, for my England trip – so all is well.




We have had nightmares with the campervan. We had to go through the most complicated procedure to get licence plates, and then had to get a State examination (although it has just passed the Pennsylvania test) and to our amazement it failed! The brakes, although perfect, pull to the left – so we have had to get that fixed – and will have to take the test again!! Let’s hope it’s OK this time.

We are madly searching for a suitable roof rack for it, we are continually writing out cheques to travel companies, visiting the bank, loading the trunk, looking for a tent, doing our own washing, cooking, and darning, and working like slaves at the same time!! So all in all it’s murder!!

Poor old Colin hasn’t found anywhere to stay in New York yet for when his parents arrive – but I suppose it will all turn out OK in the end.

I did manage to find time this afternoon to slip into a jeweller’s and make some enquiries about rings for Dad. The type you want will range from $35 to $60, but a good quality heavy one should average about $50. (For pounds divide by 2.78). This is black onyx in gold ranging from 10 to 14 carat. Most have a small stone in the centre, but they can also be plain (square or oval, large or small). I hope this answers your question.

We had a great evening up at our ex-boss’s house on Sunday. We had a delicious meal and sampled some real American dishes – fresh corn on the cob and shoe-fly pie. (Note: Shoofly or Shoo Fly pie is a popular dish originating from the Pennsylvania Dutch)


Shoofly Pie! Photo with thanks By Good N Plenty [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, from Wikimedia Commons

We were joined by one of the other changeover fellows later in the evening, and we had a good time. We saw some films of the West and it has made us very anxious to get on our way. His two children are very anxious to have an English pen pal each, and have asked me to try and fix it. If you know of a girl of about 14, and a boy of about 11 or 12 who would be interested, let me know when I get home.

I am a bit concerned about my trip home. I have to change planes at Dublin and only have half an hour which doesn’t seem a lot of time. So if my plane from New York is late or delayed I should probably miss the connection. If this does happen I will ask them to phone Bristol Airport to let you know which flight I shall be arriving on. So don’t be alarmed if you get a message. However all being well I should be arriving at 12:35 pm on Aer Lingus flight number 282 on the 23rd of July, which is a Friday.

Well, I think I shall end now and get this off to you or you will begin to wonder what has happened to me. I don’t know if I shall get another letter off to you before I leave, if I don’t it will be because I am so busy. So if you don’t get a letter next week, don’t worry as I shall see you on Friday anyway.

That’s all for now.

All my love,

Tone xxxx

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2 thoughts on “13 July 65 : They make it hard to leave America! : Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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