24 Sept 65 : Farewell America, next stop Tahiti! : Los Angeles, California

Note: If you haven’t read the previous letter, this won’t make sense!

This continues the letter dated 19th September 1965 which began:

Dear family,

Friday 24th September

Well, although I wasn’t really expecting any more mail, I have had two more letters this week, which is every one you have sent. I am very glad that you have settled down and got used to the idea.

I was pleased to hear that Carol and Chris were such a comfort to you and offered so much advice and help.

I was very amused to hear that Carol is so delighted at being an aunt and wants to start knitting. It’s a pity Nigel and Linda may have to live with you, I think for your sakes mainly, but I suppose it’s far better for them financially. I expect once the baby comes along you will be delighted.

I shall have a lot to look forward to when I come home – one nephew or niece (possibly two) and two sets of relations to visit.

I was very worried and concerned for you both, but I feel a lot happier since getting your last two letters as you sound so different and much happier. I haven’t as yet had Carol’s letter, I think it must have gone astray or perhaps she sent it to San Francisco.



Tony in America
Tony in America
img305 Colin posing near Kabul
Colin with their VW campervan (taken later on their travels)


p64 la jolla, california
Tony’s postcard, captioned: La Jolla, California. Beautiful La Jolla and its coastline drive set off this aerial view of the exciting rock bound coast. The clear water and splashing waves make this a year round vacation paradise.


Life has been very hectic for us. We have been in banks and stockbrokers, customs, immigration, tax offices, etc, all week. All that is over now luckily – but now the boat has been delayed again (in SF) and we won’t be leaving until at least Monday, possibly Tuesday.

However this time is useful as we are now working frantically on this trailer that we now have. We have taken it to pieces and painted each piece and hope to stow it all inside the van, and then reassemble it in New Zealand.

This should save us about £30 so it’s worth all the effort. I think I have already told you about our paint machine that we are going to build on this trailer.

John and his wife have been extremely kind and helpful to us, and we have had lots of meals with them, and are at this moment doing our washing in their machine, and watching their colour TV.

I think I told you that he got us a day’s work. It was tough work in 94 degrees Fahrenheit but we got $25 and a bath and lunch. We used this money to buy a new stove (to replace the dangerous one) and today bought two good second-hand tyres for the trailer for $10 – which was very cheap.


p62 sausalito, california as seen from one of the many hills
Tony’s postcard, captioned: SAUSALITO, CALIFORNIA As seen from one of the many hills surrounding this beautiful little picturesque town on the southern Marin County shore of the San Francisco Bay.


p63 sausalito city center california
Tony’s postcard, captioned: SAUSALITO CITY CENTER Palm trees and a sparkling fountain lend their charm to this little park in the round.


We are getting very anxious to leave now and are looking forward to getting on board. I am very worried about the van. I hope it won’t be damaged. They say we are covered by their insurance – but it’s all a bit hazy. I hope the ship is delayed in Tahiti that would suit me down to the ground!!

Well, I think that’s all the news for now. This will be the last letter from the States (assuming we sail on Monday).  I shall send you a letter from Tahiti and will then look forward to getting some mail from you in Sydney and then Melbourne.

I shall be thinking of you all on Thursday. I hope everything goes off alright, and I hope they have a very pleasant honeymoon. (It would certainly be nice if they go to Carol’s).

Please give Nigel a great big handshake, and Linda a great big kiss from me, on Thursday – and wish them luck. I’m looking forward to hearing all the news of the wedding.

All my love,


P.S. Please keep your fingers crossed for a calm sea!!

Note: It’s clear that Nigel and Linda’s wedding took place at great speed, which was necessary under the circumstances in the 1960s.

Note: Tony and Colin’s spin-paint idea was to convert the trailer into a mobile studio with a spinning canvas, where people would pay to create their own art – like this example.  

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4 thoughts on “24 Sept 65 : Farewell America, next stop Tahiti! : Los Angeles, California

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