Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sequel to Emily and Bill......July 4th

After my Dad died, click I went back to NYC. But I was able to do so with an Immigrant visa which, different from the Visitors visa I had previously, allowed me to work in the USA. To call the circumstances of how I got the visa unusual is an understatement. More further down...

In NYC the first job offered me was in the garment district at $1.00 an hour. That was the minimum wage at the time.

I didn't take it. Instead I opted for a job as a psuedo college student selling magazines in New jersey. It was a great experience and I met a talented group of hustlers who knew how to shake $$$$ from the suburbanites in NJ. I didn't last at this job because it was all a lie. I can fib OK but lying is beyond me.

But, let me tell you about the visa I was able to get in 1958.
I've told this tale many times......but it seems almost miraculous to me even today some 50+ years later. So if you've heard it, sorry!

After the funeral- mid June- my oldest sister and my mother were planning to go to NYC where my sister lived. By the beginning of July they had decided on a ship from Liverpool to Montreal leaving july 23rd.

I decided to go too.

On Friday July 4th we went down to Pier Head where the Cunard offices were to book the trip. While we were there paying for passage at White Star Line my sister had an idea. "Why don't you emigrate so you can work ashore?" she asked.
"No problem with me" I said. Since the American Consulate Office was right down the block from Cunard we toddled on down there. It was about noon. The massive double wooden doors were shut. No sign of activity. We pulled the bell chain and banged on the door. Nothing. Again we banged. After a while we heard the lock slide back and the door inched open a tad. A man with shirtsleeves rolled up and not wearing a tie asked what we wanted. My sister gave him a song and dance routine telling him the sad news that I'd just lost my dad and that my mum was going to NYC and I wanted a visa.

"Do you know what day it is?" he asked. Like dopes we said yes it's Friday and he laughed and said "It's July 4th", "An American Holiday" and "There's nobody here working to do it." Then the magic happened. He asked us in and after about 10 minutes of a private interview with me he got out a form and with a big roller type of lithograph stencil thingy he gave me a visa, all signed and fresh from the press.
Well we were over the moon. Usually in those days one would wait several months with it would take many trips(and long queues) and extensive documentation requirements to get a visa. You also had to have a sponsor or you had to have a job in the U.S. to go to and all kinds of official paperwork .

I skipped the lot, thanks to July 4th. I'm sure you can imagine how much I appreciate all the fireworks celebrating my visa anniversary every year! Thanks all of you......

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

For Emily and Bill

When I got to NYC in 1958 I went to work on a cruise ship that was an English boat that sailed from New York to Bermuda every week. The QTEV Queen of Bermuda docked at Pier 95 on 12th Ave.
My first assignment on the ship was as a second class waiter, which means I served the Officers in their mess.
Seasick, Looking at food and serving it three times a day made me throw up two or three times every meal. I was doing this all the way down to Hamilton Bermuda and then all the way back to NYC. The Officers got tired of it so they moved me to the night shift on the telephone switchboard. That was a blast. There wasn't much activity after 9 pm. And it wasn't hard work.
If you wanted to you could surreptitiously listen in to conversations............I didn't because it was mostly boring stuff.

My partner at night was an old Liverpudlian who had developed a side line business for himself as a podiatrist. He was a crusty old bugger who catered to the many flaky waiters who were 'a bit off' and he would go to their cabins and give them pedicures. He had a little black bag full of tweezers, cuticles clippers etc.

He was also in love with a black girl who was about 20 ( he was 60 ) in Bermuda. I could tell you more about his love escapades but... decorum will not allow it.

I had been on the ship for 3 months when I got a radio call from sister Rene that my dad was very poorly and was not expected to live very much longer. The ship was about to leave Bermuda for the two day sail to NYC and when we got there we had to make arrangements for a flight to England.

It was Friday 13th of June 1958. The plane was a DC-7 and it had mechanical difficulties that were scary. We left the terminal twice and returned from the runway for repairs.
It was after midnight- so Saturday the 14th- when we finally left NYC.

When we got to Runcorn on Saturday we were all shattered and jet lagged. On Sunday a contingent went to Warrington to see Dad.
I was asked to wait until the next day because too many people returning from America would clue Dad into the seriousness of his condition. (Give me a break)

He died on Monday the 16th and I never saw him again.

One final note. As I was leaving Runcorn on that Friday March 7th 1958, I had walked out the front door of #6 and was about two houses up the street when my Dad made it to the front door. "Don't you want to say goodbye to your Dad?" said my Mum.
I went back and kissed him. He was ashen and had a 2 day growth on his face. But I'll never forget it. Never. I loved him. And today is his birthday anniversary. Happy birthday Dad -March 17th- you are 105 years old today.

Monday, March 15, 2010

For My Fans

I have had a few murmurs from the gallery about the dearth of my postings. Well, truth is I haven't had my Austin kids here for a while and the Houston ones have been away in Cabo and now are in Morroco. So I've had no fodder.
BUT, I got a few pics today and will post them mostly for the Weaverham contingent and also for all you other lurkers who seldom comment.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

But who's Counting?

A smug post.

I was hugged today by Lindsey..(a smasher)....Graham (a choker), Paige, Steph, Beverly and Evelyn, (she said 'I missed you so")

And I had a massage from Wess.

I missed my Ink, Bink, CollyOlly and Anna.

Not bad overall though right?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Hide and Seek

Here's a quickie video. Nana is hiding and Evie is looking for her. (At the end I get a little excited because Evie's head comes too close to untrustworthy Patches.)

And these two were a little earlier.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Isthmus be my Lucky Day

Hurricane Ike blew out a bedroom window a little over a year ago. It took a while to pick up all the broken glass from the busted window. ( It exploded outwards from the upstairs bedroom!)
We had all the windows replaced and planted a few new bushes. Shortly afterwards I couldn't find my newest clip on sun glasses. Since then I've been on 5 or 6 cruises and had to use my old glasses which accommodate the old clip on sun glasses. A bit of a pain but workable.

Last Sunday my across the courtyard English neighbour, who is a non-stop workaholic, was outside sweeping up leaves. In the winter they accumulate around the bushes and our weekly gardening service does not ferret them out. Bob made nice little piles on his front grass area for the gardeners to haul away on Tuesday which is our regular gardeners day.

I watched him Sunday and took the day off.

Yesterday it rained all day but this morning after Patchie did her routine I decided to just flick the rake around the flower beds and make a minimal effort and make a few piles for the gardeners to haul away.

Good. I was just about finished when out comes Bob. He goes into a conversation about commercial real estate, monkey grass and financial planning. So I said " 'scuse me I got to go get the blower"

"Does yours have enough power" says Bob who has owned a chain of hardware stores throughout the U.S. and has two of everything.
Oh yes, Bob I said it's a Toro.

So he said bye and I went to get the blower.

It was a lovely morning about 65degrees and the work went well. With the blower funnel I was pushing past a difficult to move bush and saw a glint of glass. "Ah, some more broken window from Ike" I said to myself. Stopped the noise to pick it up and blimey it was my 'new' magnetized clip ons...

Just goes to show you that not every good deed goes unpunished. And the gardeners are here now picking up the mounds of leaves.