Browsing "Europe 1961"
Jul 24, 1961 - Europe 1961    No Comments

Dallas to NYC

Like children, Harry and I couldn’t sleep and were awake at 3:30 the morning of July 24. Consequently we were ready when Nelwyn and Walker picked us up to go to the airport. There we ran into the Carlisle Willises (Margaret Merry), and the Friedmans who were seeing their son, Joe, off.

We met the Earlys in the waiting room at Love Field and met some of their friends who were seeing them off. The tremendous Braniff super jet  was mostly empty (in first class anyway). We ran into some bad weather which delayed us – Harry was on pins and needles helping the pilot fly until we touched down at IdlewildIdlewild Airport changed its name to JFK in 1963. It was built in 1935 on the site of the Idlewild Golf Course..

Our rooms at the Waldorf were adjoining and tho not too fancy they were heavenly because of the air-conditioning. We availed ourselves of the lounge and Rose’s services and relaxed over some drinks. A Jo Ann Kelly (Mrs. Gordon) from Fort Worth was the only other occupant and she joined us.

After a brief visit to the Peacock Alley,This was not the original Peacock Alley. The original connect the Waldorf and Astoria hotels and was a grand promenade where people went to see and be seen. The original was torn down to make way for the Empire State Building. When they built the new W-A, they included a similar walking area so the tradition could continue. we went over to Broadway for supper and a show. We saw Tammy Grimes in “The Unsinkable Molly BrownI find it a bit ironic that they went to see a show about a woman who survived the sinking of the Titanic on the eve of their own ocean voyage!” which was delightful.

It’d been a long day and Harry was expiring from the heat so we checked out on a nightcap and walked back to our cool room.

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Jul 25, 1961 - Europe 1961    No Comments

New York City

We managed to sleep until 9 o’clock and went with the Earlys for breakfast at Child’s. Harry, Allen and I walked over to 5th Avenue and along it for a while. We caught a bus up to the Guggenheim and, tho’ the show was not to my liking (except for a very few Picassos)According to the NYTimes, the exhibition then was a large collection of Modern Art, including pieces by Cezanne, Monet, Degas, Bonnard, Klee, Mondrian, Picasso and Schwitters. , the building itself was most interesting and, of course, most unique. If nothing else can be said for it, the construction insures your seeing every picture. As you walk down the circular ramp you can’t escape them.

We were to meet Jeannette for lunch at Rockefeller Plaza and I managed to get a little shopping done before. After a light lunch at a cafe in the Center, we taxied to the U.N. building and took a tour. It was most interesting and impressive even tho’ there were no meetings in session.

When we returned to the hotel, I did a little visiting with staff before Kelly joined us in the lounge for drinks. Later the others went to the Rainbow Room for drinks while I bathed and rested. When I joined them, we went to a French restaurant (the Champlain) for a wonderful dinner and then to Radio City Music Hall. The stage show was terrific and the movie “Fanny” was good but not as good as I’d hoped.

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Jul 26, 1961 - Europe 1961    No Comments

Bon Voyage!

After breakfast, we packed and Harry went to pick up his Leica while I did some more visiting with the staff: Iva Kay, Dorothy Parr, Ene Swayze. I’d seen Kay Bailey, Bea Kessler, Mae, Miss Wilcox the day before – they all made me feel so welcome.

We lunched in the Waldorf _?_ which was most attractively decorated and afterwards Kelly picked us up in a borrowed Rolls Royce (Steve Bottsford’s) and took us to the pier.

The excitement there was beyond description – and contagious. We boarded, found our stateroom (B.76), ordered set-ups and had some drinks. Besides Kelly, Gibbi Richardson and her son, Kent, and Thalia Barbara Smith joined us. It was quite festive but ended too quickly as they asked all visitors to get off about an hour before sailing. The steward came 2 or 3 times with telegrams and we had a long letter from Rosie (we’d had one from Kathleen at the hotel – also one from Suzanne Ensey).

As the tugs moved the Queen Elizabeth out into the Hudson, I didn’t even feel the motion. By the time I got up to the boat deck, we were well out into the River, we watched the Pilot get off, and slowly steamed past the city. We sailed promptly at 5 – (the band playing, confetti falling but I’d missed this part) and at six, there was a life boat drill so we didn’t get to see the Statue of Liberty except from a great distance. To recover from the strain (it was dreadfully hot with the heavy life belts on) the four of us collapsed into big comfortable chairs and had some drinks in the bar.

After some rest and freshening up, we dined and I was so sleepy I could barely get through dinner. A Lou Ambler from New Jersey and Kay Richmon of N.Y.C. were at our table for the one evening only. Even tho’ we were so tired, it was difficult to sleep. Harry was still hot and seemed to spend a good part of the night with his head out the window watching the water. At about midnight, because of heavy fog, the fog horn started blowing and this didn’t help. I was sore from all the walking in N.Y., I suppose, and tossed all night.

The time is advanced 20 minutes 3 times a day (5pm, 11pm, and 2am) – the clock in our stateroom does this automatically.

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Jul 27, 1961 - Europe 1961    No Comments

On Board the Queen Elizabeth, Day 1

We slept late, after such a restless night, and had a late breakfast in the dining room. The waiters seem to outnumber the passengers there and they are as attentive and polite and anxious to please as we’d anticipated. The menu is always very tempting but if nothing pleases you, they will bring you anything you want.

The room steward , also, is most obliging. We sent some things out to be pressed – at his insistence – I suppose I could have pressed mine, but he said only the tourist class did that!

I made an appointment for the Turkish bath hoping to lose some of my soreness. The massage was wonderful and made a new person out of me. I joined the others in the bar on the observation deck for a drink before lunch. This room is one of the few from which you can view the ocean as you sit – it’s at the front of the ship and you have an unobstructed view.

At the lunch table we were present with a bar chit – a gift from Margaret Barcus – and what a nice one! Allen & J also received some from friends. We forwent the wine at lunch but seem already to be in the habit of having it with dinner.

Harry and I read and slept all afternoon while the Earlys went off to play bridge. Harry had taken a couple of books out of the library which at a glance seems to have a pretty good selection. I’m reading Clea, the last of Lawrence Durrell’s quartet.

At dinner tonight (dressed in our formal best) we discovered we were sitting next to the captain’s table. A rather dim honor, I imagine. A & J couldn’t get excited about the Bingo and went to the movie while Harry and I threw away several dollars playing. The British couple next to us each won a game – $15 (pounds) and $22 (pounds) respectively. Wonder why they pay in pounds? But then, everything’s price is quoted in pounds: one pound for a Turkish bath and massage, 2/6 for drinks, etc, etc.

Dancing started at 10:30 and there were some Paul Jones’sPaul Jones is the name used for a number of mixer dances that were popular in the first quarter of the 20th century but continue to be used in traditional dance settings to the present day. (tho’ they didn’t call it that) to mix couples up. Other games and prizes followed as well as some entertainment – singers and dancers – both rather attractive young couples. On the whole, the other passengers area a nice looking lot – a very few young people (probably more children than college age), more our own age than I expected and of course many older people including a few very antiquated ladies in Mrs. Sanford’s categoryI don't know if 'Mrs. Sanford' was someone mother knew or a fictional character. Anyone have any ideas? almost. There are many Britishers and a smattering of other countries – it would be interesting to know where they were from. We really ought to stir ourselves and meet some of them, but as yet I’ve been too lazy, too intent on relaxing.

It was with great disgust, therefore, that after Harry and I went to bed and read for awhile that I still couldn’t sleep. Altho’ the water is very calm and the boat sways very little, it’s difficult to adjust to. At four o’clock I took another sleeping pill – very discouraging.

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