Tags " braniff"
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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Sep 5, 1961 - Europe 1961    No Comments

Final Day!

It was so hot & sticky I had the bright idea of having a swim. It was delightfully refreshing. I packed – we had arranged to have our bags taken off separately so had not had to have them ready the night before.

It was foggy & terribly humid all morning – and we were barely moving. At one point it was announced that we would anchor at Ambrose Lighthouse at 11:30 and stay there until the fog lifted. This might mean having to wait until the late tide and docking at 9 o’clock instead of 2:30pm. We did anchor but it cleared and we slowly steamed past Long Island, past the Statue of Liberty into the Hudson. The first view of the city was so exciting, I could barely leave the railing. The tugs whistled, people waved, the fire boat saluted with a huge spray of water.

I ate hurriedly & as people were already lining up on B deck to get off, we did too. The heat there & on the pier was terrific. Harry grabbed a customs official as soon as our bags appeared & I called Braniff about our reservations. The customs inspector was thorough – he went into every bag & both cartons – but was very nice.

The porter situation was impossible so there was no choice but to carry the stuff ourselves. We managed some how & finally got out the gate, found someone to help us get downstairs & into a taxi. It was then about 3:30 and it took us an hour to get to Idlewild – traffic was heavy.

We made it to the deck just in time but they rushed us through so fast, we didn’t have time to call home or telegraph – and they didn’t have time to weigh all our luggage – with wine press & all, it must have weighed 200 lbs.

We were both breathless and exhausted from the effort – and then the plane sat on the ground for 30 minutes before taking off – with no air conditioning.

Drinks were served immediately however and were never needed worse. Then a grand dinner which I enjoyed – and which Harry couldn’t even look at.

Golly it was wonderful to get to Texas. We called Allen to borrow a car & took a taxi out to their house. Stayed long enough for Harry to eat something & then started home.

Arrived here at 9:30 – Serena bouncing out to welcome us, Gus, the cat, then Mrs. Bartley & Fay. Bud & Nelwyn came over with a bottle of champagne to put a perfect ending to a perfect trip!

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