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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 28, 1961 - Europe 1961    No Comments

QE, Day 2

Awakened too late for breakfast in the dining room but it seems you can have anything you want in your stateroom – the steward insisted. He’s very nice. Incidentally when the trays came, we saw our room stewardess for the first time.

I went to the beauty parlor at 10:00 and had my hair done a new way – so fancy I couldn’t comb it and made an for 6 to have it done.

Found the others playing gin rummy in the Garden Lounge (also nice for seeing the scenery). We played some while having drinks before lunch. What a life – Harry and I read and slept all afternoon.

The four of us were invited to a cocktail party in the ballroom – the 2 staff pursers and social directors do this every night. Nice to meet some of the other foreigners.

At dinner, we had sirloin steak and the pièce de résistance, Baked Alaska, which was heavenly. Saw a good movie with Danny Kaye after which we watched the floor show, the auction for the ship’s pool (we didn’t enter – it sometimes was as high as 100 pounds).

The orchestra moves upstairs after midnight to the Veranda Grill which is open to all 1st class passengers, so we did too. It is like a night club and we understood got lively towards morning. We, however, left around 2:30. Harry and I prowled around the decks and down to the cabin class but could find no activity.

Again we couldn’t sleep and at 4, took sleeping pills. Then the ship began to really roll making it more difficult to sleepIn 1955 during an annual overhaul at Southampton, England, Queen Elizabeth was fitted with underwater fin stabilizers to smooth the ride in rough seas. Two fins were fitted on each side of the hull. The fins were retractable into the hull to save fuel in smooth seas and for docking.. The roll accounts for my very poor writing now. Actually the waves don’t appear to be very high tho’ we can see white caps but there is (are) ground swells which cause the rolling.

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Aug 3, 1961 - Europe 1961    No Comments

Paris, Day 3

I got up and dressed and left Harry sleeping while I went to the breakfast room for the usual coffee & rolls. Sat with a young Spanish woman with 6-year-old daughter. We conversed in French – it was hysterical.

I had my hair done in the beauty parlor near the hotel, Joffo’s, & came out looking very odd, but very Parisienne. Harry was still abed, mal a tete from too much wine so I went on to the Champs Elysees by bus. I walked from the Rond Poinit clear to the Arch de Triomphe – quite a way. Met the South African (Britishers) couple, the Barries, and they walked part way with me. I crossed the Etoile – quite an accomplishment with all that traffic, bought a tickets, went by elevator to the top. It was a beautiful day & tho’ I wasn’t familiar enough with the landmarks to pick out many, it was a gorgeous sight – especially the 12 boulevards which come into the Arch – Etoile.

I walked to Forquet’s & met Allen & Jeannette for drinks & lunch. Harry found us in a little while. We all had cheese omelets & mixed green salad. Saw Red Buttons at an adjoining table but didn’t recognize anyone else – it’s supposed to be a fashionable spot for celebrities, business men, etc.

We returned to the hotel by cab and we were moved to still another room – the fourth we’d been in in Paris – a different one each night.

The bus for the tour picked us up – this was “Old Paris” – the Louvre, Ile de Cite, Latin Quarter, Luxenbourg, Sorbonne, Place de Bastille & Montmartre. We (J & I) enjoyed Notre Dame again with a guide. Harry and Allen were enjoying a bar. We were glad to go again to Montmartre & sit in the square. We were all dead tired and rested before meeting in Allen’s room for drinks. Mrs. Abeel & Hugh joined us. After looking forward to Le Petet Bedon (Bill Abeel’s suggestion) the concierge hadn’t made reservations. We returned to Fouquet’s, had a very elegant meal upstairs and only had to cross the Champs Elysees to the Lido. The place was packed but the show began immediately. I was very good – many bare breasts, beautiful costumes & elaborate staging – in sequence – stairs, an ice rink, a pool for a seal, revolving trapezes, even horses. Drank champagne – we had more than we could finish. Enjoyed a British couple sitting next to us from Birmingham.

Late as we were getting home, the men wanted to prowl the streets. Harry said later that business must have been poor that night ’cause they had many solicitations.

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