ODD THINGS ABOUT TRIPS

All pictures of holes in hand, Bobby drove us back to Kansas City International Airport for our flight back to Newark.  I remember looking out the window on our descent, seeing only white.  Suddenly, below me, the New Jersey Turnpike appeared in patches out of the murk, looking cloudy, grayish, and flakey.  It was snowing, and it looked like it had been at it for a while.  We were so low over the white roadway, I thought we were going to land on it.

From brown Kansas to white New Jersey.  To be sure it had been a kind of odd-ball trip.  Going to Kansas to take pictures of holes.  More typically, my business trips back then took me to London, which was a very different kind of experience.  For one thing, England (the tourist web site has a page for “things to do on a rainy day.”) is a very “wet” country, and I developed a liking for pints hand drawn from the draught.  No need to buy a membership – everyone was a member!

This post is about England.

WITH AN MP IN LONDON 1969

After leaving New York at 9 in the morning on Pan Am, Dad and I were walking down Oxford Street, London by 10 PM, iconic black taxicabs and double decker buses whizzing by. I was hungry and saw all the burger places, just like back home. London looked like my kind of place since my diet was comprised primarily of hamburger. Dad warned me that those English burger chains like Wimpy’s were not as good as the ones back home. He was right!

And so I made my first discovery about England – the cuisine was inedible! Remember that this was 1969, before the food revolution had come to Britain and reversed the tradition of a very poor local cooking tradition – principally by boiling – made worse by the war. While in England, I suffered continuous bouts of nausea.  Once on the London tube with my Dad, I remember sitting across from a mother and her son, maybe the same age as me. He was nauseous and vomiting so I instantly was sympathetic. The only problem was that he was getting sick into a clear plastic bag.

PAN AM TO LONDON IN 1969

I took my first business trip with Olcott International in 1969. Of course, it wasn’t really a business trip as I was only a kid, 11 years old. But it was for my Dad. I tagged along and was on the periphery of a proposed merger of his operation with the patent renewal portfolio of one of Europe’s (and the world’s) largest law firms.

The latter part of the 1960s found me in elementary schools in Orlando, Florida during the school year and then back in New York City with Dad during the summers. Nine months of fourth grade to a kid seems to last at least 500 years with 11 months tagged on. For grades K through 4, I attended Cathedral School near Lake Eola in downtown Orlando in a building that must have looked old during the Roosevelt administration. During the interminable period between September and June every year, I was bored witless. But Dad kept my attention, even when I was far away from him.