America we found fast roads and high prices, neither of which was within our capabilities.|
those actually working, of course, the prices are in some ratio to the earnings.
But to the visitor without means they can be disastrous.
had known this, naturally, and had planned as well as possible to avoid the dangerous
attractions and luxuries.
necessities can be equally crippling; hamburgers are 35 cents (2s. 6d.); Coca-Colas,
milk and telephone calls around a shilling each; cinema prices - a flat rate for
any seat, varying from cinema to cinema - range from 7s. to 17s. 6d.
considerable strength of will is necessary. Once in Chicago we paid £2 to
park the cars for just over half a day.
roads are very good - probably none better, particularly in the facility of driving
to within a couple of blocks of the centre of a city like Chicago on an eight-lane
expressway at speeds of 50 or 60 m.p.h.
are fascinating. It is not unusual for a connecting road to pass over two similar
roads and under a third as it takes you from, say, northbound to eastbound; the
special layouts are bewilderingly complicated, and the patterns formed can be
roads are good - but we had our first accident here.
was a smooth concrete road with a hard three-inch edge and soft shoulders; one
rear wheel, striving to remount the road, eventually did so in too much of a rush
and the car waltzed gracefully away across the rain-soaked surface.
at the steering wheel I had time to note gratefully the absence of oncoming traffic
as the skid developed into a parabola with the rear of the car leading.
won't go over," I thought
"Yes, she will."
there we were, the car on her side, and the three of us in an undignified bundle
covered in note-books, maps and
Up came the three from the other car, the doctor
ready to give his services, which fortunately were not needed.
car was righted quite easily and proved to be unharmed except for a tear in the
American who helped us to do the job said "Well, if you wanted to damage
this truck you would have to drive it over Grand Canyon."
in the States is highly organised. There are national parks, state parks, even
have tables and water taps, and many have full toilet facilities, hot water and
showers, and shops.
luxury is reflected in the habits of the campers. It is normal to take along virtually
a whole kitchen - extensive cooking equipment, refrigerators, full cutlery and
accessories, comfortable folding chairs, rugs
and portable television sets.
felt like amateurs by comparison, but we managed - and we did appreciate the showers.
Americans, they say, are amongst the most hospitable of people and we certainly
found it true
has been varied. In New Orleans we spent one night, by invitation - on the floor
of a university laboratory, and the subsequent one being rounded up in one and
twos by the vigilant Campus Cops, and shepherded into more suitable accommodation.
we spent several days in the house of the president of the New Orleans English
Dallas we again lived on university land - in a fraternity house.
houses are in addition to the hall of residence provided by the university and
are owned and run by nationwide student societies.
moved on to Canada where our mission in the southeast is to deliver greetings
letters from Alderman Hugh Jenkins, last year's Lord Mayor of Bristol.
are several towns called Bristol on which we call.
had an amazing telephone conversation from Stratford, Ontario, to Toronto.
told the city hall secretary we wished to deliver a letter from the Lord Mayor
said "Would you like to speak to him?"
there, standing right beside her, was Alderman Charles Smith, this year's Lord
did not know that he was visiting the city of his birth.
we hurried to Toronto to meet him. That night he was attending an official banquet
given by the mayor of the city. But the next day he found time to meet us.
met at the Canadian national exhibition, where the lord mayor was the guest of
the Exhibitions committee. And in the party of the premier of Ontario, who officially
opened the exhibition.
is claimed as the oldest national exhibition in the world and is in its 83rd year.
Alderman Smith was his wife and Mr. John Hill, president of the Incorporated Chamber
of Commerce and Shipping of Bristol; Alderman Charles Worth, chairman of the Port
of Bristol Authority; and Sq. Ldr. J. L. Purchase, the City sword bearer.
party was carrying out at high level, the kind of diplomacy that we, in our small
way, are attempting.
Canada seems to be full of Bristolians. In Windsor we met again the girl who had
been lady president of the Bristol union a couple of years ago, and who is now
doing social work out here.
Toronto seemed full of our friends, many of whom had come over for the summer
vacation with the Canada Club from the university.
we had several previews of the type of encounter we must expect on our return
to Bristol - the questions, answers, explanations, stories which will doubtless
be repeated over and over again to satisfy the curiosity of friends and relatives.