My Autobiography Part 6 - Some More Interesting Parts of the Block's Life


      ~~ My wife and I loved to travel. For ten years I worked with a travel publication so we got to see many countries, and states in the U.S, especially the Federal Parks--all of which are "Must See" places to visit in our own country; we almost visited all the United States except for a few along the Mississippi River.

     Here is a list of all the countries we visited during our days of travel: Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Alaska, the Rockies, Nova Scotia, Montreal, Quebec, Toronto, Great Britain and the Norwegian area and all of Europe except Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Poland. We managed Southern Russia, Turkey, Greece and the Greek Islands, Corregidor, Morocco, Israel, practically all of the Caribbean Islands, Costa Rica, Belize, Christmas Islands, all of Hawaii, and parts of Central America.

     We traveled by airplane, cruise ship, auto, train, ferry, hot-air balloon, bike, surrey, gondola, horseback, llama...over one lane and super-highways via flat and curvy mountains, tunnels, bridges, and firm beaches and some rough seas.  We found that the best buy for your money is a cruise--what with visiting new countries, eating gourmet meals, seeing top-notch entertainment, and visiting a few gambling tables, viewing the ocean from private balconies....and perhaps best of all, meeting new people from all over the world. One of the most interesting was meeting the man who chunneled his way from England to France, and all the experiences he faced under the English Channel.

     ~~ Three travel-related incidents remain a strong memory. While visiting Milan, Italy, on the first trip, my wife ventured to take a shower in a completely enclosed, two-swinging door stall. She stepped into the enclosure, slipped on a piece of soap that still remained on the shower floor, and went careening backwards through the swinging doors, and smack on the floor, spread-eagle and screaming like I never heard before. Fortunately, the glass doors did not break, nor did her dignity become too exposed before someone came in to help return her to her feet while I held her in my arms.

     The second happened years later when we passed through Milan on our way home from Rome. My wife decided to go back to the same spot she had been before in front of a drug store guarding our luggage while others in the group went to do certain errands necessary while traveling, which was part of her assignment when we traveled with another couple. While watching the luggage, two suspicious characters tried to challenge her by trying to distract her attention from her assigned duty.  She did not waver, and just took one hand and waved to no one in particular, but used the method to sort of warn these characters that someone she knew was approaching. It worked, and the two characters disappeared.

     This time, she was all alone in front of the same drug store, and tried the same tactic while I was taking a picture of her waving. When the film came back with the pictures, there she was waving to me; lo and behold, a man in front of the camera was waving back. We laughed all the way to the friends we traveled with to show them this unexpected picture!!

     ~~ There was a third incident, this time at a famous western Montana museum in the U.S., which was showing a display of George Montgomery's furniture he built for his wife, Dinah Shore. As we stood on a balcony overlooking the exhibit, a man approached us and said, "Like the furniture?"   We all nodded in agreement. "I'll sell it to you since it's mine!" Yep, there stood George Montgomery, acting like a hustler.  We laughed some more, until he finally said," Come with me, I want to show you something."  We walked out of the museum and through a parking lot until we reached a fancy car.  Montgomery walked to the trunk and opened it, saying, "Here's a souvenir you can buy to take home to show your friends."  It was a large, coffee-type memoir of his life with Dinah. It's only $25." We said "no" and walked away without buying from THIS HUSTLER.!!!!!


     ~~ (Bernie) Yo, Taxi. In 1952  I was working with a publisher and used to go down to their printer to make changes on the metal plates while they were making ready to print, taking out and putting new lines of type where needed. This part of the job always took place anywhere from 10 PM to Midnight, and when finished I would hail a taxi to take me to the subway to take me home. On this particular night, the taxi was nearing my subway stop when we collided with another car whose fault, I did not know.  I was thrown forward and banged my head against the taxi's front seat, but suffered only minor injury, my first such situation.  I refused to go to the hospital because I did not want my wife to know what happened that time of night--it would probably scare her--even though I would get home a little later than I usually did.

     The next day, I received a call from an insurance agent who I found represented the cab company, who asked how I felt and why I didn't go to the hospital. I said that the injury to my head was very little, and that I would not need to receive any settlement.  He thanked me for being so honest, and said he would close the case.  I agreed!!  Naive to say the least. I could have collected some money from the situation, but that was me, then...honest Abe!  If it happened today, and with more knowledge about settlement injuries from accidents, I might have taken a different approach.    

     ~~ (Audrey)  When my wife, Audrey, was in her mid-teens, she worked a summer part-time job at the famous department store, Macy's on 34th Street in New York City, in the basement doll section. The following year she told her father that she was going to go back to Macy's in the summer; he asked her if she would like to work for an up-scale one. After replying that she did, she applied for a famous one on Fifth Avenue called FAO Schwarz, and was hired for a part-time summer job in their doll department.

      One day in the middle of the morning, she saw all the sales girls rushing to the store’s front door to greet what she considered to be a strange, sophisticated woman. This stranger ignored the rush of the sales girls and strolled over to Audrey and proceeded to have a nice conversation about dolls.  It was while she was talking with the stranger for a few minutes that she finally recognized this tall, but pleasant woman as Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, (wife of the President of the U.S.)  It was a story she like to tell to the members of the family and friends all over how she was so overwhelmed by that meeting.

NEXT WEEK:  Working for a Fortune 500 Company (Bernie)...For the Love of Art, (Audrey)...Cars & Thrills...Little League Ain't So Little...How I Became the Family Chef

Bernie is a real person who resides in one of our Brookdale communities. Many of the stories he has written are based on factual evidence from newspaper stories and other sources available to the public.  He uses his imagination in parts to help supply the “twist” at the end.  The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Brookdale Senior Living.


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