Does anyone remebr the "Rooming Work"

by exwhyzee 32 Replies latest jw friends

  • Jim_TX

    OMG!! - I'm having flashbacks now! Just when I thought I had forgotten it all, it comes back (Not really bad, but not good either.)

    RE: Kickoff meetings -

    I remember as a kiddo, they had the local 'kickoff' meeting to get folks out there banging on doors. Let's see... the fella giving the part had a man a woman and a few kiddos (I was one of them) come up on the stage, and do this bit (I don't think it took more than 30 seconds) where the 'dad' and 'mom' were bemoaning where they were going to stay. I played the bratty kid who was balling his eyes out. I think I had a 'one-liner' but don't remember it. It was something like 'I'm tired'. or somesuch.

    <twitch> <twitch> I'll be okay in a minute...


    Jim TX

  • Juan Viejo2
    Juan Viejo2

    I was a young boy when my JW family went to both the 1953 and 1958 New York International Conventions. I can't remember where we stayed at one convention. But at the other (I think it was 1958) we stayed in a home in Mt. Vernon, just north of the city.

    I can't remember too much about that experience except that our rooms were very dark, even with the lights on. We had to go down the hall to the one bathroom. There were five of us and at least two of the homeowners having to share the same bathroom. I remember how bad it smelled in there everytime I had to use it.

    All I remember about the people was that they were German or Polish, that they were in their 60s or 70s, and they were very gruff in their manner. Maybe I felt that way because I was a kid and wasn't use to that manner in our home.

    I also remember that the old folks would fight and scream at each other all night, finally giving up and going to sleep around 3 in the morning. All of us would take Mexican sponge baths, toss on the cleanest clothes we had, and get out of there as early as we could. We'd try to get over to one of the ballparks as early as we could to have breakfast, but they started cleaning up around 8:30, so we often had to grab something on the street near the ballpark to get us through the morning.

    One day we made a trip out to the trailer city to see some friends. I'm sure that in many ways, the trailer/tent city concept was the inspiration for Woodstock and other rock concert gatherings that would happen 15 years later. Everyone seemed relaxed sitting in their own tent or Airstream or converted school bus, listening to the talks being piped in over the loudspeakers. They could eat, sleep, and chatter during the sessions and no one bothered them.

    The one big mistake I made in 1958 was to wear my blue LA Dodger baseball cap. Not a cool idea at the time since both the Dodgers and Giants had left the city the year before. I got a lot of stares on the subways until my dad made me stop wearing it and got me a plain old fishing cap like his.

  • changeling

    Yes... this is how it was done up until the late 70's...hadn't thought about "rooming work" in many years... ah, memories... :)

  • restrangled

    As a little girl in the 60's I remember doing the rooming work with my mom (door to door). Lots of people seemed to volunteer their homes with no question. I seem to remember their was a small payment to the homeowner, but I could be wrong.

    I can't imagine this happening now. How times have changed.


  • stillin

    I remember begging for rooms in the 70's.

    My wife and I also stayed in one. It was an ethnic ghetto, We were as white as the driven snow. The walls were concrete. On the morning of the last day, I offerred the nice lady a little cash. She said "no, no, I's jes glad to have you stay wid me." But her hand was out so I put money into it.

    She needed it more than we did.

  • RosePetal

    Hi exwhyzee I remember doing the rooming work. I remember going with my mum and others in a group for a whole day and taking a pack up and hot flasks of coffee and tea. I of course saw this as an adventure as we had to go further than usual and travelled by car.

    One year I was about nine my mum brother and sister and I went with another family from London to Scotland to an assembly. They hired a minibus between them. I remember that when we got there we had to stay in this huge tent there were rows and rows of camp beds. We had to stay the night with all these other JW familys in this huge tent. We kids thought it was great. But I remember my mum was not happy because this was just for the night. We had to wait in a queue to find out where they would place us as we all had to stay together.

    Remember in those days assembly's lasted longer. They eventually sorted us out and well I just could not believe our luck we were sent to these chalet's by the sea it was great . My brother and I saved up our pocket money for six months so we had our spending money. We went to Fife and bought some toys to play on the beach. I can't remember how long it took from there to the assembly.

    Love RosePetal

  • exwhyzee

    Hi Estee and Snowbird and everyone who read my comment.

    You guys have mad me feel much better, I was incredibaly sad after I had actually written my experience down. You see, I didn't go into a lot of detail about what happened to us that night that before we could get out of there and how we made it through the 8 days of the assembly. It helps to know there is someone out there that knows exactly what I'm talking about. I can't tell my workmates about any of my past life because they'd think I was nuts. Other witnesses I know either weren't around back in the hard core days or if they were, are very dismissive of anything other than stories with a happy spin.

    I live in a major west coast US city and to my knowledge, the last time rooming work was done here was in the mid 80's. I didn't engage in it because I was ashamed of the whole thing and thought it to be completely inappropriate with the times and area we lived in. Sort of like walking around with one of those phonographs they used to use at the doors or like wearing a sandwich sign on your back would be. Don't quote me but I think there were several scary experiences of witnesses winding up in dangerous circumstances because of someone's lack of common sense when accepting rooms. I believe I remember on the rooming forms they asked what race the householder was and the race of the individual needing a room. That's probably what didn't sit right with your Father Estee.

  • HappyOutsideTheBox

    1982 - I remember doing rooming work in a very built up area of the city. It was mostly families who were from India or Pakistan who lived in the area and they had huge families themselves. Even though we knew that there was very little possibility of them speaking english or having any accomodation the elders insisted we knock all doors and ask!

    Needless to say - not one address was obtained.

    Crazy or what?



    Hi exwhyzee,

    I believe I remember on the rooming forms they asked what race the householder was and the race of the individual needing a room. That's probably what didn't sit right with your Father Estee.

    Yes, that was it! I completely forgot till you mentioned. Now I recall how he yelled around the house for days saying, "I thought there was no such thing as colours in Jebooger's organization!" and stuff like that---in his heavy accent.


  • moshe

    1972 was our first WT summer convention- 7 days in late June the muggy city of Baton Rouge, LA. It was a shoestring trip- $100 in travelers checks for a 750 mile trip and back in a worn out 1947 Chrysler club coupe that I had just done a shade tree ring and valve job on the engine the day before we left town.. My wife and I stayed in a private home arranged by the local JW's for the poor out of town carpet baggers like us.- I think it was $3/each per night. A pleasant elderly lady treated us like her own kids ( we were in our early 20's). We ate almost all our meals at the convention, too. ( this was back when they had talks at night) We got home with maybe $3 in change left and this was back before people had credit cards. Jehoobah sure watched over us or maybe it was to god of old classic cars.

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