I 'm sorry all of this is not in order. I'm writing as all this comes back to me.
My first room assignment was room 33 in the 129 building. It was and old building, built around the turn of the century, The society owned it but it had worldly people living in to. I'm not sure why but maybe there was a law that prevented them from being kicked out or something. It was a 2 bedroom, 1 bath apartment (about 1000 sq. ft.) There were 7 of us in there, all new boys (less than one year there). There was 2 guys in each of the bedrooms and 3 guys in the living room. I got the back bedroom with some righteous Spanish kid from Texas (forgot his name). The bedroom was about 10x10, there were 2 beds, 2 desks and 2 dressers in there. It was so small, you had to go outside to change your mind, LOL.
Some of the fun things we would do there is have roach races. Lots of cockroaches there. We would catch these roaches, put them in glass jar, draw a circle on the kitchen floor, put the glass jar in the middle and let them go, the first roach that got to the circle.....WON!.........the prize was getting squashed.
There was a 5 inch hole in our bathroom floor, (some repair job that never got fixed) next to the toilet. You could look down and see some guy sitting there on the toilet. So one day when this guy was sitting on his toilet, we got a glass of water and then flashed our toilet, (which he could hear) and through the water down the hole on this "brothers" head. You should have seen the look on his face.
Work is over at 5:40, so on Thursdays (my meeting night) we had to run home, change and jump on a subway train, about an hour ride (no time to eat) to make it on time to the ministry school. My congregation was Inwood, the last congregation on the island of Manhattan. It was about 80% black and Spanish..........God I love the Black KHs.......they are the nicest people you would ever meet. The best hall I have ever been in! You had to be down to earth and be able to "shuck and jive" with them..........They (like most people) hated "uppity" people. I was lucky, there were only six betheliets in my K hall. Two tight ass company men, Daryl Christianson and Larry Fisher both elders and 4 new boys, me, Dennis Miller, Dave Poroit, and Mike Adams who I later heard had a mental break down at the WT farm. I heard he tried to kill himself.........I wonder why?
Anyway if we were lucky, the sisters (at the hall) would give you some food in a brown paper bag at the end of the meeting, to take home with you. We would eat it on the train. You would have to wait until someone else was ready to leave before you could go. The reason was at the time, we were supposed to travel in "pairs"........to prevent getting "mugged" and just about everyone who was at bethel (in 4 years) got mugged at least once. They told us to have at least couple of bucks on us at all times. The reason was if you did get mugged and you didn't have any money on you, they (the muggers) would beat the shit out of you, thinking you had it hidden on you somewhere and you just didn't want to give it up. You, just don't want to piss off those crack heads! It was hard at times to have even 2 bucks on you. One friend of mine ended up in the hospital after they took a lead pipe to his head. The reason he was a "white boy" in Harlem with no money.
You would see the strangest stuff on the subway train.
You would be there eating your brown bag dinner and all of a sudden, some tramp at the other end of the car would be there and start, "jacking off" right in front of you. Or the door open and some 400 lb. black guy would get on the train wearing a pink "tutu" and you know he wasn't doing to a costume party.THE LAST THING you would ever do, is stare at someone. Don Broux (and xbethel & XCO)......happened to catch a guy's eyes for 2 SECONDS as the train was stopping. The guy jumped up, went over to Don and slugged him in the nose.....and said "WHAT THE F....K ARE YOU LOOKING AT?" It was Don's last week at bethel he got married 4 days later with a broken nose. Another friend of mine was just sitting on the train and this black guy walks up to him, with his 3 year old kid and points to my friend and says "DO YOU SEE THIS BOY?...........pointing to my friend, "THIS IS WHITETY!.......YOU HATE WHITETY!........YOU KILL WHITETY!..........then just walked off.
Those New Yorkers love to have fun with you.
On one of those hot summer nights in the summer of 1970. One of nights that it was still 90% humidity at 11:00 pm. One of those nights there was no brown paper bag with dinner in it, from the sisters, after the meeting. Sister Ierizery had forgot it was her turn to make us dinner that night. I got off the subway train with book bag in hand, suit and loosen tie around my neck clothes drenched with sweat. Most of the trains in the early seventies still didn’t have AC in them. Me and some other Bethelites who congregations were over an hour away climbed up the stairs from the subway. At the top of the stairs we got a blast of cooler air. God did that feel good. Another day was over. Only three years left.
A block away was the “Pioneer market” (yes that was the real name). The brothers with money could go there and get a hero sandwich for $2 bucks. It was the end of the month so there was no money for food. There was just enough money for subway tokens to get to and from the meetings. I walked back to the 129 building, got to my room and just started crying for no reason. I went to the kitchen open the refrigerator door to see a bottle of "cold duck" I had bought a week earlier. I have no idea why I bought something as stupid as that. I guess it sounded interesting ...... I grabbed it and drank the whole thing in 3 mins.......The room started to spin, I laid down on my bed and after a few mins. Through up all over the bed and myself. I just laid there crying. I was the first time I had ever got drunk in my life.
"Are you O.K."...my roommate asked.........."I'm sick" I said.......and I was....sick of heart.
I thought, It really was true............"They really didn't give a shit about us."