My life After Bethel Part 1
The day I left it was pouring rain........I really screwed up, I found out the night before, as I was packing things up, that I had way under estimated how much stuff I had. I had two large suit cases (that I could barely shut the lids on) and a large army duffel bag. I would guess about 200 pounds of shit......My Van was in Rhode Island with the engine out of it. I was taking the bus to my new "home".........It was only 4 blocks to the Subway station. It took me 45 minutes to get there.......the longest 45 minutes of my life. It looked like something out of "The Shawshank Redemption" when he crash out of prison in the rain. I would carry or drag my belongings only about 30-40 feet at a time.........I would have to stop.......I would sit there on top of one of my suit cases, panting for air. I was drenched and mad as hell........How could I have been so stupid. After a few minutes, I would gather my strength and drag my shit another 50-75 ft. People looking at me as they were walking by....sitting there in the rain............What a sight.......but in New York City, most people are not surprised at anything, they may see around the next corner.
There was no “Brother can we give you a ride to the airport or bus station.” You left the same way you came alone.
I missed my first bus to Rhode Island and had to wait 4 hours for the next bus. So I was pissed off at everything, Bethel, New York City, the subways and life in general. As I sat there drench to the bone with everything I owned. I thought about how I got screwed the first day I came to Bethel too. I took a cab from the airport back in 1970. I should have been about a 20 minute cab ride. My cab driver asked if I was "new" to the area..........I said "Yes, I was......I'm going to 124 Columbia Heights the world headquarters of the Jehovah's Witness!" as if he really cared. Little did I know he was going to give me a full tour of all Brooklyn...........over an hour later he dropped me off at the 124 building, he said "That will be $52.50" he gave me my bags and as I walking away......when he said "Hey kid....what about a tip?" It was the first cab ride in my life and didn't know how it all worked, so I gave him another 5 bucks....."Thanks" he said and "Welcome to New York!"......I only had 140 dollars to my name after the cab ride. Now, I was leaving Bethel with $160 bucks.........not bad......after 4 years I leave with a $20 profit. I guess I got screwed coming and going...........but I can't blame anyone put myself. I don't mind making mistakes, I just hate making the same ones, over again.
On leaving Bethel I made two Vows.
1. I would NEVER work for anyone ever again. If I was going to work for a "Jerk" it might as well be me!
2. I would NEVER be and Elder or in a position of "Over Sight" in the organization, the biggest thing I learn at Bethel was, that POWER corrupts people. That I would NEVER sit in judgement of one of my follow brothers/sisters. I think I hold the society's record for the person who was a MS the longest...........over 30 years. Oh Yeah......They wanted to make me an elder a couple of times............I would just skip field service for a month.......that was the end of that.
Anyway, I was going to get married on March 30, 1974. People would ask me if I going to get married as soon as I left Bethel? I would say "NO........I'm waiting 2 weeks." I was hot to trot.
It was Allen Andrews who gave the wedding talk at the Newport R.I Kingdom Hall. I was there with "My Boys" Jack Sutton best man, Roy Baty, Randy Robertson "Country" and Mike Stillman. True to what my future in-laws told me to do "I just showed up." We had the reception at the V.F.W. hall. My father in law Ben Reagan (Gomer Pyle) bragged to everyone at the wedding, that it only cost him $300 bucks for the whole thing. Debbie made her own wedding dress......she wore a ripped pair of panty hose (no cash for new ones). We had a great time and danced our asses off. There was only one problem.........Jim Pipkorn who was to take our wedding pictures (to save money)....... got lost and finally got there and hour before the reception was over........Debbie never did forgive him for that. Debbie and I were the last ones out of the V.F.W. Hall........we just didn't want it to end.
We didn't move to California after the wedding, like I told her parents. There was just too many changes happening. I just couldn't see making four of the biggest changes in my life with in 2 week period 1. Leaving Bethel 2. Getting married 3.moving to California 4. Getting a job. I was tired and exhausted. We had got 1,500 bucks at our wedding, the most money I had ever seen in my whole life. "We were RICH"...........so we played for a whole month. You want to hear something really sick? The only place we went to on our honeymoon was, guess were? That’s right New York City! Since her parents would never let her come down to visit me while we were going together, I wanted to show her the city. At the time you could rent a room in the Towers Hotel from Bethel for cheap......so we went there for a weekend. I must say on some crazy level, I liked the idea of having "legal sex" in a Bethel room. I got some kind of sick pleasure from taking her on a tour of the factory, so I could show off my new bride to all my "Horny" friends.......Who still needed to "make their time"......Kind of a "Hey......Guys, look what I got!....You can get one too.........someday if you’re lucky!"
Hey New Boy, you have a very hypnotizing way of writing. I've read all your stories, and find them very interesting. I have no idea how many tours I was in in Brooklyn over the years. The picture from the outside was always one of a very special place and the eating opportunities were like, wow, sitting at god's table lol. It's nice to know the truth behind the curtains.
Thanks for sharing!
We await Pt 2 .....................................keenly !
I knew you couldn't stop!
Love your style man....keep them coming. Well, I don't know if you like this author, but I'd expect to read stuff like this from a John Grisham book, great stuff, gripping... keep em' coming.... love it...
...agrees with @vivalavida your writing is easy to follow and flows nicely @NewBoy keep em' coming.
Very good New Boy! I recognize the combination of lonelyness and relief when leaving that slavery.
A great read. Thanks New Boy.