1958 Convention Program. 8 days from 9am till 9pm. Anyone attend?

by StopTheTears 76 Replies latest jw friends

  • blondie

    I studied that book as a young child with my siblings...we had a dog and we were worked our dog would die along with us kids.

    The WTS really stressed that if at least one parent was a faithful jw, their minor (age of accountability...never specified) would live.

    My father was not a jw and my mother was inactive for many years....my siblings and I were under 10 but no jw would say we were safe....as if we could drive ourselves to the meetings.

  • Bill Covert
    Bill Covert

    To me those assemblies were opprtunities for adventure from a dreary JW childhood as it offered the oppertunity to 'work' at the assembly. I fed Otto Stores tray drying machine in Candlestick in 1961, Rose Bowl in 63, Candlestick in 66. Was in charge of garbage removal in Atlanta in 69. Which was cool, that way I didn't have to go out in field service and didn't have to were meeting clothes, as I was 'working'.

    Those who went to Candlestick Park well knew the Mark Twain quote " that the coldest winter he ever knew was a summer in San Francisco".

  • talesin

    I was at the 1963 convention at Yankee Stadium, NYC. I was 5 YO. My mother had me on a leash, and I can remember baking in the bleachers at Yankee Stadium (bad memory). Also, the 'lead' speaker on Sunday - was a raving lunatic, scary to my 5YO sensibilities. Was it Franz or Knorr? My 5YO brain says "Knorr", but that was a long time ago.


  • talesin
    Mark Twain quote " that the coldest winter he ever knew was a summer in San Francisco".

    Not Mark Twain. It's also been attributed to Hemingway and several others. The origin is unknown, but may be Coleridge..


    When I first read this quote, many years ago, I thought it was a joke. Haha, a bit of damp, and it's such a hardship? ahaha, live in my city, further north, but with the same fog and weather types. San Fran, you are a bunch of soft kitties. : P

  • sparky1

    What sort of sick, twisted and perverted minds would allow such a picture to be printed in one of their religious 'teaching' publications? A little girl, her dog and her doll being destroyed for something she has no comprehension of? Oh, that's right, Fred Franz, the virgin who never would know what it was like to make love to a woman or cradle his own offspring in his arms and Nathan Knorr, the cold fish, who had no children of his own and (I believe) only one nephew (Joel Mock) whom he never spent any time with.

  • TMS

    Just a few quick observations about the 1958 and 1963 8 day conventions: In 1958, we camped on the side of the road in our trip from Renton, Washington to N.Y. I was ten years old at the time. We traveled with a couple planning to go where the need was great in Ecuador, not as Gilead missionaries, but, on their own. We were not on friendly terms with them by the time we got to New York. On the trip across the country, I was stung by a bee that flew up my shirt sleeve.

    As someone stated, the convention was held jointly at Yankee Stadium and the Polo Grounds. My dad told us that, should we be separated, we should wait at a designated numbered gate until discovered. When, I got lost among the throngs, I simply went to that gate and waited. My dad found me a couple hours later and seemed surprised I'd actually listened.

    I remember the fake New York newspapers we bought with pages of pictures and articles about the JWs as if they actually made the front page. I still remember the headline "Witnesses Styled City's Best Guests." I also remember the attendance on the last day as 253,922. Rumors surfaced that the U.S. Army was analyzing the JW methods of serving so many during mealtime. LOL.

    We went to the Polo Grounds six days and Yankee Stadium twice. On the last day Yankee Stadium officials allowed us to sit on the ball field. The sisters were instructed to remove their high heels.

    Five years later, as a teenager, I went with a privately organized group that had chartered an old Tacoma city bus and a non-JW driver for the trek to Pasadena for the 1963 8 day assembly. As we neared the Rose Bowl, we encountered a massive traffic jam with the freeway a proverbial parking lot. Since we could see the stadium, but weren't moving, my friend George and I got permission to walk the rest of the way. We got seats in the upper deck of concrete bleachers and could see our old bus creeping in two hours later.

    Yes, it was hot. I finally got some butcher paper from the cafeteria an sat in one of box seat areas directly on concrete with the butcher paper over my head as a sunscreen, . I remember about 8 "releases," among them the "Babylon the Great, God's Kingdom Rules!" book, "All Scripture is Inspired of God and Beneficial," the huge reference New World Translation, a brochure on the Around the World conventions, etc. My limited funds from janitorial work and painting that summer did not permit me to buy copies for the whole family, upsetting my dad on my return. I was the only family member who went.

    The contracted hotel, not engaged through the Society, turned out to be a huge flop house on Figueroa Street, condemned for the still-in-the-future Los Angeles Music Center. Even though the rate was only 80 cents per night, most of the brothers and sisters refused to stay there, finding other accommodations. I was totally pleased with the patchwork quilted beds(my room had two beds) and the claw-footed old bath tub. I saw my first knife fight from my hotel window and met prostitutes in the lobby. The night desk clerk would engage us in horseplay, putting me in a sleeper hold one night after the session. Smelling salts woke me up to laughter in lobby. One late night I walked to a Chinese restaurant on Vine Street. They were closed, but thought I was homeless and let me in for all the steamed rice I could eat. When I tried to pay, they charged me ten cents. On my way back to the hotel, I ran into dangerous "worldly" guy who wanted to know what I was "up to." When I told him I was there for the convention, he laughed, telling me how "easy" the JW chicks were.

    Kent-Meridian High School administrators were upset that I missed the first week of school as this final "Around the World" convention was held the first week of September. I was able to give them a great "witness." LOL

  • Phizzy

    I must have attended the English version of this, at either Twickenham or Wembley, but do not recall, unless it is the one at which I volunteered to wash the trays that lunch was served on, and worked so long and hard that I got minor sunstroke, we were out in the open.

    Nobody had the sense to say, "you've done enough", I just went on and on.

    I rather think that was the time, it put me off ever volunteering again.

    I was eight years old.

  • TMS

    A couple more memories from the Around the World 8-day assembly in Pasadena in 1963: On the bus trip down to Pasadena, a two year old in a onesie sleep outfit, was using the overhead storage rack as what we used to call "monkey bars," swinging from rack to rack with absolute ease. Some of the adult Witnesses were aghast, but most of us just marveled at the dexterity, fearlessness and aplomb of this gymnast. Finally, the driver got on the microphone and admonished the parents to control their child.

    One more: Knorr's closing talk went way overtime. He actually announced to the audience in his opening statement that, if they had some deadline like a plane or bus to catch, it would be acceptable to leave, but that he was going to go well overtime. Finally, I got worried that I would miss my bus and made my way out to the parking lot. The bus was nearly filled. The brother who arranged the trip had a speaker inside the bus so all could hear the closing talk.

    The bus driver, an affable guy, likely near retirement age, said we would have to leave very soon to get the bus back on time. At one point the driver, not a Witness, said: "Man, that guy likes to hear himself talk," a statement that didn't go over too well with the Knorrites. The driver set at least two deadlines, then gave in to the JW passengers wanting to hear Knorr out. Finally, he started the bus, gave us another few minutes, then, after apologizing to the cult group, took off. I, for one, totally understood, despite being mesmerized by Nathan Knorr.

  • LoisLane looking for Superman
    LoisLane looking for Superman

    There was a group from our Hall in LA who went on the Eupopean JW Convention Tour in 1955. There it was announced about the 1958 Yankee Stadium & Polo Grounds International Convention to be held, so we had 3 years to get ready. That was the buzz word everyone talked about when together. Are you going? Are you going? Almost everyone from our hall went. Some went by car, others went by train. Other's such as ourselves, flew TWA. Before we left, we needed clothes. We had a children's clothier in our city. What fun it was to pick out so many different dresses at one time and then there were play outfits to pick from too.

    After arrival at NYC, when we went to our hotel, at the front desk, my dad took out a pile of fresh, hundred dollar bills to put into the hotel's safe. Each morning he took one and put it in his billfold.

    My parents had been to New York City together in 1953, so knew some of the ropes. They told us before we went on the subway to not worry about the pushing and shoving, that if we were parted, to get off at the next station and we would be fine.

    One day, after lunch at Yankee Stadium, we climbed up to the very top of the stadium (not the roof, lol, just where the very top farthest away seats were) to see the view. Vertigo. lol We didn't go everyday to the stadium and sit in the sun. There was lots of sight seeing to do. All the usual places. I loved the Staten Island Ferry and going out to the Statue of Liberty. My parents had arranged before hand to meet our best JW friends at the base of the Statue. We were so happy to see them.

    I was just a little 9 year old. We were supposed to pay attention. The talks went on and on. American Jdub clapping. lol Somebody (not us! lol) would start and everyone had to clap also. Didn't want to look like you disagreed, did you? lol The Gilead Graduation was a huge deal to see.

    The last day, Sunday, the grand finale of the 8 spiritual feast days, barf, my dad and I stood and walked around the Polo Grounds outside. We were zombified. lol Could not listen to those loud speakers telling us about the coming Big A, didn't want to hear anymore recruitment experiences, or how soon we could be petting our own zoo full of animals (no one has ever mentioned who is the designated poop scooper and cleaner upper or who has taken specialized zoo care) (We all know now, it is all fantasy thinking anyway).

    We had a wonderful trip.


  • bethelyellowdollarbag

    I was 7 or 8 and remember it pretty well. It was very exciting for me. My family never did any vacations ever, so assemblies were the only break in the routine.

    I remember we were assigned a room within walking distance in Harlem. A black woman opened the door and didn't want us to stay because she "didn't want no white folks." My mom was tired and cranky and told her that she wasn't prejudiced and didn't see what the problem was. So the three of us stayed for 8 days with a very skeptical black woman.

    On our way walking to our room one day a black policemen stopped my dad and wanted to know why were in the wrong neighborhood. He was very worried for us.

    I think lunch was only a couple hours and they had to feed about 250,000 people between the the Yankee stadium and the Polo grounds. We were at the Polo grounds.

    They had those military style metal pan type plates with several separate sections. I remember my dad was on the detail running the piping from steam generators to the industrial dish washing machines.

    They had a tent city in some open field with thousands of people in campers and tents.

    The way they fed people is that they would have long series of tables with sisters with the food and big spoons. A tray would start at one end of the tables and be pushed along and each sister in the assembly line would plop her food on the tray then push it along. Once it got to the end their was a line of witnesses at right angles going by and everyone would just grab a tray. No options just grab a tray and find an empty standup table to eat at. No sitting, no choices, just grab a tray and eat and drop the tray at a station for cleaning.

    They bought a couple brand new cement mixers that they cleaned out and used to toss the salad. They were then able to sell the cement mixes as brand new as they only had salad oil in them.

    We were allowed to walk around a bit even at 8 years old as I remember being very scared that I would not be able to find my way back.

    Years later I actually perfected a technique for helping little kids find their lost seats when I was an attendant.

    I was just a kid and this was the only interesting thing I had ever done other than work and school.

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