There were guys at Bethel, who had GREAT jobs........Like Don Brouex.....he was the receptionist at the 124 Desk. His job was checking in and "checking out" all the bethel tours and "hot" sisters on their way through the bethel Home. That my friend, is NOT a real bethel JOB. I told Don that years later, that he never did “really” work at bethel and he laughed. Funny thing is he was the CO that took my bethel application in September 1969. God I so wanted to be like him!
There were guys at bethel that had great congregations with maybe only 2-4 bethelities in their halls. One Hall, Midtown had over 80 bethelites in it and there was Murryhill which was just as bad all bethelites plus 3 old ladies 4 kids and a dog. Odds of getting a home cook meal on Sunday 0%. Roy Baty said he got cheese and crackers at some old sister house after he was there for a year and 4 months. A good hall could make all the difference, on how long you could "gut it out" there, especially if you had a girlfriend there.
There were guys at Bethel that, for them, money was NO problem, parents sent them tons of cash every month, rain or shine.
There were guys, that had all three, they were called "Golden Boys".........Guys that for some reason, God was smiling down on them. They could fall into a bucket of shit and come up with a rose in their teeth. They had good bethel jobs, great KHs, money, a car, and more often than not a good looking "sister" on their arm. It was great just being around them. You thought that there could be a God after all.
There were the guys who struck out on all there. Guys like my roommate Roy Baty. He was in Murray Hill KM with 80 Bethelites, He worked in the Bindery (thanks to Eugene Alcorn) and he had no money sent to him. I give him credit he made his four years and he had a girlfriend before he went to bethel! Only one out of a hundred could do that.
That brings me to my next topic. Cars at Bethel.
A car at bethel was total freedom!
Why? For me the first two years there, it was Bethel and your KH, Bethel and your KH.........unless you knew someone with a car to get out of the city there was no leaving New York, you were stuck there months on end.
Your only free time was Saturday afternoon & evening. So on Saturday you would take the train down to times square and walk around looking for a good movie to go to, or walk all the way down to Flatbush Blvd. in Brooklyn. It wasn't unusual to not find one and walk all the way back home. Sunday was service in the morning, meeting in the afternoon and if you were lucky, dinner with a family in the hall that night.
A car could help change some of that. Some guys there had some nice cars too. Jim Pipkorn first had a 65 ford mustang rag top. Then a 67 GTO. Dave Borga (Mr. G Job king) had a 69 MACH 1, There was a 1968 396 rag top SS Camaro, that some guy on the waiter crew had.........anyway they all spelled...... FREEDOM.
They did have their problems......one was parking, there was NONE back then for the bethelities. Oh, the society had plenty of places for us to park after they bought the Squibb property but why make it easy on the brothers? Many years later they finally decided to give the bethelites free parking.
Anyway, you would have to drive around "the heights" looking for a spot......If you got back late....that could take up to an hour driving up and down every street up to a mile from your room. At one in the morning you would get so piss off and frustrated trying to find a parking spot. I bet Knorr never had to drive around and look for a parking spot. At that time night after you did find a parking space a mile away, the walk home was very exciting. Sometimes you have to run all the way if there were people following you. I love New York.
The other thing you could do was park illegally. You just didn’t have a choice. Many guys did......sometimes you got lucky....If not it was 10 dollars fine and 25 dollars for a fire hydrant. The Kennedy boys (Jim and Gary) had a 65 T-Bird and NEVER parked legal! They had Georgia plates.......and said the hell with it.
Well, one day they looked for their car but it was gone. The city had towed it. They went to the impound to get it. The guy said $656.00 please, they said "KEEP IT"
The other problem was break-ins.......If you had a rag top you would NEVER lock your car. The reason was if they wanted in, they would just take a knife to your roof, so you WOULD leave the door unlocked and let them get in.......But you would put a chain around the steering wheel and brake pedal. So if they hotwired the car and drive away there would be NO brakes. Some guys would put a kill switch in. You would always chain your hood and truck down. Another thing you would do is always leave your glove box OPEN, to show them there was nothing of value in your car. If you didn't your side mirror would be broken by the next morning.
We would see new cars parked on the street, in "the Heights" in 6 months they looked terrible. The reason is, mostly....... New Yorkers like to park by SOUND.......... they back in, until they hear.... a CRUCH ......then they move forward until they hear.....another.....CRUCH.......and then they back up and hear the final...............CRUCH.......now you’re parked.
After two years there, things got a little better, I had a fair job on the east freight elevator.........and I bought a car for ONE DALLOR. .....that’s right, one buck! My roommate’s girl friend's car, 1968 Fairlane, got totaled in a crash. The insurance payed her off and gave her the car. She gave it to me, for a buck. The car looked like something out of "Mad Max"......it was a complete wreck! Every quarter panel was trashed.......It had been rear ended at about 40 mph. the trunk that WAS 5 ft. long was now 3 ft. long. It looked like shit....... but she ran great........Believe it or not the 2 years I had it "They" (the worldly people) try to steal it 3 times, but she was my baby and she was my freedom.
I took Guys to the airport for $5........good money. I drove guys in my K H to the meetings, Instead of the hour plus train ride we could do it in 20 mins. They gave me their subway money......5 times .70 cents per trip good money........and last but not least she could get me..............far............ far away..........."From the wonderful House of God." On the weekends. Things were looking up!