Leaving home and mother . . . . . October 1962
Heathrow Airport suddenly appeared so small. Knowing she was standing down there somewhere, my father at her side, my much loved mother perhaps was looking skyward where the grey clouds soon enveloped every plane going and coming, but having no idea which one was taking her only daughter so far away. She already missed her own mother so dear to her, and must have wondered what on earth was I thinking, leaving her, father, brother, family, friends, home, and even country, even though I had been given her blessing, and she worked hard to help me in my dream to see America.
The airplane food was strange. Different, with lots of caraway seeds. Scared? Yes definitely as this was my first ever flight. Travel to date had been in cars belonging to friends with wealthier parents for Sunday picnics on Dartmoor; double-decker buses into town; the old Western Lady ferry across Tor Bay; day out motor coach trips to Cornwall or North Devon with maiden aunts; tiny row boats on herring fishing trips along the Torbay coastline; trains now and then for school trips to London followed by a boat up the River Thames in the rain to see where the Magna Carta was signed. Another major school trip was a memorable endless train ride north to Shakespeare country to visit Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, then swooning over a very young Albert Finney in an amazing production of 'Othello' at the Royal Stratford Theatre . . . . . . but never an airplane.
Coming into New York was exciting. It still is. Breaking through the late October cloud cover, seeing such a huge city from above in shades of dusty grey and misty blue, two thoughts came to mind. How does one ever find the way around a place so huge, and how does the pilot get this huge plane back on the ground! Of course only first time flyers feel that way. When you’ve done it once you know all the answers for ever more . . . . . . . . .
A tribute to my wonderful mother.
I "crossed the pond" home so many times to see her, and
she came to visit me many times in the ensuing years.
I miss her and think of her every day.
A special lady - Gladys Mary 1911 - 2003