The Words of the Hill Family
Last Monday we all went out to Dulles airport to put Miss Kim on the jet plane for London, leaving here at 7 pm and arriving there at 2 am, our time, direct flight. But of course, it was already morning in London, so she had a short night and a long day. We have heard already that she made it safely and found lodgings near the YWCA, but things were not as cheap as she had expected. She had begun making contacts with people whose names and addresses she had.
Doris Walder left for Rome on Tuesday in the late afternoon. She had to fly to New York to get her plane, which went via Paris. We would have felt a terrible let down with these two strong and beloved people leaving us if we had not had to plunge immediately in to hard work, Mr. and Mrs. Everett Johnson came to stay at Fellowship House for several days to learn the DP.
They arrived Tuesday morning, just before lunch. I got the lunch and saw to the dinner, due to general confusion and everybody doing something else, elsewhere. Doris, of course, had many last minute things to attend to, as her actual departure day was only decided upon about three days previously.
She received much advice, some conflicting (do not drink water in European cities; go ahead, it is safe enough… etc.) I gave her a paper back, Italian for Beginners, and she was practicing a few phrases.
Everett Johnson is an inventor and a seeker after knowledge in many areas. For his benefit Gordon arranged to give the entire sequence of lectures in three days, beginning after lunch the day they arrived.
Everyone in the house was also supposed to attend, and did unless duties took them elsewhere. There was a lecture in the morning, one in the after noon, and also evening. There would be two lectures some of these times, of course, to get all 12 in and also allow for many questions and answers. Sometimes Col. Pak gave one of the lectures, but mainly it was Gordon, talking between 6 and 9 hours a day. His presentation is clear, concise, rapid and deep. Everyone is greatly benefited by his teaching, to say nothing of his warmth of personality and his feeling and sensitivity and grasp of what is appropriate and needed in every situation.
We finished up the last of the series late Thursday night, and were to leave Fellowship House by 6:30 am for New York. Packing, hair washing, ironing, sandwich-making went on until the small hours, Then we were up by five. Breakfast was a hasty affair. Standing around in the kitchen, but our cooks did give us eggs and ham, and even hot cereal, as well as toast, juice and coffee. Gordon had made out a loading chart, so everyone knew in what car he was to ride. Two station wagons, a Volkswagen and the sedan of the Johnsons carried 26 people and their luggage, Most of us were right here at Fellowship House, but we drove to Arlington where we picked up the Leader, Mrs. Choi, Miss Choi, Col. and Mrs. Pak.
The day was fine, sunny and a pleasant temperature. We bowled along at 70 miles or so, all managing to keep together the whole way. We had left Washington a little after seven, and reached New York and Mrs. Hurd's apartment before noon. It is a small two-room place in an old hotel in a West side area of lower Manhattan. The apartment itself is light and clean, having recently been completely repainted, all white. Mrs. Hurd has hung bright curtains, and there is an orange divan and chair, and a few pieces of good furniture. The cooking is done in one corner of the living room, where a minute sink and small gas range have been installed. Over them is a wall cupboard. In this tiny place, they had prepared a Korean dinner of many kinds of delicious dishes.
The Leader sat in the big orange chair and his meal was served on a card table in front of him. Some of us others ate there too, those finishing getting up and others eating in their places.
Everybody else stood or sat around the room. Some perched on one or other of the two beds in the adjacent bedroom. This was where we ate breakfasts and dinners for the three days we were there. As for sleeping arrangements, two double suites had been rented in a nearby cheap hotel for us -- the men to use one suite, the women another.
An apartment downstairs belonging to a man Myrtle knew was also available to us, as he went away for the weekend. Thus we managed to stay for the long weekend in expensive New York without spending much money. And that was contributed by each member of the Family who could -- with $20 as the minimum cost. Those who could put in more.
Immediately after lunch we started sightseeing. First objective was the Empire State building. Not only did the Leader spend a long time praying from each corner of the main observatory on the 86th floor, but stood in line along time after that to get to the top by the one elevator that runs on up to the 102nd floor glassed-in observatory. From this point on a clear day the visibility is 80 miles, but it had grown a bit hazy that afternoon, so we did not see that far… but far enough. Tiny little island full of building blocks and streets through which crept ants, with a ribbon of water encircling it beyond which spread the boroughs for miles.
We went next to Rockefeller Center and took a tour through NBC-TV studios. Then to Radio City Music Hall. This was about 6 pm and people were murmuring about being hungry. Food and sleep never deter our Leader from doing things, so we all saw the early evening show, timed just right for us. We got in just as a really magnificent and reverent Easter pageant started. After that the usual variety acts, all good, with the Rockettes doing a number of impressive routines. The movie was Operation Crossbow, a grim picture of war.
When we got home from the show, we ate another Korean meal waiting for us. We had managed to exist until then on snacks of candy and nuts some enterprising members had bought in the theater lobby. We went to bed, most of us, around midnight. Friday was the day for the boat trip around Manhattan Island, the whole morning taken up by it… very pleasant and relaxing, and another fair day.
In the afternoon we started to drive through New York City which we had studied from above and from circling all around it by boat, but the street traffic is terrible and we got bogged down in it. It took a long time to get anywhere, still keeping the four cars together. Some got lost and never did join the group but went back to the apartment.
However most of us found our way to Central Park and the Holy Ground. It is on top of a rock, from which grows a cherry tree. We sat down there for a long time. Various ones sang, and Gordon gave his song of the Fall and Restoration, an original one with words in no known language. A most attractive young couple joined us and the young man, a business man, confided that he wished he could believe and belong to something like Divine Principle. We hope to follow him up.
After dinner in the apartment, American this time with cold sliced ham and potato salad and ice cream, we sat and talked, or rather, the Leader talked, He gave a long discourse about the necessity for total commitment and what it means personally, as well as discussing the world situation.
Sunday was World Fair Day -- off early by subway, and arrival as the sun came through clouds of early morning rain. It was perfect day weather wise (and other wise) with just the right temperature (about 60 maximum) and a little breeze. The fair, of which I had heard so many criticisms, surpassed my expectations. Beautiful architectural creations, magnificent avenues lined by large trees (all transplanted there, of course), many fountains and spectacular water displays, flags, lawns of green spring grass, and beds and beds of flowers -- now pansies predominate, but tulips were coming in to bloom. Imagine great sweeping beds of all blue pansies, or all white, or yellow. And flowering crab apples and other blossoming trees, too.
I won't detail the buildings and exhibits we saw, but we did take in a number of very worthwhile ones that gave excellent historical background and displays of western technology. One of those which impressed me I must mention. It was in the General Electric Building, a demonstration of atomic fusion by methods they have developed. We entered a large dome shaped dark room, stars and lightning in the dome, then spiraled down a ramp about three stories, here in a glassed-in chamber was some apparatus which, while we watched in the dark, made a tremendous explosion. Atoms were fused, instead of being torn apart.
The last thing at night was the Johnson Wax movie, "To Be Alive," a marvelous color film shown on three screens simultaneously, with different pictures on each screen, but all blending into a glorious whole, The theme is simple: "It's a great privilege and a joy to be alive here on this earth.''
We reached the apartment about 11, and again there was food. We had eaten hot dogs and hamburgers at the fair at noon and 6 pm. Some of us left at once to go to our beds. After all we had a day from 10 in the morning till 10 at night, walking, walking, standing in lines, taking in impressions with all our senses… always racing after our Leader with his fast pace, and endeavoring not to get lost. We'd been ordered to stay together, and did very well -- considering crowds and distractions -- but a few times some members did get separated, and we'd have to search and stand around waiting for them.
The last one to get "lost" was the Leader himself. He abruptly disappeared while we were waiting the 40 minutes necessary to get in to the last show. The gates were open, no Leader, no Col. Pak. Alarm among the Family, like lost children. But we decided to go on in ahead and wait. We were herded into fenced-in enclosures for another wait… a great mob of perhaps 500 people. We kept jumping up and peering to see if the Leader had arrived.
No one knew where or why he had left. Even Gordon seemed anxious. Finally, just before the last move forward signal, he showed up. Mrs. Choi was with him, too. Where had they gone? Next door to see a show of magic… like a little boy… he just didn't want to stand in another line, and ducked out to see something interesting -- magic tricks!
To my surprise Sunday morning 1 discovered that at midnight two car loads had gone out to tour Manhattan again, because the Leader wanted to see the city by night. They had got out and walked around in Times Square, They returned about 2:30, and were in bed goodness knows when. He takes very little sleep, and expects others to be able to do the same. Surprisingly, many are able to do it. Joe Badra for one, Joe did all the driving, kept the hours the Leader did, and showed no sign of fatigue, even on the way home Sunday when everyone else was exhausted.
We left about noon Sunday, as the Leader went to the United Nations Building. A special concession was granted to him (with Col, Pak) to go to the emergency session of the Security Council.
It was very hot and humid on Sunday, and the long drive home was tiresome. Arriving at Philadelphia about 3 pm, we found Mrs. Voelker had prepared a buffet meal for us which was most welcome and fortified us for the rest of the drive. We got in to Washington about 10, were asked to stop for prayer and thanksgiving and a bit of food at Arlington. It was a hot, dirty, bedraggled crowd, too tired to talk much. But the being together at the end of the long trip, the sincere thanks to the heavenly Father, the admittance of mistakes and shortcomings on the trip and the promise to try to do better made a spiritual bond between us all that sealed the trip, sanctified it, and so was worth the extra hour. Our sleep w as better for it afterwards.
Col. Pak came to fellowship House to sleep Monday night after the trip, sleeping on the couch in his front office. He said, beaming up the stairs as I was getting ready for the night, sleep well, Marjorie, mission accomplished!
We did it, the New York trip! What a load and responsibility that trip had been for him. To take everybody, because that was what the Leader saw must be done a week ago when faces grew sad when it was discussed and first appeared that only a few would be chosen. To take so many, to do it without spending a fortune or having any mishaps -- this was a real achievement!
There was no rising bell this morning, nor any lectures. For one day in the span of three weeks we got to sleep, to eat a leisurely breakfast, to wash our clothes or hair or do other things we'd put off or done hastily.
The recuperation was remarkable. By 4 pm, five of us were taking a stiff hour-long examination on Divine Principle which Gordon had announced. Then after dinner, a lecture again… Introduction and Principle of Creation given by Gordon, with two new people present, and a couple who had heard very little. Thus the cycle is renewed…
Much love, very happily, from your growing child.