Kat’s Book: Bill and Bob’s Excellent Adventure 

About May 26, 1968 my cousin, Steve Jacobs,  drove my cousin, Bill Orzen,  and I to Connecticut to pick up the car we would be driving.   The next day, a Monday, we started our trip to Arizona.  The dates and times that follow are approximations.  These events happened 48 years ago.  We would leave Brooklyn and make our way down the New Jersey Turnpike until we got to the Pennsylvania turnpike when we would head west.  We ran into car problems right away, after about two hours of driving.  The car started to sputter on the NJ Turnpike as we were approaching Philadelphia.   We could not then travel more than 20 miles an hour.  The parents of Alice Pressman, a friend of Bill and Steve’s from Lake Forest College, lived  in Philadelphia.  Bill made a few calls (not easy, those were not the cell phone days) and we arranged to stay with Dr. and Mrs. Pressman while we had the car repaired a few blocks from the Pressman residence.  We stayed one or two nights.  Mrs Pressman was very nice, a real sweet demeanor.   Dr. Pressman was also nice but he was somewhat more stern.  The only thing I recall about our stay is that Bill and I got up the first morning, went into the kitchen and looked for something to eat.  We found an unopened jar of what, to us, was a gourmet jam.  We opened the jar and proceeded to finish all the  delicious jam that we slathered onto a loaf of very good bread.  Bill and I were used to Welch’s grape jam so this was a real treat.  We did not realize that this was the good doctor’s favorite jam and he had some on toast for breakfast every morning.    This was also the only jar in the house.  Needless to say, the doctor was less than happy when he found out what happened.  Like most smart young men who screw up as we did, we apologized profusely.  Although we offered no reasons,  the apology  was accepted.  Bill and I were not anticipating any future invitations to the Pressman residence, at least, not from the doctor.  Little did we know that in about 1 ½ years we would all be related, in a sense, because cousin Steve would marry their daughter Alice in November 1969.  Alice and Steve would be married until  September, 2015 when Alice would pass away about ten days after Kat.

The next day we picked up the repaired automobile and went on our way to Chicago, about 760 miles away.  We drove all day, traveling about 600 miles, when we stopped along the road, probably someplace in Western Ohio, and slept through the night.  We started again, the next day and made it to Chicago around noon.  Apart from getting a brief tour of Chicago and visiting Bill and Steve’s college, Lake Forest, I don’t remember why we stopped there or took that route, rather than a  southern more direct route.  We stopped at a hot dog cart in Chicago where we each got two rather large polish hot dogs.  Each hot dog came with about a quarter pound of French fries.  Both the dogs and fries were delicious and more than enough to keep us satiated.  That was the only time I would ever be in Chicago.

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  1. Terri Linarelli says:

    The one inaccuracy is that Jeff did not break up with me. I broke up with him. When he returned to NY while I was still in Tucson, I started dating someone else because I felt he and I would never get married. We had been going out for something like 4 years. My dating someone else really shook him up. To make a long story short when I graduated from UA and returned to NY, he asked me to marry him. Unfortunately, I had fallen out of love with him and could not get back into the old emotions I once had for him. It was shortly after my calling it quits that I think he left NY.

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