Today, March 13th, is another one of those special days and this one can only happen once in my lifetime. On this day, fifty years ago, I and my family like so many others before us, set foot on American soil for the very first time.
We left England in the grand old ship, the Queen Mary who herself was reaching the end of her active life. After seven days at sea and like so many before us, we sailed past the Statue of Liberty into New York. We docked at the famous Pier 22 to be met by my Mother who I hadn’t seen since 1946, twenty one years before.
That marked the beginning of my life here in America which has had its ups and downs as most people’s lives do. I have never been back to England but have wished that I had, many times but it seemed that there was always something that prevented my return. Maybe there is still time…
Life in America has generally been very good to me. I did not do so well on the marital and family side of things having been married and divorced three times and have lived a single life for the past twenty one years. That is one of my regrets but it is water under the bridge as I can’t change the past.
On the other hand, I did well in my working life and am comfortably off and most of all, am still in very good health able to go on long hikes and work around the ponds and in my garden.
Would I do it all again if I could wind back the clock? I’m talking about the decision to emigrate to the USA. The answer is probably yes. I still miss a lot about the English lifestyle although my memories are fifty years old and things have changed considerably. The one thing that has not changed is the constant rain as almost every time that I watch the English Premier League on the television, the crowd has on heavy coats and it is always raining. That I do not miss.
I became a citizen ten years after I landed mostly for the work opportunity but I am still very British at heart. A part of me will always belong in England and there is still time for me to go back to visit one last time. For now. I’m looking forward to the next 50 years.
One thing I do know, the Texas sun beats the English rain…