Mrs. J.R. Derbyshire
62 Friars Avenue
Mr. John Derbyshire
c/o Room 93
Pioneer Hotel 341-351
New York, NY. 10013
Sept. 24th. 73.
My Dear Son,
received your letter on Friday, & glad to know you had my letters at last. What can I say love, I'm
really worried sick about you,
how are you managing to eat etc, no money & no job, you will
have winter soon & I can't
bear to think of you hungry & cold & wandering about, it really grieves me John. Will you be allowed to stay
without a permit? I have
horrible nightmares & visions of you being pushed around. New York police aren't noted for the manner genteel.
Please re-assure me before I get
Dad, Auntie Cis & I went to Tessa's 6th birthday party on Sunday & a great time was had by all. Had a long letter from Enid who is enjoying life in New Zealand. I'll send you her letter on when I get some envelopes. She has a chap & a very interesting job & is sharing a flat but wants to be on her own.
It's a lovely September day, but there's quite a nip in the air now. I'm glad I don't have to turn out in the mornings, though I miss my little car very much. My weight is pretty stationary now at 9½ stones, but the D. says to get back to 10 stone. We are well really, though both very anxious about you of course. I should be glad about the other situation love, it seemed somewhat erratic. Do take good care, do let us know as soon as possible how things are with you. If you really get desperate I can send you some money if you let me know. I'd have to do it through the bank to a Bank in New York, any other way you couldn't be certain of getting it; or if you do decide to come home I can help till you get sorted out. Always in my thoughts
Loving you as always
Love from all here. Write soon.
- This was a men-only welfare hotel on the corner of Bowery and Broome Street in downtown Manhattan. They also let rooms to walk-in paying guests. I recall my room, which was on the Broome Street side, being $4.25 a night; or it may have been $4.75. At the time of revising this web page (May 2020), the renovated hotel is called SoHotel New York, and the rate for my old room is $159 a night. That's an annual compounding rate of either 8 or 7¾ percent across 47 years — way better than the 3.9 percent for overall inflation. I should have such investments. Just visible in that promotional picture of SoHotel New York is a large fire escape contraption suspended at second floor level over the Bowery. I spent idle hours sitting on that fire escape, smoking and watching the world go by … at any rate, as much of the world as can be seen from the Bowery.
- It was a low point all right, but things weren't that bad. The hotel, though shabby, was clean & crime-free. I think I had started my career as a dishwasher at this point, too. I did learn a couple of things about destitution: e.g. that oatmeal cookies are excellent value for keeping hunger at bay & energy levels up. Mothers will worry.