However, I was due to be in Greece for the spring, so I took a train down to Rome. I spent the night wandering around Rome and found the Spanish steps and sat up all night at Saint Peter's square talking to other people who happened to be up late at night. Early that morning I went out to the airport and flew to Athens. I would be studying with an entirely different group of students in Athens and much enjoyed the warmer weather. However, the program was much more structured in Greece, and we would be required to travel around as a group much of the time. There were thirty girls on the program and only five guys. After my freedom in Italy, I was not going to enjoy the more structured program. However, I decided to make the best of it. I took a room with another preppy fellow and we started to enjoy the plaza and wine of Athens. George was from Buffalo and although we had been in the same class at college we had never met although we shared many of the same friends back at the college. He said he spent most of his time riding horses back at college and did not spend that much time on campus. We would room together for the rest of the program and share many of the complaints about the spoiled girls who were always traveling with us. One day while alone at the beach out by the Athens airport we saw a S.S.T. take off. We neither had ever seen one. George kept saying that he'd rather be in England, and I kept saying I missed the Canary Islands. We traveled in buses with the group all around the ruins of ancient Greece, most of which we discovered had well equipped tavernas nearby where a number of students would rest imbibing the local wine or other spirits.
On the more structured program we got to see quite a lot more, and there was still time for one's self to explore on one's own. In Crete we spent orthodox Easter week at a hotel on the south side of the island. Every restaurant was closed because the Greeks fasted before Easter. However, on Easter at midnight the local discotheque opened and hundreds of young people and many Americans showed up out of nowhere to party all night. It was like new years eve all over again. There would be another side trip to Hydra where the beauty and the quaintness of the Island reminded me of Nantucket, although the beaches were quite rocky. I bought my mother a needle point bag made by blind nuns at one of the convents.
The harbor was quite attractive and I longed to venture out on one of the yachts for a cruise, but since we did not know anyone we ended up returning on the Ferry boat back to Athens. Part of the tour in Greece would include a trip to the ancient ruins of Troy in Turkey and Istanbul. There would be a two week period of free time between the tour so George and I bought an old car and decided to drive to Turkey instead of flying. We had an enjoyable trip through Macedonia over to Turkey. We were forewarned that the Greeks and the Turks were not particularly friendly and upon crossing the border at one in the morning we saw hundreds of young men with machine guns. We took a ferry boat across the water and drove down the southern coast of Turkey. We were able to get the car repaired for practically nothing when it broke down and ended up spending a week at a new resort that had not made it into the Michelin guide that year and was totally deserted. The desk clerk was from Newport, Rhode Island the only other guests were a German couple. We had many wonderful French meals and drank plenty of Tuborg sitting by the beach every day. Eventually we joined the group in Selchuck and toured the ruins where Saint Paul had first preached. From there we drove up the coast stopping at Troy to wander around and then on to Istanbul. Istanbul was a bewildering large city with many elements of Asian influence. We toured through the many wonderful old churches and explored the markets in the city. It was hectic driving in an urban environment in a foreign country, but somehow we managed. The Hilton was our second home away from home in Istanbul, and we spent much time reading the papers and eating hamburgers there.
Our trip back from Istanbul to Athens was interesting driving along the countryside and shore stopping at little tavernas along the way for refreshments. We eventually returned to our hotel in Athens for a much needed rest and more touring of local sites. We use to spend many evenings climbing the Acropolis to view the city and walking through the gardens behind the palace. The military was everywhere since Greece was under a dictatorship, but everything was peaceful and we quite enjoyed our Mediterranean tour. After we completed our exams that spring, I had to return because I was running low on funds.
I stopped by in Boston and returned to Lake Forest where I attended a reception with my fellow seniors the night before graduation. George had decided to stay on in Europe and travel to France as had most of the other students on the Gree k tour. The next day was graduation which I ended up sleeping through, although I would stay on a month in Lake Forest visiting friends and trying to figure out what I was going to do after graduation. I really wanted to travel more, but I could not afford the expense.
Later in July I returned to Boston and sat around home reading before going up to Canada for a wedding and then returning to Lake Forest for another month's visit. George showed up via Buffalo from Europe and after some parties in Lake Forest we started driving back east in another old Mercedes that I had purchased. I dropped George off in Buffalo and went on to Boston. I stayed briefly at home in Weston and then went down to Nantucket for a week to air out. I really felt more at home in Nantucket than in Weston, since so many of my friends would frequently touch base on the island resort.
After returning to Weston and pursuing numerous unsuccessful job contacts, I returned to Chicago to stay with one of my college roommates for a month until October. Then on a whim I took off to Florida with two friends who were hauling down a speed boat and a race car for the winter. From Jacksonville I caught a plane to the Virgin Islands where I spent a month with another college roommate who was teaching in the islands.
The atmosphere in St. Thomas was not particularly hospitable since there had been a massacre on St. Croix at a golf course just weeks before. Since the tourist season had not started I was unable to find a job, so I returned to the cold winds of Chicago. I started attending parties and looking for work in banking, however most banks wanted a graduate degree and my father because of financial reverses in the market was unable to send me to graduate school. He had also lost his job and was looking for another one. It seemed appropriate that I stay away from home while matters settled themselves. I borrowed some money from my parents and rented a large three bedroom apartment on the Lake with a couple of college friends. We proceeded to start entertaining although we had few furnishings and in my spare time I sent out over a hundred resumes, all of which would come back negative.
I was not making much progress on the job front in Chicago other than going to fund raisers for Nixon and other republicans where all of Chicago's conservative elite would gather over cocktails. I was not much attuned to politics since I had been out of the country and traveling quite a lot. In fact it had been months since I had read an American newspaper or watched any television. However, Nixon was reelected and shortly before Christmas after an ill fated day of driving a taxi when my license was suspended, I returned to Weston for Christmas. My father had relocated to New Jersey to work for a nuclear engineering firm, and my mother was minding the house and my two younger sisters at home whenever they were home from Trinity. My eldest sister had settled in Tulsa, Oklahoma when her old Mercedes roadster had broken down on the way to California.
After vain attempts of trying to find a job around Boston, I went down to New Jersey to stay with my father for a week before I moved in with my younger sister who was working at a paralegal in Manhattan. I proceeded to interview at all of the major New York financial institutions, but they all wanted individuals with graduate degrees, so I was left to endless job searching in Manhattan where I really did not know anyone. I had very little in the way of funds to live on, so I use to take many hours long walks to past the time. Finally in April, I was able to obtain a job at the C.B.S. television network through a friend of my father's. I had never watched television for most of my life and it was all quite novel. I was responsible for maintaining a time slot log for all the commercials and programs.
I only earned $85 a week which was less than half what I was use to earning in Boston, and after meals and transportation there was not much left for any entertainment. I watched small parts of the national news after work in the evening and began to hear about the Watergate scandal. In June, I would go to Boston for my youngest sister's wedding to a German boy from Philadelphia which meant I would have to move out of her apartment and find my own place. I found a small room in a rooming house in Greenwich Village for $35 a week and proceeded to continue to work at C.B.S. for the summer despite the immense heat. Most of television that summer was the senate Watergate hearings. Even Walter Cronkite had taken the summer off to go to Nantucket according to friends who saw him up there. Life at C.B.S. was not going well. I never recognized any of the celebrities since I had never watched television to any great extent, and I was totally unfamiliar with New York, but I enjoyed the pace.
In August my father moved my mother back down to Greenwich, and I quit my job at C.B.S. and moved back to Greenwich. I always missed Greenwich since I had spent many delightful childhood days there. I started to reestablish myself in Greenwich and spent the rest of the summer playing golf at the country club. I never followed the news and enjoyed spending much of my free time reading. That fall I took a job at a local restaurant as a waiter and bought an old Volvo. Working at Boodles was quite fun, and I got to meet a number of the local characters. When the restaurant would close at one A.M., we would frequently drive into Manhattan to visit friends and have drinks or go to a discotheque. There were a few friends of mine from college that were now living and working in New York, so I began to try and develop a social group. However, between partying in New York and working in Greenwich, I was burning the candle at both ends and it began to show in my work, and I was eventually laid off around Thanksgiving time.
I started spending all of my time going back and forth between New York and Greenwich. I had met a number of fast track young New York socialites and there were endless parties and discotheque nights. None of this seemed to help me find any sort of a job, however, a number of my friends were prosperous and I had use of the of the house in Greenwich, so I just continued on the social Merry-Go-Around. I would sleep most of the day and go out to parties all night and late bars and after hour clubs. Still I was meeting a lot of people and enjoying the nether world of New York social life. It was more exciting than Greenwich which seemed to be mostly older or younger people and few people my age unlike New York. My main pastimes in Greenwich had been raking the leaves and cutting the grass and reading and dinner parties with my mother's friends. Dad was spending much of his time in Europe for months at a time, so he was never around to get down on my case for not working.