We left the house in Niagara Falls in good time, around 7:00 a.m. Do we go to New York city via Corning or via Syracuse? If we went via Corning, we would get to see the Corning Glass Museum. The problem with taking the Corning option was that we would not be able to spend enough time to justify the the purchase of the quite-expensive entry tickets.
So we decided to go via Syracuse University where my father GB had done his M.S L.S. in the early 1960s. About how he got there, he says:
“. . . My destiny was New York City, the world’s largest city, via London. From London, I was scheduled to fly. Everything was in the travel package that I had procured. Cochin to London via Italy by ship, by auto-boat from Dover to a port town in England, from there to London by electric train, and from London to New York by flight. That was the arrangement. . .”
On our way to Syracuse, it snowed. I have seen snow on the ground before, but this was the first time many of us in the car had seen snow falling. It was interesting to see the snow flakes dancing in front of the wind screen.
When we reached the University entrance, we were asked about the purpose of our visit. Vinod said that we were tourists and that we had come to see the buildings and take some photographs. Photographs were OK, we were told, but we could not park the car inside the campus. So Sekhar Annan, Philip and I got off the car. Vinod said that he would drive by in a short while and pick us up from the same location.
In the hurry, we did not bother to ensure that we had enough warm clothing on.
The buildings around us were grand. My dad’s photos, which I remember vividly, of the university were beginning to make sense. It was cold. We took some photographs.
As a Library Science student, GB must have spent considerable time in the University Library, we figured. We asked a few passersby and found out where the library was. It was becoming unbearably cold as we made our way to the Library.
Sekhar annan said that his gloveless hands were becoming numb from the cold. I found a pair of man gloves in my bag and gave one each to him and Philip.
Here at last was the Ernest Stevenson Bird Library and reason enough for a few more photos.
As we walked back to where Vinod had dropped us off, I knew that we could not stand the cold much longer. Was there some way of contacting those in the car? The roaming arrangement with Vodafone had not worked for me at all throughout this trip. But the cold made me want to try again. I tried to call Kavitha in DC, so she could call Vinod. I could not connect.
We passed the point where we had been dropped off. But Sekhar annan kept walking ahead and we followed. A little distance away, we came to a semi-covered bus stop. I suggested that we should get some shelter there. But Sekhar annan continued walking, pointing to cars parked in the distance. Being colourblind, he mistook one of the cars to be ours.
I could see no shelter in the direction in which we were heading. I actually envisioned myself lying down on the partially snow-covered grass and closing my eyes.
Suddenly I remembered that Philip had the hither-to-almost-useless phone we had bought in Seattle. Sekhar annan rattled off Vinod’s number and Philip was able to connect. They were already on their way towards us.
Vinod dropped us off at Bruegger’s Bagels on S Crouse Ave, not far from there; he would park the car and join us. We had bagels for breakfast and hot chocolate.
We set out again.
Apart from this pit stop on the way, we were headed for New York.