1963 was a very good year, for a number of reasons.
While I was getting my first taste of this thing called life, The Uncle, who taught teachers how to teach in Belfast, spent 1963 as visiting Professor in the University of Toledo, which, as you all know, is in Ohio. I recently came across a few transparencies of his from that time and thought they warranted some space on this place.
Here is the man himself, relaxing in front of his apartment:
The inside of his apartment was sparsely furnished, but adequate for him and his wife. He must have liked it, as he took a snap of it:
The Uncle and his wife did their best to see as much of the country as they could during their year-long stay. Their very best. Really, they did.
This was, I am led to believe, Detroit - near the Civic Center.
I like the sight of those big cars just edging in from the left there. Some real Detroit Steel there, just waiting to guzzle some more gas once those darn people in those funny coats get out of the way.
1963 was long before Americans had heard of the words 'oil crisis' and economise just wasn't in their vocabulary. Just look at these little 'ol coupés with their white wall tires (Ed: 'tires'? Must we?) resting outside Synder Hall in Toledo:
Meanwhile, back in Detroit, The Uncle is all dressed up again and clearly he's been a-shoppin'.
From the size of the box of chocolates I think it's reasonable to assume they were visiting friends. Either that or they were heading back to their hotel to have a cosy night in, perhaps to watch The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. Hang on, it might have been this hotel room:
That's him there in the middle, next to his wife. The other couple are I believe his boss, colleague and Dean of the Faculty ('Ed') and his wife. The Uncle made life-long friends with Ed, who visited him in Belfast regularly once retirement came his way.
It would appear they spent Christmas in New York:
Impressive Christmas window displays for 1963, though.
Presumably this was the Rockerfeller Center...
...and presumably this was Niagara Falls:
The writing on the slide mount would indicate that this shot below was taken in Howard's Inn, Gatlinburg, which is in Tennessee. Gateway to the Smoky Mountain National Park, Gatlinburg is, apparently.
The old Ektachrome colours have lasted the pace well, don't you think? And here is the aforesaid National Park - or part of it, anyway:
While he was there, The Uncle squeezed in a visit to Biltmore, North Carolina.
Biltmore is the somewhat immodest family home of the Vanderbilts and runs to some 178,926 sq feet. Yes, that's correct. I know - on the large size of large, isn't it? Still in Vanderbilt hands today, it is apparently the largest private home in the USA. Makes you think, doesn't it? Mostly about the size of the heating bills...
And he found some time to get to the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Virginia, although this may have been a fleeting visit, perhaps on a train:
And I did mention Chicago, didn't I? The famous shot everyone takes on the Eisenhower Expressway as it disappears under the Stock Exchange building:
What's that? Toledo University? Oh yes, well, clearly that was the reason my uncle found himself in the USA. Hmm? Photographs? Well, yes, I did find one or two:
Aw will you look at that lonely wee red car there, parked beside the ticket machine. From the look of it, all the others were in the car park:
You see, The Uncle must have done some work that year, in between all the sight-seeing. Well I don't blame him. I mean, you have to make the most of these opportunities when they come your way, don't you? And he certainly did, bless him.