continued from Crossing Over:
On October 14, a formal dinner awaited first class passengers of the S.S. “Resolute” to commemorate the next morning’s arrival in New York Harbor. The embossed invitation with Yry’s name on it made her feel important and grown up. The weather was good and the ocean was calm. Norah looked beautiful in her fancy dress. With Uncle Adolph escorting them, they appeared to be a normal family. Yry was surprised to realize just how many people had been hiding out below deck. Now, with the lengthy trip nearly over, many strange faces ventured forward and even mustered smiles and hearty appetites. The menu included delicacies like caviar, turtle soup, salmon cutlets, filet mignon, and artichokes. Flashing back to the soups in Arosa, Yry declined the turtle soup. She’d had few encounters with fish, so she felt quite adventuresome when she ordered the salmon. She found the artichokes rather strange, but bathed in butter they were quite bearable.
Due to Norah’s English citizenship, Yry’s visitor’s pass, and Adolph’s well-worn travel visa, they avoided the chaos of Ellis Island. Uncle Adolph’s previous visits to the states made him the perfect escort. As soon as they debarked the ship he hustled them through throngs of people and ushered them down narrow corridors that ran between enormous buildings. Yry’s neck twisted this way and that, gaping at the buildings that blocked out the sun. It wasn’t that she’d never been in a big city before, but this was New York! This was America! Excitement throbbed around her, as horns honked impatiently, streetcars, screeched, and elbows flailed. Disentangled from the crowd, Adolph flagged down a taxi that whisked them to their first residence, Hotel Majestic, near Riverside Drive. They carried light satchels with overnight necessities. The remainder of their luggage was delivered the following day.
They ate their first American Thanksgiving meal at the hotel and Yry celebrated her eleventh birthday there. Pussy once again dashed for freedom by jumping out the open hotel window. She landed feet first on the canvass awning jutting over the window below them. Yry and Norah had to introduce themselves to the occupants of the rooms on that floor and beseech them to allow Yry to enter their room with a tin of tuna to entice the cat back to civilization.
Just before Christmas in 1924, the three, Norah, Yry, and Adolph moved to a newly constructed house in New Rochelle, an upper class suburb of New York City, located on the northern shore of Long Island Sound. Meanwhile, Herman was still traveling, probably in India.
Photo albums from October 1924 through early summer of 1925 document a family threesome of Norah, Uncle Adolph, and my mother. With a bow that resembles a cornette sprouting from her hair, my mother was neatly dressed and looked happy, although, she avows that she hated Uncle Adolph’s constant presence. Norah camouflaged a no-longer-girlish figure with lovely flowing gowns and dropped-waist dresses.