(& GRANDPA’S MEMORIES OF PHILADELPHIA & WHARTON DAYS)
Dateline: Lucerne Switzerland 2010
Memories from the last 55 years.
I spent many happy days as a student in Philadelphia; I even remember my address. It was on Walnut Street. The Wharton School ( where I was a scholarship student) , was across the street. My apartment always had a great smell to it because we were above a florist.
Wow! I remember stuff from 50+ yrs ago better than what happened last week. In my Wharton (U. of P.) days, I was sort of adopted (not legally) by the local District Attorney at the time…..Often he took me “Beagling” which is unique to Philadelphia & as far as I could tell—- just a good excuse for a fast weekend walk with a bunch of dogs in the countryside.
The ritzy suburbs were called “the Main Line.” Lots of old money there. I think Jackie Kennedy Onassis bought the estate where “our crowd” sometimes did the Beagling. The dogs chased foxes, but as far as I remember the foxes got scared but never caught.
After the walk, there was always someone putting out a fine buffet lunch. This gave an opportunity for socializing. But as much fun as it was, I decided that I personally would not want to be part of a relatively small homogeneous group who met with each other endlessly– and to the exclusion of the rest of humanity. My ex-mentor, the DA must have found it boring too. Tho he didn’t say it at the time… Years later I heard he committed suicide by putting a plastic bag over his head. He used a rubber band around his neck to seal it vs the flow of fresh air. Yuk. But the moral of the story to me is, my friend didn’t seem to realize he could break free from a stifling existence by simply moving on, physically, to a new place. He couldn’t even conceive of the PT idea. Of course I hadn’t invented it yet. Too bad!
For him it would have been easier than most to start a new life: He was wealthy & married to an even wealthier woman. But they were both “old Philadelphia families” . Maybe people like that don’t want to give up their exalted social status and move on to where they are nobodies. That reminds me of . . .
SOMEONE WHO DIDN’T MAKE IT AS A PT
I once had a PT client like my Philadelphia lawyer friend from Marietta Georgia. He moved to Sweden where he found and quickly married a #10 blond model. He had sold his businesses & left the USA for the usual PT reasons – high taxes, legal problems, unhappiness with the politics. But after a while in Europe, he chose to try and settle up his old problems and go back. Why? He wrote me after going back home: “There in Marietta I was a “somebody.” I got invited to all the best parties and my picture was always in the paper.
Over in Sweden, I am just another retired American – a foreigner, a nobody.
The one big advantage I had in my brief career as a PT was this: I was out of the reach of the IRS and two ex-wives. They were suing me and would have taken away most of my assets. From Sweden, it was relatively easy to make a lump sum settlement with all of those leaches. I got away for much less money than if I had stayed behind. Now, with my Swedish passport, and most of my assets (European and Asian stocks and a couple of vacation homes) — quiet investments offshore, I am in a much better position to escape from America again –if need be– with my ass and assets intact.
Who knows? Someday I may need to take a powder again & let things in the land of the free cool off. Thus, having opened my eyes to what was a “mysterious and forbidden world” — I don’t begrudge you, Grandpa, the 15K € fee paid to you.
Actually I saved more than that on the settlements we were able to work out from abroad. Thus, I value the PT experience. For the rest of my life, there is now an open door, an escape hatch. I will remain a “potential” PT.
My new Swedish wife has worked out exceptionally well, but you told me Swedish women were not jealous types. I guess I found the exception that proves the rule. Or maybe it’s that I am so rich and handsome that all women find me irresistible and my wives are afraid of losing me. (ha-ha).
On your advice, we have a pre-nup agreement. If she dumps me, it won’t cost me any more than I already gave her.”
I am not cut out for the life as a permanent PT, but “Part Time” suits me fine.
Back to Grandpa’s Story:
At the Univ. of Pennsylvania over 50 yrs ago I left every summer to take courses in places like Paris. I always loved to roam. There, in my last year after graduation, I was lucky to meet a gorgeous Danish Gymnast, age 18. We were possibly the first tourists who went all around the Soviet Union in our own car. Our adventures are another story.
Because I had a portable profession and source of income, I became a semi- PT before there was any “formal definition” or code of conduct. As a result of my lack of knowledge and experience, I had some difficult times with “authorities” over the years. That wouldn’t have happened if somebody told me about the “Six Flags” as explained in my BBBB book.
Later, I also lived in Australia & New Zealand. Nice but a bit too provincial & socialistic for my taste. As Island nations, it is not so easy to slip in and out without having your passport stamped. That means you can’t overstay and will probably get caught in their tax net. You need to leave on a visa run every three months or so. This is not true in Europe, where you can stay as a permanent tourist – low profile forever.
Sydney was the best city for me– outside of Europe. If I was under 40, these days I think I’d move to Brazil. Best economic opportunities. Unbelievably beautiful, exciting women.
Very available too. The country is unique in the world – Multi-racial, anarchic & Libertarian!
I wrote the Brazil & Paraguay Confidential report when I was there (6 months in 2009 & 2010)…
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