"Now, Watergate does not bother me.
Does your conscience bother you?"
                              - Lynyrd Skynyrd

August 1974

August 2 Friday
Mickie of Southern Comfort nite- here with Maggie, Ernie, Rob and Mich in the basement. Then Clairpoint Park with Larry, Danny, Mike Sawyer and two chicks. Drunk.

Letter written August 2, 1974 from Ralph to Gillian (on toilet paper) from Holland

Multipurpose Letter #1

Dear Gillian:

Like the writing paper? This is all that there is left around here to write on. "Here" is my cousin's apartment in Zoutemeer (I doubt if that's the right spelling) which is just outside the Hague.

In case you might be interested in what I've been doing for the past three weeks, I'll give you a "brief" account.

Drove to New York in a rented station wagon. Somehow we missed Manhattan and wound up in the Bronx. Someone gave us directions and we wound up getting lost in Spanish Harlem, then we got totally lost before we realized we were in Black Harlem. My father started getting all paranoid and telling us to roll up the windows. We finally asked a girl how to get to Manhattan. She laughed and said something like "Man, you took a wrong turn somewhere". We finally got to our Hotel at about 12:00 midnight. The next day we got on board the "S.S. Michelangelo". I saw Nico + Koos again. They + their family have been on the same boat as us for the last 3 trips. On the first day I also met 3 sisters going to Belgium- Katia, Michelle and Ann. That night there was a discotheque at one of the bars and I met more people- Sue for Toronto, Dan from Inivik in the North West Terratories. I also met the people Nicolette started hanging around with- "Brooklyn" Bob, George, Marie + Joe form New York, as well as a bunch of other people. The discoteque was on every night and I spent all the money I had on Beer, Gin & cigarettes. Every day on the boat was about the same as the next; Get up at 11:00 am for lunch, go sit on deck with everyone until the movie starts (we saw "The Sting" "The Way We Were" "Papillon" amoung others). After the movie [we] go in for dinner then wait for 9:30 when the discoteque opens. The disco ends at 12:30 and then we'd all go down to one of the other lounges or bars which were suppossedly closed where Sue would play piano + jam with Orazio who played guitar and sometimes would hang around on the drums and everyone else sings along if they knew the song. There were usually about 10 of us there. Sue is one of the most incredible people I've ever met. The reason I met her is because people kept mistaking her for me + me for her. She has amazing charm charisma & magnetism. I almost never saw alone, and people were always following her around, she was friends with just about everyone on the ship, including the crew. She plays piano really well, she's been playing about 10-15 years (she's 23), looks alittle like Janis Joplin. Anyway we sailed across the ocean, stopped at Algecira, near the Rock of Gibraltar and Katia, Michelle + Anne got off here. Then we sailed to Naples where Sue + Pino got off. Pino's real name is Joe but everyone called him Pino so as not to confuse him with Joe from New York. Pino pulled a moon at about 6:00 pm on the pool diving platform so George could take a picture. Fortunately most of the people were having dinner at the time and there weren't too many people around at the time.

Anyway while we were at Naples Nico, Koos, Renzo and I walked around the city for a few hours. I'd met Renzo the night before when after a poker game we got into a discussion about hash prices. He is from New York but is a citizen of San Marino which is a tiny Republic of Italy. The next day we hit Cannes early in the morning (too early for me, I slept thru it) then in the afternoon we arrived at Genoa. After many farewells we went our separate ways. We drove to Amsterdam stopping at Pegli- near Genoa- Ventimiglia-

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