South Africa to U.S.A

Later, he took a room with an older, family friend of long standing, Dorrie Robertson, and he was with her when his parents returned from a year’s stay in USA, where they had been touring the country in a motor home (an R.V.. i.e. Recreational vehicle). They talked to him of their experiences there and introduced him to an American couple they had visited in Las Vegas, an ex-Senator and his wife, but who were tourists in South Africa at the time.
 
 
This introduction proved to be most fortuitous when about a year later it was arranged that Warwick should fly to America and join us in California. As it was suggested that he travel with a friend, he asked a young man, who had also worked at His Majesty’s restaurant, to accompany him. When they reached New York another disturbing incident occurred. A lady had her handbag snatched, raised the alarm and two policemen cornered Warwick and his friend. It was only when the lady finally caught up with the police that she was able to assure them that they were mistaken over the identity of the culprit.
The two young men then took a train out of the city and found a motor dealer who, when asked about selling a car cheap, said they could look though the ‘back lot and take anything that started for a price of $500!’ They choose a station wagon, drove to the farm of a school friend from Helderberg College, fitted it with sponge rubber mattresses and curtains stitched on her sewing machine, then set off for the West Coast, about 3,000 miles away. They either slept in the car or in luxury at one of the string of Western Hotels dotted across the country, owned by the same company as His Majesty’s in Johannesburg, who provided accommodation without charge to employees. As McDonalds had a ‘special’ on at the time, offering burgers at 50 cents each, they lived on those and all went well until crossing the hot, dry, sandy area as they approached Las Vegas the old tyres began to blow, eventually they were stranded and Warwick turned to the only American he knew, phoning him for help which was immediately forthcoming. At the tyre company, Warwick took the salesman aside to explain that, unlike the ex-Senator, he could only afford the cheapest of second-hand tyres.  They stayed overnight at the home of his rescuer in Las Vegas and then set off once again on their journey.
Meanwhile, we had left a message with an ex-South African friend to tell Warwick that we were parked close to the Pacific Ocean at Aliso Creek, near Luguna Beach, but as the directions they were given by him were very vague, they drove down the highway hopefully looking for a motor home, eventually came to the correct parking lot and walked across to meet Phillip with the greeting – ‘Livingstone, I presume!’ Warwick joined us in the motor home for about a week, while his friend went off in the car to his contact in a town up the coast. We never saw the friend or the car again. On the beach, Warwick met a doctor from San Francisco, who suggested employing him, so they left together, driving to that city, but this arrangement did not work out as the wife contended there was nothing for him to do. So Warwick advertised, stating he was willing to do anything legal and giving a list of his abilities. He received more than 30 replies and settled on one requiring him to work for a lady with a large house overlooking the ocean, however, the day after all was agreed, she phoned him to say her Chinese chef was not happy and she wanted to cancel the arrangement. By then Warwick had contacted many on the list to say that he was employed but one name that still remained was a Mr. Knox of Oakland, which was where he finally found work and a home for a good number of years. This couple were extremely kind to him, assisted in obtaining and paying for a green card for him and he remained in their employ until some time after Mr. Knox’s death, when he moved into San Francisco city to build up a Realty business there.
 
While living in California, he took several trips overseas, visited Ireland and England, more than once, where he saw his sister-in-law, Christine and her three children and met her second husband, Tony. He also took a trip to South Africa to visit his parents in Somerset West and while there took possession of the painting they had bought on auction; also obtaining a number of other family items of interest to him which he took back to his home in San Francisco.
 
While still working for Mr. and Mrs. Knox, Warwick became very involved in assisting at the Hospice in San Francisco and, with the cooperation of the Knoxes in such ways as the loan of their vehicles, was able to help in the moving of invalids and the transport of their possessions and so on. He also helped with their shopping and, in need, travel arrangements and these various things were done over a long period and, in particular, for the many people suffering and dying from AIDS.
 
His main contact with the family was with his ex-sister-in-law, Christine, and her children, his nephews and niece. He was godfather to the younger nephew, Richard, and invited both nephews over to visit him in San Francisco, taking them down the West Coast and into Mexico. He also received visits from his brother, Peter and wife, Heather and, over the years, maintaining contact with them all by e-mail.   However, he was never interested or keen to visit Australia, having taken a dislike to the Australian tourists that frequented the restaurants in which he worked in Johannesburg.