October 1984

Jo Fonda June 1976 - Age 14

Jo Fonda June 1976 – Age 14 when my parents left me at the NYC ship dock to find my way walking to Port Authority to hop on a bus home to Schenectady

We went back hiking on the Appalachian Trail in Maine a few more times. Unfortunately, we didn’t get all the equipment we needed, and still had way too much weight to carry. On one trip, I fell on the third day, and twisted my knee. It swelled up and it became really difficult to bend. We took an afternoon off and camped at a lake to rest it. It was a beautiful lake, and we pitched our tent right on the nice sandy beach. Lou took a stick and wrote “I Love Joey” in the sand with a heart around it. I thought it was sweet so I took a photograph. Frankly, I was surprised that he wrote that since he seemed more frustrated at me than loving at that point since we had wasted half the day. I was hoping my knee would be better in the morning, but as we got hiking again, it just stiffened up even more. When we got to the next road intersection, Lou asked if I wanted to stop hiking because of my knee. I wasn’t sure what to do. I really did want to stop, but I was afraid he would be disappointed if we did. He said it was ok to stop, so we hitchhiked a ride back to our car and got a motel room in Rangeley, Maine. It was really nice there. We rented a canoe and paddled around Rangeley Lake, and I played golf for the first time. He kept asking about my knee, and said that it seemed like it was suddenly all better, and that it sure did look fine. It did feel better than it had on the trail now that I wasn’t constantly going up and down on rough terrain, and after being able to ice it at the hotel the night before, but it was still swollen. He didn’t think it was really swollen all that much, and took pictures of my knees as evidence to prove his point.

I probably should have just stuck with the hiking and dealt with the pain of my knee. It would have been easier than dealing with how upset he got because we got off the trail. On the drive home, he kept going on about what a waste of time it was, slamming his fist against the steering wheel, and repeating that if I didn’t want to do it, then I shouldn’t have gone at all. I really don’t think he believed that I was actually injured. He continued getting more and more pissed, and I kept apologizing, but that didn’t help at all. If I had it to do over, I would have just taken a little more rest time before continuing. I fell asleep on the drive home, and woke up crying in the middle of a dream. He lightened up after that and said we just would never do this again, and that obviously I wasn’t up to it physically. I argued that I could do it, but he wasn’t convinced. I’m sure it is just an injury that will heal with a little time.

Hiking certainly makes me appreciate the less rigorous fun in life. One time, Barry, Alan and one of his friends and I went to the beach for the day. We had plans to go to Great Adventure or into New York City too, but Lou nixed that idea. He freaks out every time I talk about going into the city, whether it is by myself, with my sister, or with friends. He says it’s too dangerous and not worth the risk. My parents trusted me to go to NYC on my own all the time when I was a teenager, but my husband doesn’t think I can. When I was just 14, they actually left me at the ship docks in Manhattan to find my way alone and walk to Port Authority to hop a bus home to Schenectady. There wasn’t enough room in the car for all of us with the many suitcases and magic props after we had been cruising for months on the Kungsholm; looking back, I’m not sure why one of my parents didn’t take the bus instead of me, but that wasn’t ever even a consideration. Lou says that is my parents’ bad judgment, not his. There have been so many times that I really wanted to go into the city to visit my sister, or go with my friends, but it’s not worth the hassle to debate the point. I did manage to get Lou to take me to the Museum of Natural History in the city one day, but that’s about the extent of our outings. It is such a waste that we live so close to New York City never go there.

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