Mr. Robert Hobbs
My father Patrick Hobbs left Ireland in April, 1953 on the ship Amsterdam. He arrived at New York and journeyed to Springfield, Massachusetts where he set up an apartment on Dwight Street. He got a job as an electrician, sending his earnings back to Mom in Ireland.
Six months later in October, Mom packed up the three boys who had been staying with Granny Hobbs at 47 North Great George's Street in Dublin and left for Kingsbridge Station to board a train and proceed South to Cobh. When we got to Cobh we stayed in a local hotel for the night. At four in the morning of October 5th we got up to get a ferryboat to go out in the harbor to board the SS United States which had stopped to pick up passengers on its voyage from Southampton to New York.
October 1953 (Our Voyage to America)
I will always remember being on the ferryboat in the fog and coming upon "rows and rows of lights" over the water. We boarded through an opening on "C" deck not far above the waterline.
We were led to our tourist-class cabin (quite comfortable), settled in, and later went around the ship sightseeing.
The second day out we ran into a bad storm "Tropical Storm #10" which made me very seasick. I remember being on the promenade deck and looking at the huge waves which were higher than the ship. I was sick for a day not eating meals (except for scrambled eggs) and constantly visiting the bathroom. Thursday the weather got better, and I did too. Friday morning we got to New York Harbor.
As we passed the Statue of Liberty on October 9, 1953 we all threw coins into the water for luck.
The ship cruised up the Hudson River to pier 86, located just below the George Washington Bridge. After clearing customs late in the afternoon we met my father, packed our bags into the car, and left for Springfield, Massachusetts. We went by the Merritt Parkway and Route 5, got into Springfield after midnight and settled into the Dwight Street apartment Dad had set up for us.