I was able to arrange an immediate meeting with Rabbi Chodakov. I handed him a copy of the latest My Encounter with the Rebbe. “I have been waiting for this,” he said.

I confessed that it was becoming increasingly difficult to write my diaries. Last year I only came to New York once. With the ever-growing amount of visitors striving for the Rebbe’s time, I only had yechidus (private audience) for a total of thirty minutes instead of three hours as on previous visits. Joining the Rebbe for yom tov meals was another source of material to write about, but these beautiful occasions were discontinued two years ago. My Shavuos stay in New York now lasted twelve days and not twenty-one as in the past. Furthermore, I have already written and described the routine occurrences and daily happenings at 770 in earlier editions. Therefore, I confided to Rabbi Chodakov, I was considering postponing my next edition until I had sufficient material.

Rabbi Chodakov disagreed. “There is always something novel going on at 770.” Moreover, “You have the knack of presenting a different angle of the Rebbe and his activities than we know of here. It is very important that you continue, even if sometimes it consists of only a few pages. The content is what matters.”

I recounted to Rabbi Chodakov about our success at this year’s Lag B’omer parade in Manchester. He was delighted with my portrayal of it. [See the appendix at the end of this volume. – Ed.]

We talked about the Crown Heights parade with about 20,000 children in attendance! There were many rumors circulating as to why, unlike as in other years, the Rebbe did not join the parade and address the children. At the farbrengen the day before Lag B’omer, the Rebbe announced that due to an unfortunate incident, he was not “able to attend.” The Rebbe still impressed on everyone the importance of participating, as “Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai himself will be there.” Nevertheless, the Rebbe was absolutely thrilled and delighted with the great success and real Kiddush Hashem (sanctification of G‑d’s name) this year’s parade turned out to be.

After finishing talking to Rabbi Chodakov, we went outside where we encountered Yossi, my nine-year old grandson. Although Yossi and his brother Mendel were here on vacation (from London), they were sent to school every day. A very fine holiday! Rabbi Chodakov asked Yossi what mesechta (tractate) he was studying and plied him with questions on this. I was pleased and relieved when Rabbi Chodakov expressed his appreciation and satisfaction with Yossi’s replies.