The next day, Sunday (December 20), was Yud Tes Kislev, and this special farbrengen was held at the Albany Rooms again.

We left our hotel early and picked up a taxi straight away. The driver was a nice fellow.

“Kingston Avenue” says I, “OK, Boss,” says he and off we went.

It was 6:45 p.m. and we had arranged to pick up the Shemtovs first. When the fare meter on the taxi showed exactly double the normal fare, we suspected that there was something wrong. When the driver informed us that we were now at the Kings Highway, I knew definitely that something was wrong.

“What the !!?X??!!” I shouted at the driver. “Sorry, Sah,” says he. “I thought youse know the way.”

He turned the car around and commenced to retrace our route.  We asked him to stop for a moment, which he did. We paid the “crackpot” his fare, dashed out and caught another cab with a sensible driver. Of course, when we arrived at Mendel‘s they had all left for the farbrengen.

Fortunately, a good seat had been reserved for me, very similar to the one I had occupied last year on Yud Shevat, facing the Rebbe.

At 8:35 the Rebbe arrived and the farbrengen started. Once again, everyone filled their cups and wished the Rebbe l‘chaim. I was rewarded with a lovely smile and the reply of “L‘chaim v‘livrocho.” Later on the Rebbe again ordered me to fill the glass and say l‘chaim.

The Rebbe related fourteen sichas at this farbrengen and niggunim were sung in between these talks.

At midnight Avrohom Shemtov placed the six bottles of mashke, which I wished to present to the Rebbe, upon the top table. The Rebbe handed me a bottle to share out amongst the assembly.

Towards the end of the farbrengen, the Rebbe called me up to the top table again. As usual, I had to walk along the tables to get to my destination and I was hoisted up there, in a pool of wine, by willing hands. The Rebbe presented me with a huge bag of cake and also a bottle of mashke and said twice, “Ah sach geviruss, ah sach tzedakah.” (Lots of wealth, lots of charity.)

This farbrengen lasted for seven hours and concluded at 3:30 a.m. Roselyn was tired and sleepy. Hindy was wide awake and excited and delighted with her new friends. It would not take much effort to persuade Hindy to remain in Crown Heights.