It was now time to leave for home. The bus arrived at 770, but the Rebbe’s car was parked outside. The Rebbe had been to the ohel and the car would be required to take him home. The bus, therefore, parked further up the street.

I was again given the honor of davening maariv at the omud. Again very quickly, as the Rebbe was fasting. The time was 9:35 and we were running late. We had very little time to spare in order to catch our plane. I rushed out as usual, and had great difficulty in getting the passengers onto the bus. Everyone wanted to be the last one on. In addition to being late, I also hate to keep the Rebbe waiting to see us off; more so in this case, since he was fasting, too.

The Rebbe had expressed his wish to say farewell to us from the steps of 770. The Rebbe normally gave us this honor, but it still could not be taken for granted. At last we were all in the bus, which then moved towards 770 and the Rebbe standing about 100 yards away. Then, a terrible calamity! The driver refused to open the door so we could see and wave to the Rebbe.

“Not whilst the bus is moving,” said he, but he also refused to stop. “Not allowed to stop on this road,” he said.

Although we could see the Rebbe’s farewell, he couldn’t see us because of the tinted windows.

The plane left for home about midnight and took six hours and twelve minutes to Manchester. Per the Rebbe’s instructions, we drank some of the Rebbe’s vodka during the flight.

Shacharis we davened at 4:00 a.m. and, at 600 mph, I would say it was a “speedy” davening. Also, kedusha at 35,000 feet was a true “haicha” kedusha.

Thank G‑d, we all arrived home well, but tired.

I subsequently received the following letter from the Rebbe, dated Sivan 23, 5730 (June 27, 1970). It was almost worth being held prisoner by the bus driver in order to get such a wonderful letter from the Rebbe:

I was a little disappointed that on coming out to see off your group (as I usually do standing on the steps outside until the buses disappear from view with the party of visitors, especially your group), and hoping that you would come out, even if your were in the bus, so as to send you off again with Tzeischem l’sholom, I did not see you. But no doubt “Gam zu l’tovo,” for it is perhaps more fitting that after a Shovuos’dige visit the leave-taking should be at a chassidishe farbrengen, as it was indeed this Shabbos, rather than on an ordinary weekday and in the street.

At any rate, there can be no doubt but that your intention was good and my intention was good, so it is to be hoped that each and every one will have derived the fullest benefit from the visit.

Just received the cable of the safe landing.

May G‑d grant that you should always have good news to report, including also about the transmission of a report of the visit to all who are interested. You will easily guess, of course, that I do not mean a superficial report, but a meaningful one, containing the matters and messages spoken here, and transmitted by words coming from the heart which penetrate the heart., etc.