Here are a couple of 34 Orange stories. For a year or two, my wife Gloria was the housekeeper at 34 Orange. The first floor apartment had a well-stocked kitchen, a TV and air-conditioning. George Couch, Max Larsen, Lowell Dixon and others would bring their friends there and entertain them well. On Monday mornings, Gloria would empty the waste baskets, and there would be lobster shells on shrimp shells and lots of empty liquor and champaign bottles. It was something to notice since we were actually living on Bethel food and $20 each per month for "extras" like underwear, and since my parents were in the Circuit work and hers were retired, we got no money from home. One time, when her parents planned to come for a visit, she asked if they could stay there. The office told her some cock and bull story about needing to leave it open in case some "important" guests came in at the last minute, so they refused her request. Of course, no one used the place while her parents were visiting, but the office didn't want "just anybody" to stay there.
Shortly thereafter, one day Gloria said to me "After work, don't come home. Come to 34 Orange, first floor." It was summer and stiflingly hot. I came down the alley and into the back door. When I got there, she had bought steaks from our meager allowance and had made chocolate chip cookie dough. Gloria made cookies, oven going and air conditioner blasting. it was marvelous, and was made even more so by the fact that it was totally illicit. We closed all the blinds up tight, had a wonderful meal, watched TV, and spent a cool, comfortable evening there. It was truly one of the high points of my 12 years at Bethel.
Later, two of my good friends (who shall remain nameless for their own protection, as they are both still JWs) lived at 34 Orange on the second floor for awhile, and we had many a great party in that room. One time they decided to make wine in their room. The Bethel Office got wind of it and told them that they couldn't do that. One of them got very angry at them, especially because he was working on the first Harris offset press with ultra-heavy ink coverage on the original version of the "Bible Stories" book before we bought the afterburners. The press was belching out lots of smoke, which was illegal, and the EPA was trying to catch us, so we were running the press at night so the Society wouldn't get caught polluting and have to pay a big fine. One weekend this same guy had had a few beers, and he started thinking about it, he got so worked up, he peed out the window onto the air conditioner down below. As it happened, some important guests happened to be staying there at the time, and I got called before the Factory Committee over the incident. It took some fast talking to keep the guys from getting kicked out, as I recall. After the FC relented and let the guys involved stay at Bethel, they got together and bought me my first bottle of Wild Turkey. I still drink the stuff.