Skip to main content

Posts

Eugene Oregon Take One

Eugene Oregon Take One

The winter of 1973/74 I packed up my stuff and went up to Watervliet to say goodbye to Dottie. A friend of mine, Joe, was going to ride with me out to Ypsilanti, Michigan. His girlfriend was attending East Michigan State there. I still had my Saab 96 so I was limited as to how much I could pack. The Saab 96 is not much larger than a Volkswagen Bug. I was not going to be able to get everything in the Saab so I organized all my stuff and packed things in priority order. That meant I packed my stereo equipment first and then all my records. I had about 100 albums, so after those items there was not much space left. I packed a few more things and then, in order to make the best use of the space left, I packed all my clothes loose. I stuck them into every nook and cranny filling all the space I had left. I held out a small gym bag that was just large enough to carry some toiletries and additional clothes I would need for the trip. I carefully closed the ba…
Recent posts

Fall 1973 – Selecting a College and People of Color

Fall 1973 – Selecting a College and People of Color

My summer job at the bakery was over. At my previous Air Force Reserve weekend in August, my supervisors were asking me what school I would be going to in the fall. I explained that I really wanted to go to school out west but would have to wait a year till my reserve commitment was up. When they heard that, they told me that I could do the next years two weeks now and a few weekends in a row to complete my time. Then I could just go and they would handle all the paperwork. They would send me my release when my commitment was up. Wow! That was so nice. They actually liked me. They not only promoted me but they set it up so I could finish my commitment early. I suppose having to see me only two days a month helped. I am apparently more likable in small doses. It was too late for the Fall term but I could still apply for the coming Winter or Spring term depending on the school. I immediately applied to both UC Berkeley and …

Freihofer's Bakery: The Summer of 73

Freihofer's Bakery: The Summer of 73


It was the summer of 1973. Dottie was in our apartment in Watervliet but after the engagement episode I had moved out and was renting a place across the river in Troy. I graduated from Hudson Valley with an Associate in Arts degree. Most of my friends in the area were either schoolmates of Dottie's or non-students I had met in the area. I had made just two friends at Hudson Valley. One was Patty who I had met the first week of school. It was through her that I got a summer job at the Freihofer’s Bakery plant in Albany. Her connection was her Mother who was a full time employee there. In the summer the bakery's business would increase due to all the vacation spots in upstate New York, places like Lake George, Lake Champlain, the Finger Lakes, and Saratoga Springs. This was a union job so it paid very well. It started at $3.56 an hour. The minimum wage at the time was $1.85. Summer jobs generally did not pay much more than the …

The Stock Market, Failure, and Forgiveness

The Stock Market, Failure, and Forgiveness


New York Stock Exchange Building close to where I ran into Donna's father
It was 1969 and I was back in New York after dropping out of school in Valparaiso and spending some time in Toronto looking into emigrating to Canada to avoid the draft. I had a job lined up there but I needed money to get across the border and attain legal status. I decided to get a job in New York. I found one with a company on the New York Stock Exchange. I was going to have to raise a minimum of five hundred dollars. I was hired by Asiel and Co, a stock and bond house with a seat on the NY Stock Market floor. They did more bonds than stocks. After a couple of weeks being a kind of gofer, I was promoted to a position titled “Buy-in Man” when the previous “Buy-in-Man” left for a job with another company. This position required me to match any bonds our clients or other companies called for (buy/sell) with bonds other NYC Stock Market companies owed Asiel. …

Meet the Parents, Canada, and the Draft

Meet the Parents, Canada, and the Draft

This post jumps back to an earlier time period. This takes place after I met Donna but before my entering the Air Force. In relation to my other blog posts this kinda follows, with some overlap, “Standing In-Line” and is before the “Can't Hear You When You Scream” post. My next post will be a follow up to this one and at that point I plan to jump back to 1973.
It was the fall of 1968 and I decided to drop out of college (Valparaiso University). With my girlfriend Donna, who would become my wife the next year, I took a train to Toronto, Canada. The plan was to look into emigrating to Canada with the purpose of avoiding the draft. Originally I was planning to head out to California but Donna reminded me that I would likely have to deal with the draft sooner or later so it would be a good idea to check out Canada. I had previously looked into joining the Peace Corps. At that time there were many young draft age guys doing the same. The Pe…

The Surprise Engagement

1973 – The Surprise Engagement
Connie, Jane, and Dottie - hiking around Cohoes Falls
It was 1973, the year the Watergate Trial began, the Vietnam War came to an end, and the year of the Roe vs Wade decision. It was the year Vice President Spiro T Agnew resigned over tax evasion, the Alaska Pipeline Bill was passed, and the speed limit was reduced to 55 mph. In sports, Billie Jean King beat Bobby Riggs in the battle of the sexes, Secretariat won the triple crown, and a guy named George Steinbrenner bought the New York Yankees for a measly 12 million dollars. Notable movies were American Graffiti, The Sting, Enter The Dragon, The Exorcist and Woody Allen's Sleeper. Music of the year included Pink Floyd's “Dark Side of the Moon”, Led Zeppelin's “Houses of the Holy”, The Who's “Quadrophenia”, Elton John's “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”, and Marvin Gaye's “Let's Get It On”. Gas was 40 cents a gallon, the average income stood around 12K, the median home price was…

HVCC, Physics, and The Boys Club

HVCC, Physics, and The Boys Club
Boys and Girls Club in Troy, NY
Life was good. I was out of the Air Force and now living in Watervliet in the Albany area of New York. Dottie had moved up from Long Island after Labor Day and enrolled in the Public Administration Masters Program at SUNY, Albany. I was attending Hudson Valley Community College (HVCC) in Troy. I was enjoying being back in school and happy to to be learning things of my own choosing. I had never been a particularly good student. I got OK grades but never fully applied myself. I would learn things that were of interest to me quickly but the rest I tended to do just enough to get by. I was never motivated to get good grades. I was a solid "B" student in High School mostly because that's what it took to appease my parents. Now I was ready to start learning and be part of an environment that encouraged this. The military was wary of and discouraged you from thinking for yourself. Both in basic trainin…

1972 – Back to Long Island and on to Albany

1972 – Back to Long Island and on to Albany
Camping with Dottie
It was 1972 and this would be the first presidential election that I would be able to vote in. Richard Nixon was nearing the end of his first term of Presidency and early on it looked like Ed Muskie would be the Democratic nominee. Muskie was on top of the polls and looking like he might have a decent chance to unseat Nixon. But then the “Canuck Letter” came out, supposedly written by Muskie, containing unkind remarks towards Canadians followed by stories about his wife having a drinking problem and being a racist. Of course during the Watergate Investigations it was discovered that these accusations were false and were spread as part of Nixon's “dirty tricks” unit, but that was a little too late. George McGovern would end up being the Democratic nominee. He was a long shot to begin with and then with the Eagleton mess it made the Nixon re-election a slam dunk. At this point I was pretty discouraged with polit…

Eddie

Eddie

I've always loved humor. I can find humor in most situations and can laugh at almost anything. I use humor a lot. I am more of an introvert. I was shy as a kid and while I can be more animated around my friends, I am still quiet around people I don't know. I do not look to be a leader and am generally uncomfortable being in front of a group of people. I am lucky to have such a good sense of humor, but I also realize humor is a tool that can be used to hide or keep people at a safe distance. While not intentional, I am pretty sure I do this.
I was never one to have a lot of friends at any one time. In my neighborhood, my best friend was Joe my other good friend was Jimmy. Joe and I became really good friends in grade school and stayed that way all through high school. In the 8th grade I met Eddie. Well, we had met once before, but it was at this point we really became friends and we soon were the best of friends. Eddie was good-natured, non-judgmental, and alw…