The following was written by my late wife Elaine. She wrote a long book, a diary really, from which this is one passage:
Back to Work and Back to College
My bosses at Oldsmobile knew I planned to keep my job as long as Dave was in school, about four years. They told me more than once that they hoped I wouldn’t get p.g. and leave them sooner, as many other college wives had done, and I told them I wasn’t planning on that. One of his occasional part-time jobs while going to school was at the post office during the Christmas mail rush, partly during his Christmas vacation.
It turned out that he graduated in August, three years and eight months after starting college. He already had a job lined up with the Patent Office and we planned to move to the Washington area immediately after graduation, and I was very excited about living near Washington DC after that memorable trip to visit him there.
We planned our first pregnancy so I could receive maternity insurance benefits when I left my Oldsmobile job. (Carolyn was on her way around March of that year, 1957.)
In June, a box of white soda crackers (to help with nausea) was on my desk or at my feet all the time, and my boss saw the box, and said, “Ah ha! You’ve got that well planned!” They all wished me nothing but the best and I know they appreciated me and wished I could stay on.
My obstetrician during the nine months, and the delivery, was Dr. Howard Parker, affiliated with the old Garfield Hospital and later with the new Washington Hospital Center. Dave and I remember his reply early in the pregnancy when Dave asked if our “sex life” needed to stop: “No it doesn’t, but no fancy stuff or wild gyrations!”
Funny Stuff at the Office
I have good memories of that Oldsmobile job, and enjoyed sharing a large office with Ruth L., also a “college wife.”
We met the public every day when people applying for work in the salaried personnel departments came to our office for a job application. We always asked the applicant “to take a seat and bring the application back when they had filled it out,” as we pointed to the adjoining room, and it seemed that everyone followed this suggestion in the same way: Go to the next room, sit down at one of the tables, fill out the application, and bring it back. But one day, the person hearing the same instruction picked up the chair next to Ruth’s desk and carried it through the door into the next room to fill out his application. Nobody else had ever done that, and Ruth got the overwhelming giggles and was unable to say anything to stop him, and just let him go ahead struggling through the door with the chair. I was out of control by then and couldn’t say anything either. All we could do was laugh, and stifle, while trying to be invisible to the bosses and to the applicant.
“Take a seat” took on a whole new meaning!
To be continued…
About the Author: RD Blakeslee is a nonagenarian in West Virginia who built his net worth by only investing in that which can be enjoyed during acquisition and throughout life, as opposed to papers in a drawer, like stocks and bonds. You can read more about him here.
Photos: Courtesy of the Blakeslee Family