I finished the electronics course in Great Lakes and had my orders to IBM. This was a new wrinkle to me, I had no idea the military sent students to civilian schools. We would not wear uniforms, casual dress was to be the uniform of the day. That all sounded good to me. I had a short 7 day leave to go to Belmont pick up Sherry load the car (We were still at the level that everything fit into the car), and head for D.C. Our parents were gong to keep the boys until we found a place.
As always it was wonderful to drive with Sherry at my side, we had never been in this area before, the school was in Arlington, VA. The plan was to drive into Arlington, buy a local paper, pick out a good sounding apartment, pay the freight and move in. We arrived Early in the morning, before places opened. I went to a machine and bought a paper, $1.00!!!! what? At home papers were still 25¢. The paper was the Washington Post, EVER SEE THAT PAPER? It was an inch thick with THOUSANDS of rentals located at ‘a-3, b-10,m-200’ etc.
(People live like this!)
The largest town I had ever lived in was Biloxi, MS, 35,000. I was overwhelmed, and on the edge of tears or screaming. Sitting in a strip mall parking lot we looked bad. Musta been God(there to help my wife), there was a knock on our window. A soldier in uniform asked if we needed help? Boy do we!
(Okay I drove into this town, planning to find a place to rent, pay the guy $60-$90 a month and move in. Seemed simple to me!)
(Really people live like this!)
He invited us to his house, we had coffee, he called his work at the Pentagon and said he would be late. The Soldier then gave us the Reader’s Digest version of what we faced. Leases, security deposits, etc….. (WHAT?) then he said, you need a realtor. Find an office near the IBM facility and explain what you need. But let me warn you, a 90 day lease is NOT common.
I wished a thousand times I had gotten that soldiers name. He really was an angel to us country bumpkins.
Actually once we found a realtor, the process was not bad and we ‘moved in’. We did pay a security deposit but rented a furnished apartment, utilities included within the top end of our budget. We had a ground floor 2 bedroom apartment in a three story unit, around $300 a month. Only 3 times the rent at home!
School was good, but I was behind the curve from the other sailors. All of them had been in the fleet and operated this equipment, I was seeing some of it for the first time. I not only had to learn what it did, but how to fix it. The school was a dream, laid back and casual; BUT all business when it came to testing your retention. Three guys were flunked out the first month.
There was time to sight-see as Paula said. If you have never visited DC you owe it to yourself to do that, if possible. The Smithsonians alone are worth the effort. With family who came up, Sherry visited the Whitehouse and the Dept of Treasury (to see the money printed, she DID NOT bring home any samples).
There was some excitement, Two shootings!
Myra of http://mevely317.blogspot.com/ talked about the small victories. Very interesting.
I was wondering though, is catching all the lights right, making the correct turns and getting to the WRONG church on time, considered a small victory?
Customized 1968 autos..