Monday, April 14, 2014

A real wake up to Ignorance

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!  Surprised smile

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!

Nite Shipslog


Myra of  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?  Embarrassed smileSurprised smileSmile



Customized 1968 autos..


shirl72 said...

Finding a place to live in big
cities is not any fun. How nice
of the fellow that stopped and took his time to help you and Sherry. That is very unusually in a Big City. I think Washington is a nightmare. Living in Bel Air was
bad enough and it was a small place outside Baltimore. Oh well we have made it and look at the experience and knowledge we obtained.

Chatty Crone said...

My goodness - so do you keep all those jobs written down somewhere or do you remember them all in your head. That is so many details. I can't remember like that at all! My son that same thing happened to my son in Boston - he needed a 13 month lease. You did good!

Paula said...

Sounds pure-dee scary to me. It's so good you are writing all this down for the future generation of your family to read. This old country gal couldn't take it. Reminds me of my Lynda living in England when Princess Di got killed. She went where she didn't know where she was going to see all the flowers sent in honor of Princess Di. She said she just had to go because she thought it was History in the making but thought she wasn't going to get home before her girls got home from school because she didn't know her way or how to get around there. She is much braver then her Mom.

betty said...

That rent sounds so cheap now, but I know back then it wasn't. You are right, Jack, DC area has a lot of things to see and some are reasonably priced and even free! The two shootings sound a bit disturbing!


Mevely317 said...

I've heard God sends His angels to us in all forms, but I never considered a soldier in a strip mall! Glad you weren't 'put' there any longer ... DC doesn't sound like the sort of place you'd want to raise a family.

Say, thanks for the cute shout-out! I'm chuckling over here!

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I've never been to Washington DC, It would have a lot to see and do. Glad you had that guardian angel to help out and you found a place to stay. I know at the time the rent had to have but a dent in your cash flow. Now it would be cheap.


Been to DC many times. Lots to see for sure. You were very lucky finding a place that quickly to stay. Nowadays it would be much more difficult.

salemslot9 said...

visited Washington, D.C.
a few times w/my folks
during my elementary-jr. high-high school days
wondered what it would be like
to go beyond the velvet ropes
to the living quarters
in the White House
the pillow in the special case
in the House Where Lincoln Died
across the street from
the Ford Theater
wanting to walk back down the stairs of the Washington Monument
but, my folks said no
getting a free hot dog from the food truck outside the Smithsonian
for helping the guys retrieve their keys
'feeling' how huge
the Lincoln Memorial was
getting brochures from everything
for my math/science teacher Mr. B
for my homework assignment