Friday, July 22, 2016

1976 Catherine's Letters -July 10

July 10, 1976
Dear John and Roberta,

Hi!  How is life at Hudson Guild Farm?  The only thing I have heard from Mom and Dad was that you arrived and that you had trouble with the Buick in NYC.  How are you doing as a van driver, Roberta?  I hope you are keeping John from spending too much money.  Are you selling lots of stuff, John?  What do you sell most of?  When will you two be finished there?

I don't know what you have heard of our trip or our initial weeks in San Diego.  We had a good trip across country although it was very HOT.  Every place was having a heat wave.  And our first few days here were also very hot.  It got up in the 90's and 100's breaking all records for previous highs. Since then it has been been pretty comfortable.  Getting up in the 70's during the day and cooler at night.  It gets sort of cloudy-foggy every night and doesn't really clear off until late morning.  I guess this is partly due to the smog.

The first thing we did here in SD was to find an apartment.  It is a one bedroom furnished apartment and we are on the second floor.  There are only two floors so we don't have people clomping over our heads.  The furniture is sort of cruddy but we hope to buy some of our own before too long.  There is a small swimming pool which is quite refreshing on a hot afternoon.  Deedee comes over a couple times a week and she really likes the pool.

So, after we found a place to live it was necessary to find jobs so we could afford to pay for the apartment.  We went through a personnel agency which costs a hunk of money but we figure it was worth it to find a job quick.  Especially since I had never worked around here before.  [Gerry had worked/lived in San Diego ~1967-1973]

I just finished my first week as a secretary at Sullivan Storage & Transfer which is an authorized agent for United Van Lines.  It is a fairly big place.  They have seven secretaries and about 40 truck drivers, movers, packers, warehousemen, dispatch people, salesmen, etc.  I did a little bit of everything the first week.  I guess I will be working mostly in the accounting department during the summer and then I may be working in the sales department.

Gerry got a real good job working directly for International Harvester in a company owned store.  He starts Monday.  It is a union job (lots of stuff out here is union) so the pay is good and so are the benefits.  Plus it is a big place so he would have good opportunities for advancement.

Well, our address is: Apartment Y, 4025 Cherokee Ave., San Diego CA  92104

So we hope to hear soon from either or both of you!

Gerry & Cathy

 * * * * * * * * * *

[transcription of the following letter has been modified to avoid duplication from the above letter.]

July 10, 1976

Dear Mom, Dad, and Mary,

Hi!  It was good hearing from you.  Your letter arrived Tuesday after the long holiday weekend.  The package arrived on the preceding Friday so U.PS. gave you pretty good service.

Boy to look at that first paragraph you might wonder how I managed to get a job as a secretary.  I took two five minute tests though and on one I got 70 wpm with three errors and on the other I got 64wpm with no errors.  Not the best by far but I saw a lot of people at the personnel agency with speeds down in the 30's and errors to match or even beat their speed.  When I went to the interview at the insurance company the girl in front of me was taking the typing test and I was getting really nervous because it sounded like she was typing 120 wpm.  It turned out that her speed was good – 90 – but she made 37 errors.  That made me feel better however she didn't feel too good about it.

. . . . Sullivan Storage seems like a fairly interesting place.  A Mr. Stimpson owns the business but there is a general manager / controller "Chuck" who hired me.  He seems like an OK person to work for.  They have an Olivetti-Underwood bookkeeping machine which I got to play with a little bit but I haven't really been taught to do anything useful with it yet.  It doesn't seem too complicated though.  About the only other thing I did for the accounting department was to type checks, and I did do some time cards too.  They are sort of complex.  Drivers, packers, and helpers all get paid at a different rate.  If a man starts out the day as a helper and then changes to a driver in the afternoon he gets paid at the lower rate for the time he was a helper and at the higher rate for the time he was a driver.  However, if he starts as a driver and then switches to a helper he gets to stay at the driver rate for the whole day.  Then their pay has to be divided up into different categories like local household moves, local special products (I.E. non household), interstate, intrastate, offshore, Mexican, etc.

Gerry says to tell Nicky Wallen that he got a job for IH since Nicky was a big fan of theirs.  He starts on Monday.

Tell Grandma hi!  They have tongues on sale here in all the grocery stores.  Ask her to tell me again how long they have to be cooked.

Catherine & Gerry

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