"I’m not going to tell you the story the way it happened. I’m going to tell it the way I remember it." ~ Great Expectations (the movie, 1998)
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
A Memory - 1953
I have previous admitted I am a pack rat, and tend to hold on to a large and diverse number of items that have some value to me, sentimental or otherwise. While working in a bookcase a couple of weeks ago, I ran across a journal "Don't Forget to Remember" that has been part of my pack rat's nest since Albuquerque days (we moved to Arkansas in 1950). Embossed on the deep brown faux leather front cover is "Strong's Office Supply, 403 West Copper Ave, Albuquerque, New Mexico." The book belonged to my mother, but the inscription stating such seems to be in my own juvenile handwriting, and as far as I can determine, she never made any entries in it.
Inside are a number of list of facts, as they were in the 1940's. Included are lists of such things as land areas, continental populations (the continents listed being Asia, Europe, North America, Africa, South America, and Oceania.) North America's population was shown as 175,800,224. That must have been from the 1940 census. The list also includes longest rivers, largest lakes, biggest deserts, largest cities (London was listed in first place with a population of 7,742,212,) largest islands, biggest seas and highest mountains. There follows a list of states (neither Alaska nor Hawaii is included), a two-page spread of the Declaration of Independence, a list of presidents and vice presidents of the United States, ending with Harry S. Truman, a list of national parks, and an extensive list of major world events, ending with a short list of events from 1946. The book must have been printed in late 1946 or early 1947.
The address book portion of this journal seems to be written by several hands, none of which were my mother's. I recognize both of my sisters' and my own in the compliation of the list.
I must have taken this book with me to college, since in the Memoranda section are listed two line items of income dated 9-8-53 and 10-5-53, the first being $1.00 for babysitting for Mrs. Carter (who was my boss at the college post office where I worked), and the second being my paycheck from the post office in the amount of $18.60. That was probably for the month of September, since I went to work there on September 6 or 7. As I recall, I was paid 40 cents an hour.
Although the entries are sporadic, with many blank dates, on a whim, I looked at September 1 (1953) and found a full page entry in my handwriting:
"Well, today was the great breaking off point. Through am I with my job for the duration of college. How I hated to leave; practically cried all over the place. Everyone has been so sweet to me. "M" came back Monday. Tonight she gave me a pair of beautiful nylon (unmentionables) as a farewell gift. I wonder how they are going to get along without me? Probably very well.
Jo B is back from Glorieta. She saw Betty quite a lot. I really enjoyed talking to her. How I would like to see Betty. I wish I could be going to school with her this year at UNM (University of New Mexico.) B.M. has offered to show me around the school campus and help me register, but I think I will decline the favor. P.S. No bonus. H.J. broke his promise to me and I really needed it, too."
My job had been as a bookkeeper/teller at the local bank, where I had worked for about 14 months after completion of high school. The college to which I was going was Arkansas State Teachers' College in Conway, Arkansas, now known as the University of Central Arkansas.
If I remember to remember (heheheh), I may dip back into this book from time to time to share a few glimpses of my life from over 50 years ago.