Saturday, April 6, 2013

Intro to my blog - California Gail

Anyone who is interested in their family history immediately asks "Why didn't anyone write something about their life"?

This blog is my start at writing my story.  I have divided my life into segments.  To think of writing about my entire 76 years at one time is scary.  One important time of my life was when I lived in California 1963-1981.  This blog will cover those years.

Now as they say "Tell me the story"..

My Arrival in Los Angeles

I arrived in Los Angeles Friday, June 26, 1963.  Oh what an adventure I was going to have over the next years.  The places I lived, the people I met, the jobs I had and all the other experiences.

I moved to LA thinking that I would marry Charlie, an old flame.   When I left Cincinnati I had a one way plane ticket to Los Angeles, no job, no place to live, no car, knew one person,Charlie, and had $100 in my pocket.  I had no doubt that things would work out.

I temporarily lived with a girlfriend of Charlie's friend, Chuck.  I had worked as an Engineering Assistant at General Electric Aircraft Engines in Cincinnati and thought I would apply for jobs in the aerospace/aircraft businesses in the area.  I was living in North Hollywood in the San Fernando Valley. Coming up with a list of the companies in the Valley wasn't hard and Charlie would drive me to their employment offices to fill out applications.  I had applied to several companies in the first week  and before the end of the next week I was contacted to come to The Marquardt Corporation in Van Nuys for an interview.

The interview went well and I was offered a job as an engineering assistant to start work the next week with a salary of $110 per week.  Marquardt was an aerospace company that made the BOMARC missile.  The job was very much like the jobs I had done at GE and I felt comfortable there working with a group of 6 engineers.

I continued to see Charlie but I was also interested in meeting new people.  Once I had gotten a paycheck I decided to move into a place of my own.  I found a studio apartment that rented by the week so I could afford it.  I moved in in late July.


It was in a singles complex at 10822 Magnolia Blvd in North Hollywood. The picture above is how it looked when I went by during a visit in May 2010.

When I got the job I realized that I did need a car.  Charlie had a spare car he had for sale and he lent it to me until I could get something else to drive.  It was a Hillman Minx with a 4 speed gear shift on the steering column.  It had a tendency to slip out of gear so I had to hold the gear shift in place after I shifted. 

I decided I needed to find another car and ventured down to the LA downtown area to look at used cars.  I had a LA map and headed out on a Friday afternoon.  The freeway interchange at that time in LA was 4 levels.  After I managed to get through the interchange and found my way back to North Hollywood I knew I wouldn't have any trouble driving on the freeways but I hadn't found another car.

The guys I worked with knew I lived by myself and told me about one of the secretaries, Lucia Shammas, who was looking for a roommate. They introduced me to her and we hit it off. Early September I moved into her apartment.

She lived at 10621 Gault Street in Van Nuys.  This is a picture I took when I was on a visit in May 2010.  When I lived there what is now paved parking was all lawn.  Parking was on the street.

My next post will tell about my life after I moved in with Lucia.