In our own version of “That 70s Show” , we were caught up in wedding and relocation plans, just a few short months after college.
The year was 1973. The clothes were polyester, the colors and patterns were hideous. The furniture was tacky. Our hair was too long and my skirts were too short. The beginning of us.
My plans for a Spring wedding were thwarted when Jim accepted a job at an interview in New York City. I remember how excited I was to come home and find the note: “Gone to NYC for interview”.
My heart leaped. New York, my childhood dream realized.
He had been working for a few months at a Pennsylvania steel mill; operating an overhead crane, loading massive steel plates into railroad cars. To me, it always seemed like an adult version of playing with Tonka trucks.
My Dad pulled some strings to get him into the union. The pay was exceptional for the times. He rented an apartment near my childhood home while we made plans.
The interview came out of nowhere. He took a phone call that morning after working an overnight shift. They discussed his resume a while when he was invited to drive up for a personal visit.
The job was not in NYC. It was in Salt Lake City, Utah. He followed up with a visit there, finalized his decision; they wanted him by December 1. This was September.
We moved up the wedding to November. It is amazing how quickly things fell into place. We had a formal church wedding, with about 150 guests.
We traded my first car, a 1967 Ford Fairlane, for a 1971 VW Bus.
One week after the wedding, we celebrated Thanksgiving with family and packed everything we owned into that VW Bus and headed west.
After an adventurous trip across the frozen tundra that is the U.S. in late November, we landed in Salt Lake. We checked into a hotel while we looked for housing. We were the only guests there without skis.
It took about 2 weeks to find, furnish and decorate an apartment. We started with nothing more than our clothes, personal items, a really good stereo system, and the cash gifts from our wedding.
This qualified as our honeymoon. We are still together.
What we didn’t realize is that these “adventures in moving” were to define our life for many years to come. We moved about every 4 years for the first few decades.
But, it all started with that green and white VW bus.