Thursday, August 09, 2007


It was thirty-three years ago this very day that I began my career with the Great Corporate Salt Mine. I have worked for the Mine for all except two of the intervening years, in various capacities ranging from Technology, to Sales and Marketing, to Supply Chain.

August, 1974 found me graduated from college and freshly returned from a 10,000 mile cross-country Road Trip. When the arranged time approached for me to start my new job, I packed up my Small Personal Crap, saw the moving van off with my Large Personal Crap, and drove from Chez Eli on the south shore of Long Island to my new home in Houston. As I passed through Richmond, I picked up a friend who had been looking for a ride to Houston, there to visit his sister. It was a mutually beneficial arrangement: He got his ride, and I got someone to talk to during the long, unexciting schlep.

Well, mostly unexciting. When we entered Louisiana, we were greeted by state troopers toting shotguns. They were looking for some escaped felon or other and wanted to be sure he hadn’t terrorized us into giving him a clandestine ride in the trunk. “Oh, boy!” we thought. The South is fun! Cops with shotguns!

The rest of the trip, fortunately, was less eventful.

Came the night before I was to begin work, and my friend and I were guests for dinner at the home of his sister and brother-in-law. It was a fine meal, but I have no clear memory of what we ate: Spinach may have been involved. What I do remember is wanting to watch President Nixon’s resignation speech that evening. It was going to be telecast at 8 o’clock that evening...but when we turned on the tube at eight sharp, we discovered to our horror that “eight o’clock” meant Eastern Daylight Time - and we were in the Central time zone. Which meant we missed the speech by an hour. Crap.

Alas, after that evening I lost touch with the sister and BIL...only to meet them again some seventeen years (and five relocations) later, when the Mistress of Sarcasm and their younger daughter befriended each other in Hebrew school. Our jaws dropped when we realized that we had met, all those years ago, on that historic night of Nixon’s resignation speech. And afterwards, we became good friends, even sharing ba’al tekiah duty on the High Holidays.

You just never know, do ya?

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