In 1977, Jim graduated from college and was promptly hired by Associated Press. We knew right away that our days in Michigan were numbered. His first assignment after he left the Detroit Bureau was Washington, D.C. We didn’t know how we would survive there on a nonprofit salary, but we didn’t need to worry. Within a few weeks, he was offered a position in Philadelphia, which we jumped at.
I loved Philly right away. We researched neighborhoods to buy in and found Mt. Airy. According to Time Magazine, Mt. Airy was one of the few racially stable residential neighborhoods in the city. It offered a great elementary school, a mix of ethnic and racial groups, affordable housing, and a train station that would deliver Jim almost door to door to his office in what was the Bulletin Building at that time.
I loved it when we got there to look for houses, although I was confused at the mess the streets were in. I remember even asking the realtor if there was a trash strike going on. We were from Detroit, for heaven’s sake, and that city was no where as filthy as Philadelphia.
Trash aside, we found a house on Mt. Pleasant Avenue, right at the K bus stop. It was a Victorian twin, totally rehabed, at the top of the hill. From our third floor bedroom, we had a glorious view of the entire northwest section of Philly. I was so happy there.
Eventually, I found a job in the OR at Hahnemann University Hospital. It was a place where the city’s poor went for care, in addition to city workers, police officers, others injured on the job. I worked graveyard, so you know I saw things I would never see in a community hospital. It was definitely a job for a young person, although I understand my coworker, Dora, who was at least forty five then, (sorry Dora), is still working there, thirty years later!
One of the anesthesia people, Greg, and his wife, Linda, who worked in the recovery room, left shortly after I did, and went to Rancocas, which is now Lourdes. In 1993, I joined the nursing staff there. I worked there until the nursing staff went on strike in 2004, when I opened Woolbearers. Many of the staff remained my close friends, and last Friday, Jan had a going away party for me. I had a great time laughing at shared memories. It was definitely bittersweet saying good bye to a great group of people.
This is Dawn’s back, Linda and Greg, and my charge nurse for many years, Etta.
Jan and Bea, the Orthopedic Team, with Mrs. Williams, our supervisor, and Etta.
Mrs. Williams, who calls me Sugee, me, and Etta.
Bobby and Karen, Tim and his wife, Mattie and once again, Mrs. Williams, our hostess Jan, and Lynne.