Saturday, May 14, 2011

Oh, The Memories!

This week -on Tuesday as a matter of fact -I had a very pleasant surprise.

My best friend from my working days in Washington, D.C. -which I left behind me in August of 1972 when my ex-husband and I moved back to my hometown here in Pennsylvania -phoned me!

Before Joan retired about two years ago now, we would talk on the phone, usually at most, once, maybe two times a year. The only exception to those calls were if something really drastic happened that we just had to share with each other and sadly, most of those calls were because someone we had both worked with back then had passed away.

But since she retired, we don't chat on the phone a whole lot more often -not something like every 4-6 weeks or so but we do call each other more than likely 4-6 times a year now and I have to confess, it is usually Joan who calls me. Although the old excuse we both had about not calling all the time was because of how much a call cost per minute and now, we both have unlimited calling on our phones, so there is no extra charge to either of us where our phone bills are concerned but nighthawk that I do tend to be, when I get the urge to make a phone call and just b.s. a hour or two away, it's usually gonna hit me about 1-2 a.m. and for some reason, I tend to think now that most people don't really appreciate calls at that hour of the night or more accurately, the morning!

Joan though (that's my friend's name) would tell you if she were to hear me make a comment such as the one above that calling at 1 or 2 a.m. never stopped me before and though that would be a true statement, I could clarify those actions today by reminding her that those were back in the days when I worked midnight shift and also, those were the days when I still drank too! LOL

It's always fun for me to chat with Joan though and its also inevitable that our conversations will cover most everything from soup to nuts and frequently even have a little bit of politics intermingled into the mix as well.

Then, for at least a day, sometimes several days after one of our phone conversations, I'll get on a bit of a tangent, remembering other things we maybe didn't even talk about but that were some of the funny things that often took place where we worked back then.

Last night, while telling Mandy some other silly stories about Joan's and my working days together, I happened to think of something -and this was something Joan and I had not talked about nor had anything even remotely come up in our conversation that might bring this to mind, but for whatever reason, I started telling Mandy about one of the liquid lunches that I recall from back in those good old days.

For some reason -which I don't remember now though -I was at the lounge in the restaurant across the street from our office -The Holiday Inn -and though there had been several other co-workers along on that day, by 2 p.m., the dedicated folks had gone back to work and we diehards were still there celebrating something. I don't recall all who had been there besides Joan and myself but I do remember the guy who was the director of the division where we worked was there (I think he was the one buying, come to think of it) and his secretary was with us too!

Joan and I and the rest of the girls who worked in our section -doing keypunch -rarely went to lunch with this guy -old "Hose Nose" as we often referred to him in the office. And to have his secretary with us was even more of a rare occasion!

His secretary though was quite a character in her own right -a tall, very statuesque woman, probably in her late 40s, perhaps early to mid-50s at the time and she was also very aware of the intimidating aspect her appearance held too. She always carried herself with an air that she was above the shenanigans that our key punch crew often were known to pull off around the office, throughout the building, for that matter. Jane was above all that!

Except on this particular occasion when I think she maybe had been partaking a bit heavily of the sauce and may have been oh, slightly tipsy because some how the conversation in the lounge had turned to cigars and the next thing you knew, there was Jane sitting there lighting up and then smoking this cigar! Remember this was in the late 60s so for a woman to smoke a cigar was quite a rather shocking thing.

This was about the time that the Robert Burns Cigar Company -the one I had worked at shortly after I graduated from high school -had introduced a public relations type campaign with the tag line of "Should a gentleman offer a lady a cigarillo?" (Or was it a tiparillo? Now, I can't remember the ad precisely but it was one of those things. One thing I do know for sure that it wasn't an ad offering a Davidoff!)

But I remember that I must have had one really shocked look on my face watching Jane -this really prim and very proper appearing lady -light up that cigar, that's for sure.

I later learned -after I transferred out of that division at work and went downstairs to work in the Administrative Services area -that appearances can be very deceiving. My boss who was the director of that division then informed me that many people around work rarely ever saw that side of Jane but when she cut loose, he told me, she had one really wild sense of humor!

Funny though, isn't it, the silly things that stick with us in our memory many, many years after the fact!

Working at that place I have to confess that rarely did a day go by at work but what someone didn't do something goofy, silly, sometimes downright crazy and yet, amidst all the laughter that flowed quite frequently, we still got the work load processed in a very timely manner.

Just goes to show you that a happy, friendly, fun-loving, practical joking work force is also a very, very productive one too, ya know!

Yep! Lots and lots of wonderful memories associated with my old friend Joan and that employer!

Best ever!

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