1978 …In the ER in NORTH CAROLINA
The late 70’s were very unstable years for many small business owners in New York. We decided that it was time for a move and my husband accepted the offer of a job in Pinehurst, North Carolina. It was early in 1977 when he started that job, but it wasn’t until July of ‘78 that our family was united again. It took that long to sell our house and to make all the arrangements.
This was a huge change for us in many ways. For one thing Dick had not worked for anyone except himself since his days at “Life” magazine. He loved the South and especially Moore County but the job was not as it had been advertised and it wasn’t long before he wanted out. He had a building contractors license from NY state and he transferred that to North Carolina. Once again he was starting out on his own.
Our daughter was a senior in High School and the boys were on their own by now so I decided it was time for me to get a job. I had no idea how hard this would be. After all, I had a BS degree from Boston University and had worked for the last 20 years as general office manager for my husband’s Real Estate and building business, as well as selling properties.
It soon became apparent that no one was interested in a 45 year old Northerner regardless of education or qualifications. I put an application in to the local hospital but heard nothing from them. It wasn’t until 3 months later that I met an ER nurse and she said she thought I would be just what they needed in the emergency room. I had some EMT training and could type and that was all it took.
Sure enough, that’s where I got my job. The pay wasn’t great but it was steady work and it gave us health insurance, which we badly needed. Being an ER secretary was never in my plans but it proved to be a God-send in many ways. I stayed in that job for 23 years and finally retired in 2002.
(The picture is a newspaper clipping of an ad for Coca Cola that ran in our local paper. It was taken in the ER and shows a couple of the Docs and nurses and me in the right lower corner.)